Every company strives for superior customer satisfaction, but only a few achieve such a goal on a consistent basis.
Admittedly, in a mega-competitive business market, it can be difficult to establish superior customer satisfaction when so many individual factors are at play. Different drivers within different environments influence satisfaction.
Improving Customer Satisfaction in Your Call Center - Advice from the Expert
Your frontline agents are responsible for not only resolving customers' issues, but for leaving them with a good impression of your organization once the interaction is over.
According to Mark Miller, Senior Director at the Contact Center Practice for J.D. Power and Associates, best-in-class organizations consistently drive and improve customer satisfaction through their call centers by connecting customer loyalty to factors like speed of answer, how many times a customer is put on hold, and how many times a customer is transferred, among others.
During an interview with FurstPerson, Miller explained his research found the best performers are doing everything well and a few things really well.
In order to know how to improve customer satisfaction, one must consider the five major drivers of satisfaction with the contact center. According to Miller, these 5 drivers include:
- promptness in getting to the person who can solve the problem
- courtesy of that person
- the timing of the overall resolution
- the agent’s knowledge
- the concern the agent shows for the customer
If a company falls short on one of these key areas, for example, a call center employee does not have the required knowledge or fails to speak to customers in a courteous manner, the company’s satisfaction scores will suffer and it will ultimately affect customer loyalty.
It All Starts with Hiring the Best Employees
The best call centers are continually focused on mastering the five major drivers outlined above, and they are making the appropriate investments in technology and people to ensure the customer experience is consistently a good one.
When it comes to customer satisfaction in relation to your call center, it is especially important to have the right people in the seats. Companies need to recruit wisely, train well, and keep their employees well informed in order to successfully delight the customer and establish a true emotional link. At the end of the day, companies who are able to build trust will have the most satisfied customers.
As Miller succinctly states, “If you want to build loyalty, you have to create trust at the front end.” Improving customer satisfaction is inextricably linked to hiring call center employees with high emotional IQ – especially since an increasing number of customers are turning to call centers for assistance with more difficult, more complex concerns.
Improving Customer Satisfaction with Call Center Assessments
We’ve talked before about the fact that call centers are receiving a greater number of calls critical to customer loyalty and advocacy. So then, how do you increase customer satisfaction?
It starts with hiring the right people.
Though goals are certainly what drive a business forward, ensuring your customers are hanging up the phone satisfied has less to do with average handle time or number of tickets closed, and more to do with employee satisfaction and culture fit experienced by the agent on the other end of the line.
If the agent doesn't fit the job or the organizational culture, he or she will not perform well, which puts valuable customer relationships at risk. As such, it is more important than ever for companies to spend the extra time, effort, energy, and investment in ensuring they hire the right people.
Miller also pointed out that one way to mitigate high attrition is to match your environment with the right person because, “high levels of employee satisfaction…will lead to lower attrition levels, and once you have people who have been on the phone a while, your [agents are more able to] deal with the customer’s needs not only on a factual basis, but also on an emotional basis.”
Improving customer satisfaction is largely dependent on hiring those who can connect with customers on an emotional level in order to make them feel valued and understood.
It is very difficult to interface with a customer in a real and genuine manner unless a call center agent has the right talent and skill set for a particular business environment. A call center assessment is a reliable way to measure virtually any performance-driven metric, including how well your new hire will fit into your specific environment, and how likely he or she is to engage with the tasks associated with the job.
Additionally, a call center simulation is a great way to find employees who have the concrete skills as well as the emotional IQ necessary to handle difficult situations commonplace in your company's environment.
A critical ingredient to call center success includes knowing how to continuously improve customer satisfaction. Employees who have the ability to establish a connection with customers over the phone by truly listening and responding to their needs will build an invaluable level of trust. And that, in the end, is the ultimate “it factor” for any company interested in setting themselves apart from the competition.
FurstPerson will work with you to identify the critical skills and abilities required for each job or job family, and implement an assessment battery that focuses on critical areas, such as workplace communication, critical thinking, decision-making, reasoning, and data entry accuracy, among others. Download your free copy of the whitepaper below to learn more, or schedule a free consultation with one of our talent selection specialists.
Topics: Contact Center Hiring