February 4, 2013 @ 5:50 AM

Six Steps to Delivering a Great Customer Experience

By Gregory J. Robb, Research Assistant, Applied Business Technologies, LLC

Since they first appeared, in the 1970s, call centers have prospered or perished based on customer satisfaction levels. Yet, increasingly-complex factors contribute to that customer experience. Quality Assurance includes tools such as Call Recording, Screen Recording, Workforce Management and Speech Analytics. Call center challenges are moving as fast as the world.

It is vital, then, to understand the steps which enhance a customer’s experience with a call center.

1. Reduce Average Handle Times (AHT)

Average Handle times (AHT) are simple. The longer it takes to resolve a customer’s issue, the less satisfied the customer. Call centers need to reduce AHT in order to enhance customer satisfaction. Quality Assurance depends on it.

The methods for reducing handle times are complex. Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) must access multiple information databases. Customers may not realize that CSRs are working as fast as they can with the information systems before them. Call centers are best able to enhance Quality Assurance by deploying tools which help to reduce handle times.

2. Information System Consolidation

Consolidated data surely helps CSRs to speed up call resolution. Screen Recording allows supervisors to visually monitor agent activity in real-time or after the fact. Thus, screen recording is a method of achieving Quality Assurance by reducing shrinkage: the amount of time CSRs are paid when they’re not available to resolve customer calls. Screen Recording helps supervisors to enhance customer satisfaction with more productive call service representatives.

3. Proper CSR Training

Call Recording is a time-honored training tool. However, customer service representatives are best able to assure quality by achieving complete fluency with all call center tools. Call recording remains relevant, but technology has expanded its possible application. Call recording is used to log CSR transactions for industry compliance, fraud detection and call center employee training.

4. Agent Productivity

Poor customer experiences equates directly with agent productivity. When call center tools slow down the agent, customers lose their patience (a trend which is increasing worldwide). Increasingly, CSRs handle incoming phone calls, emails and chat sessions. Agents must manage multiple channels of communication, and inadequate call center infrastructure emerges as a problem on the customer end. This inflates handling time while diminishing customer satisfaction.

5. Continuous Productivity Monitoring and Mentoring

Quality Assurance never takes a day off. Technological innovations are expanding in ways which can aid call centers in continuously developing greater productivity and profit. Call Recording, Screen Recording and Speech Analytics are just part of the industry’s evolution.

6. Heads Up: The Future is Coming Fast

Of course, successful call centers must navigate change as it occurs. Industry analysis suggests that customers approve of self-service menus based on voice-recognition. They can also inquire via expanding access portals: Web, email, live chat and interactive voice recognition. With self-service becoming the norm, it is more important than ever to analyse the calls that actually reach an agent. It’s easy to understand how customers will react when self-service fails, and the agent proves to be even less helpful. Tools that manage the customer experience change this equation.

Consider Applied Business Technologies (ABT) as a one-stop Quality Assurance call center solution for Call Recording, Screen Recording and Speech Analytics. Visit us at www.appliedcorp.com for more information.

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