Your contact center is one of the main ways people interact with your company. The experience customers have when they call has a huge influence on how they view your brand.
A good CX leads to benefits like increased loyalty and more sales. While a bad customer experience can have the opposite effect.
With this in mind, this article will highlight the importance of providing an excellent customer calling experience. We’ll also offer tips for improving yours.
What is a customer calling experience?
A customer calling experience is the experience customers have when they phone your business. It involves everything from how you route incoming calls to post-call contact.
Elements that can impact the customer calling experience include:
- Your automated routing software
- Your IVR system
- Self-service options
- The quality of the service your agents provide
- Whether the customer has to transfer
- Post call interactions, such as follow-ups or confirmations
Get these elements right and the customer will have a streamlined experience that builds relationships.
But providing these positive experiences isn’t easy.
Customers have high expectations
Customers have high expectations of customer service. And there’s a lot of evidence that suggests it can impact who they buy from.
Consider the following statistics:
- 58% of consumers will stop doing business with a company because of poor customer service
- 89% of consumers are more likely to make a repeat purchase after a positive customer experience
- Customers are 38% more likely to recommend a company if they rate the service as “good” rather than “poor”
Meeting or surpassing customer expectations can have a real impact on your business’s success. You need to take steps to ensure your CX meets these demands.
So what do customers want?
There’s plenty of research showing what consumers expect from businesses they interact with.
Zendesk found that the top five aspects of a good customer service experience are:
- The ability to resolve issues quickly
- 24/7 support
- Friendly agents
- Support on their desired communication channel
- Not having to repeat information
Meanwhile, the five most frustrating elements of a bad experience are:
- Long hold times
- Automated systems that make it difficult to get human help
- Having to repeat information
- Unfriendly agents
- Agents without sufficient information
Your brand should do all it can to improve the top points while minimizing the latter ones.
Call center technology enhances the customer calling experience
Good call center technology helps with the above issues. It allows you to create systems that help you provide a better experience for all your customers.
Here are four ways it does this.
1. Increase service speed
Call center software helps you increase service speed. This ensures customers get access to help faster than they would otherwise.
There is no single feature that makes calls faster. But all the below functionality plays a part:
- Better call routing ensures customers speak to the agents best placed to help them
- Data sharing ensures agents have all the information they need to provide solutions
- Automation removes manual tasks like data entry or searching for customer profiles
- Self-service enables customers to gain instant access to solutions
All these features ensure that customers’ problems are dealt with faster. This has the knock-on effect of making agents available for more calls, which reduces service speed even further.
2. Offer 24/7 help
Call center software enables businesses to offer 24/7 help without requiring agents to work energy-sapping night shifts.
Self-service tools are a big help. These systems make it easy for customers to independently find answers to their questions without speaking to an agent. These tools are always available and can help an unlimited number of customers.
There are many types of self-service tools. Chatbots and searchable knowledge bases provide easy access to answers on the web. Meanwhile, your IVR answers simple requests over the phone.
- Opening hours
- Booking confirmations
- Order updates
- Balance inquiries when people call
Call center software also makes it easy to set up a virtual call center. This means you can hire people in other time zones to provide support when your core team isn’t available.
All you have to do is provide training, and they can log in from anywhere with an internet connection to start work.
3. Greater data access means customers don’t have to repeat information
Call center software enables better data sharing. Agents can access data from anywhere on your system, meaning everyone has all available customer information.
Here are three ways this helps your team provide better service:
- If the customer is calling for the first time, the agent can see crucial account data such as recent orders and purchases.
- If they are following up on a previous support ticket, the agent can access all previous communication. They can see the problem without the customer having to repeat it.
- If the call is transferred, the receiving agent can see any data entered by the first agent during the call.
Ultimately, data access enables agents to offer more informed service and tailor their help towards a customer’s needs.
4. Improved automated help
One of the most commonly cited customer service problems is automated systems blocking access to help.
Unfortunately, IVR systems are a necessity for most businesses. They actually give faster access to relevant services, even if customers don’t always appreciate this.
The key is to set up and use your IVR in a way that streamlines the customer experience as much as possible.
One way to do this is to use IVR systems with conversational AI. These offer a more intuitive CX than regular dialer-based IVRs.
Instead of the customer listening to a list of options and choosing the most relevant one, the customer simply states their problem.
The tool then processes the language and performs next steps based on this input. This is typically either asking for more information or sending the customer to the relevant department.
The right software can significantly improve CX
Software isn’t the only factor that is required for you to provide excellent service—your agents will also help. And you can improve this through better training.
Nonetheless, the right software provides agents with all the tools they need to provide excellent customer calling experiences wherever they pick up the phone.