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Today’s companies rely heavily on customer relationship management strategies to stay competitive and improve the customer experience. And your call center is an essential element of that. Your agents are at the forefront of every interaction and have the power to strengthen these relationships, but only if they receive appropriate customer experience training.

The ROI of Customer Experience Training

Each time an agent engages with a customer, it’s an opportunity to:

  • Create a new relationship59% of consumers would try a new brand for a better customer experience.
  • Upsell a customer58% of consumers are willing to spend more with companies that provide excellent customer experiences.
  • Cement a current one—On average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase.
  • OR lose a potential/current customer78% of consumers have stopped a transaction or not made an intended purchase because of poor customer service.

Customers only want to do business with people they like, and your call center is critically important to bridging the gap. If you don’t develop a customer relationship management strategy that emphasizes your brand’s human element, customer satisfaction will be just a pipe dream.

This article will discuss tactical ways you can support your call center agents to provide a better customer experience.

How to Develop a Customer Relationship Management Strategy

Creating call center teams that are informed, energetic, driven, and human is the critical first step in any customer relationship management strategy. Every agent must feel valued for his or her contribution to your company, which means ensuring they have the knowledge, skills, and motivation to do their best work. After all, there’s nothing more irritating for your customers than dealing with agents who can’t answer their questions 50% of the time.

The key to a great customer experience is to understand each agent and work with them to improve their skill sets and validate the things they already excel at. Here are six tips to help you launch your customer relationship management strategy today.

1. Gain Call Center Agent Insight

Gaining individual agent insight may seem overwhelming when you have an entire team to manage, but the job is easier with a quality scorecard rating system (spreadsheets are not suited for this task). Customer service scorecards will provide you with information about your agents and their performance.

Just make sure to include all the right customer experience elements on your scorecard so that you’re tracking KPIs that match your business priorities and customer service needs. Areas include:

  • Soft skills
  • Processes
  • Product competencies
  • Channel
  • Type of customer service inquiry
  • Compliance
  • Outcomes

With this insight, you should have all of the important data that you need to monitor, train, and develop your multi-channel agents.

2. Help Your Agents Become Self-Aware

Scientific studies show how important it is to make people aware of their strengths and weaknesses in order to advance themselves and their organizations. By validating your call center agents’ current strengths and identifying areas for improvement, you show a vested interest in your agents, who will, in turn, appreciate the support and perform better as a result.

At the heart of all human functioning is the self. The best solutions to organizational and leadership issues require self-awareness as an essential first step. Deeper self-awareness leads to self-acceptance and then self-esteem. As individuals gain self-awareness and self-esteem, they become more open and honest with their co-workers ... [which leads] into productive work.” - Will Schutz, Ph.D.

3. Engage and Empower Your Agents

Engaged agents are typically happier (and, by extension, more productive) than those who are not. Involve your agents in the quality monitoring process so they have a clear view of their performance and feel like they have an input in their personal development.

There are a few ways to engage your agents in your customer relationship management strategy:

  • Provide your agents with their own personal dashboard where they can review how they’re performing in regards to the customer experience.
  • Connect performance to customer experience training and coaching tips, so they have an opportunity to improve.
  • Showcase both areas for improvement and areas where they already excel. Positive reinforcement provides additional motivation for improvement.

When your agents are engaged, you’ll see an uptick in sales, revenue, and lasting customer relationships that benefit your call center in both the short and long-term.

Engage your call center agents in the customer experience with these 7 steps.

4. Use a Learning Management System

Customer experience training can be overwhelming, especially when you have many agents who need individual one-on-one help. But by implementing a learning management system (LMS), you can more easily manage all of your training needs. An LMS automates the training process and provides you with a centralized software solution for managing, tracking, and achieving your customer experience goals—anywhere and at any time.

Instead of doing hours of one-to-ones with individual agents to determine areas of improvement, an LMS will allow you to flag those agents that need special attention and then provide an individualized learning plan—both on-demand and instructor-led. This means coaching meetings will be quick because the LMS will already be set up to address skill and competence gaps with product and service knowledge, communication training, soft skills training, etc.

5. Encourage Friendly Competition

A little competition in the call center can help your teams’ performance. Using scorecards, you can benchmark teams against each other to create an air of competitive excitement among agents who will be incentivized to improve their productivity. You’ll see better quality scores and higher customer satisfaction levels as a result.

6. Implement Call Center Quality Assurance Software

In the call center business there are so many tools available to monitor call center quality. The key is to not choose QA software that just looks at simple metrics like “average handle time.” You need a complete overview of your most critical business, customer, and process metrics, including insight into productivity, sales, customer satisfaction, and quality. From there, you can see the anatomy of really great customer experiences, and identify patterns and trends for improvement.

By utilizing QA software, you can gain invaluable insight to help identify problem areas, increase agent satisfaction and morale, improve customer satisfaction, and generate more revenue for the business.

Contact Center Customer Satisfaction

There’s no doubt that customers are willing to spend more money on a great experience, and that starts with your contact center agents. They are the key to happy and satisfied customers. By focusing on designing, managing, and optimizing a customer relationship management strategy within your call center, you’ll set yourself up for both short- and long-term success.

And ultimately, if you take your customer experience training seriously, the pay off of investing your time, money, and resources will be worth it with:

  • 3X greater return on stock performance.
  • 2X higher year-over-year growth in customer retention, repeat purchase rates, and customer lifetime value.

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Tags: Call Center Training, Customer Experience & Service, Agent Soft Skills