Unlocking the Secrets to Remarkable Customer Experiences in a Digital Age – Rachel Lane, Solution Principal, Contact Centre, at Medallia explains
The notion of customer experience, and a good customer experience at that, is now an expected necessity for today’s customer. Its importance is noted by its elevation to the boardroom, with Chief Experience Officers occupying a vital seat around the table. Its power is such that – depending on how it is managed – it has the means to make or break a brand.
As such, it is essential that the experience that a brand provides reflects the customer of today and is exuded (and equally replicated) throughout every channel in a customer’s journey. Operating on the frontline of a brand, the contact centre plays an important role in experience management. Contact centre agents have a direct opportunity to add the personal touch. If done well, brands can see NPS heighten and sales increase, while the customer benefits from a frictionless and exceptional journey.
Finding the key to success
With the benefits clear, the challenge that remains is how to uncover the true value of customer experience within the contact centre. I recently caught up with Treatwell, the largest hair and beauty booking platform in Europe, and Rain, a trusted cryptocurrency exchange serving the Middle East, Turkey, Pakistan and Africa to get their thoughts on how to successfully unlock the power of customer experience in a digital age.
What they shared with me mirrors my experience when enacting change for other customers. Here, I will share the insights from our collective tried and tested best practices, to enable organisations to start to realise positive changes in their customer experience models. Here are our recommendations:
1. Gather feedback in the moment
Customer feedback is at its most powerful when it is collected in the moment. This is when the experience is fresh in the mind of the customer and they can quickly and easily reflect on challenges experienced, any points of friction, as well as any journey highlights.
This feedback is especially meaningful when it is gathered in a way that seeks to maximise the depth of insight. This means structuring your questions to uncover varying levels of satisfaction – rather than a simple thumbs up or thumbs down. It means looking at a series of key moments in a customer’s journey – rather than the journey as a whole – to reveal potential points of friction or delight. It means acting in the moment to capture that insight as it occurs. The more detail you gather, the more operational improvements you can make.
Within the contact centre this could be realised by initiating a post-call survey or using text and speech analytics to uncover trends across customer conversations.
Moataz Elagizi, Global Chief Experience Officer at Rain has explained that by making these changes, the company now has “a clear understanding of how our customers are feeling after interacting with our team, and having those surveys triggered the moment an interaction is complete improved the participation and response rate.”
2. Proactivity is key
Being on the front foot is critical to success. Teams who are committed to delivering a stellar experience and want to drive real change for their customers are the ones who will see the best results. Those who are merely looking for a nudge in their NPS or CSAT numbers may see a difference, but it will only ever be marginal.
When the company can capture feedback in the moment and track its customers’ sentiments along their journey, it has the ability to quickly identify which customers are dissatisfied and which may rapidly become detractors. This insight enables agents to proactively reach out to customers experiencing issues – not only providing an opportunity to troubleshoot and address problems, but also to gain visibility into what more can be done. By engaging your agents and empowering them to deliver change, the improvement of customer service becomes less of a reactionary measure and more of a proactive and business-critical pursuit.
As Monika Grzadka, Customer Experience Operations Team Manager at Treatwell explained, “Over the last few years, our specialists have become more engaged – they will look into the comments that come in for them and then feed their own perspectives back into a feedback loop with their manager and other departments that need to know. This has really helped us to become more proactive in our CX, which for most businesses is primarily a reactive function.”
3. Happy agents = happy customers
It is important to highlight at this point the correlation between happy agents and happy customers. The truth is, you cannot improve your customer experience without improving your agent experience. Therefore, agent engagement is absolutely critical to the success of any experience management plan.
Your agents can and should be a part of the solution when looking at improving the customer journey. As the voice behind your brand, your agents have direct insight into the views and the feelings of your customers. They speak to them every-day and hear their views first-hand. When coupled with customer feedback, the perspectives of your agents can provide a unique and qualified insight into how processes can evolve to better suit the customer.
To boost agent engagement, look at ways to make their job easier. Automate the capture, analysis, and delivery of feedback related to service experiences and service functions. Alert staff and managers with real-time feedback data so they can take immediate action to resolve issues. Surface individual performance data alongside comparative benchmarks to highlight development and coaching opportunities. When agents become engaged in the process, they become invested in delivering good results, which in turn leads to a better overall customer experience.
4. Implementing a QA programme
Initiating a quality assurance (QA) programme can also help to boost engagement throughout the contact centre. A robust QA strategy can improve visibility into the success of calls, identifying areas for improvement for agents, and providing an effective way for managers to monitor calls.
This direct insight into performance has a knock-on effect on engagement levels – positively impacting on customer experience. A solid QA programme helps teams focus on what’s important, see where they are missing the mark, and where changes can be made with the maximum effect.
5. Coaching agents to success
As a QA programme can highlight areas for agent improvement, so can it help to inform coaching programmes. Coaching and learning programmes are a vital component in enhancing the customer experience. If brands make investments in enhancing the skills of their agents, then the end customer will undoubtedly benefit.
At Treatwell, managers hold monthly check-ins with their teams to review each team member’s progress on customer satisfaction and QA. This is directly linked to Treatwell’s core values and enables managers to track whether employees’ behaviours are meeting them. These sessions are vital to help spot gaps in agents’ knowledge or identify where additional resources are needed.
Ultimately, focusing on coaching the agent is an investment into the successful delivery of your customer experience model.
Driving change from within
The contact centre lies at the heart of the customer service model and is vital in the delivery of a stellar customer experience. It is therefore essential that organisations continue to invest in customer service agents – providing them with the tools to capture insight from customers to action change, equipping them with the skills to communicate effectively with customers, and engaging them in their work. It is through this considered combination that agents can deliver an effective customer experience model that meets the needs of a digitally-enlightened customer.
Medallia is the pioneer and market leader in Experience Management.
Medallia’s award-winning SaaS platform, Medallia Experience Cloud, leads the market in the understanding and management of experience for customers, employees and citizens.
Using Medallia Experience Cloud, customers can reduce churn, turn detractors into promoters and buyers, create in-the-moment cross-sell and up-sell opportunities and drive revenue-impacting business decisions, providing clear and potent returns on investment.
Whether you are looking to empower agents or operational teams, Medallia can help create better experiences for your teams and your customers.