by Jim Iyoob | published on 02-17-2017
Companies are always looking for effective and cost-efficient ways to improve their bottom line, and one of the best ways to do that is by improving the customer experience. After all, it does not make much sense to offer the best products or services in your industry if your customers are not happy. Focusing more on quality assurance through quality monitoring can both help improve your customer experience and gather feedback to improve your products and services.
Let’s look at some of the facts and figures associated with the current state of customer service. Research has shown that roughly 20 percent of consumers place price over customer service, nearly 40 percent of consumers do not reach out to the companies they do business with, and customers who do reach out don’t do so very often.
What this data shows is that a majority of shoppers are willing to pay more for a product if the company is known for having great customer service. This means that a company should make sure their customer service is of the same caliber as the prices they’re asking for their services or products. If customers spend top dollar on an expensive product but have trouble getting in touch with someone who can answer a simple question, they’re unlikely to continue to do business with that company. Moreover, those individuals are likely to leave bad reviews and share their experiences on social media, which can cost the company future business.
When consumers are not reaching out to companies, part of the reason might be that they have had poor customer service experiences in the past. Companies have an opportunity to set the bar for customer service and change consumers’ minds about what excellent customer service is, which can make customers more willing to reach out to them in the future if they ever have questions or concerns. In order to understand what works with their customers, companies need to assume a proactive role in discovering what their customers are saying by monitoring those interactions for quality assurance.
How Monitoring Solutions Work
The central purpose of quality assurance is to gauge representative performance and determine Key Performance Indicator (KPI) or Key Success Indicators (KSI) metrics. These metrics help companies develop their definition of success and keep track of the behaviors that support that definition. One of the most essential things to bear in mind when it comes to KPI and KSI is that the metrics differ from company to company.
When cultivating indicator measurements, the monitoring solution gathers information such as the following:
Even though customer service agents can potentially gather this information on their own, companies might prefer to implement software instead. The results are more accurate, easier to organize, more complete and free of personal opinion, which can skew the results. The results provided by software let companies know where they’re doing well in terms of customer services, which areas need improvement and whether there are potential opportunities of which they may not be aware.
Properly Utilizing KPI and KSI Metrics
To leverage the data generated by quality monitoring solutions, it’s not enough that you simply gather information; you have to know how to effectively use the data and engage your company hierarchy in the process. In addition to sharing data with managers and department heads, front-line employees should also be included. Customer service agents are critical to the customer experience, so they need to understand the rationale behind putting new technology in place. Knowing you’re taking steps to make their jobs easier and giving them the tools they need can enhance their employee satisfaction levels and they may also have suggestions of their own about improving customer service.
Share the results of metrics both on an individual customer service agent level and on a team level. You can also use the results of the metrics and monitoring solution in future company decisions. For instance, the gathered data can help you decide which changes to your customer service department will be the most effective, and the metrics may even help with your next marketing campaign.
Additional Steps for Effective Customer Service Improvement
While using monitoring solutions is a great first step in making your customer service capabilities stronger, it’s only part of the equation. As you’re gathering, sharing and implementing data, be sure you ask customers and callers how they feel about your company’s customer service capabilities and alignment with promises made in your marketing or advertising. You might already know how difficult it can be to keep callers on the line, so give them a good reason to stick around such as a discount or a free service or product in exchange for their participation.
In addition to monitoring phone calls, it’s also best to monitor all other forms of customer communication. This is an especially good idea since a majority of today’s consumers prefer not to communicate over the phone. Gather data from live chat and email correspondences to discover valuable information, such as customer pain points. These pain points indicate the issues customers have with your products, services and your company in general. Customers may not call or communicate with you to specifically discuss these pain points but they can be elicited naturally in a conversation and rather than brush the matter off, you can use it as an opportunity to make your company and customer service better. Customers will appreciate the fact that you actually listen to them, and your customer service representatives will be pleased that the issues are being resolved such that they will not have to hear the same pain point over and over.
There are always opportunities for your customer service agents to improve, and KPI metrics create an excellent baseline. You can look at individual data and group trending to determine which skills your team members should develop. Identifying these areas of opportunity gives your agents goals to aim for and ensures that the correct behaviors are being targeted.
Even if your agents are performing well, there are still likely coaching and training opportunities to uncover. Because technology, consumer desires, business and your industry are all in a constant state of flux, you must be vigilant in monitoring your response to these changes to ensure that you consistently supply the experience your customers have come to expect.
Choosing the Right Quality Monitoring Solution
Before you work on how to improve quality linked to customer experience, you must first decide which monitoring solution is the best fit for your company, your goals and your customer service representatives. Before you even start to explore your options, make sure you’re clear on what you hope to accomplish. Wanting to improve customer service is a general goal, which means you need to dive deeper. Is there a specific aspect of your customer service you seek to improve? Is there a timetable to consider? Is your improved customer service goal tied to other aspects of improving your company? If so, what are those aspects? Answering these questions makes it easier for you to narrow your monitoring solution options.
As you’re looking over your options, ask how and to what extent the metrics will improve agent performance. While the main focus should most certainly be on the customer, you have to factor your agents into the equation as well as they spend the most time with your customers. You should also ask if the data the solution collects will truly improve your customer service effectiveness and do so in a way that aligns with your company goals and vision. Finally, you should also ask yourself if the solution is inclusive enough that it will safeguard your business from a legal challenge. For instance, your company could be accused of false advertising if your customer service capabilities don’t match what you promise in your advertisement or marketing materials.
It’s also worth mentioning that the monitoring solution or software you select should grow and change with your business as well as your industry in order for it to continue to meet your needs. A solution that evolves as you do will provide more long-term value, allowing you to avoid transactional costs and time devoted to learning new systems and processes.
Additional Statistics to Consider
To get a better idea of how data and statistics, like those gathered by monitoring solutions, impact business solutions, here are a few more figures related to the customer experience to consider:
As you keep a finger on the pulse of your customer service experience, be sure to monitor statistics related to customer service across various industries and businesses.
No matter your approach to sharpening your customer experience capabilities, it’s vital to include a quality monitoring solution. The right one will save time and money, increase employee and customer retention, and enhance your business reputation. Pinpoint your customer experience requirements and start exploring your options to take your company and your customer service team to the next level.