As technological innovation continues to reshape the contact centre landscape, the role of the live agent is actually becoming more important that ever, especially when it comes to building and maintaining customer relationships. As a result, it’s vital that agents are well trained and develop excellent ‘soft skills’.
Of course, consumers now have more channels than ever through which they can interact with your organisation. That’s not going to change: consumers want the easiest, most direct path to solving their problem or finding a solution, and the preferred way to do that is self-service or low friction channels, so-called ‘zero-touch’.
However, according to Forrester, 69 per cent of customers move to another channel when online customer service fails. This means that when consumers do need to interact with a live agent, it’s likely that they will either have a complex, sophisticated problem that they have not been able to solve through low-friction channels, or will be in a higher state of frustration or displeasure.
As a result, rightly or wrongly, when customers do speak to live agents, they expect an ‘above-average’ customised experience with well-trained, highly knowledgeable staff. Agents are expected to know the customer’s account details and, of course, have an in-depth knowledge of the products and services they represent.
But, perhaps more importantly, they are expected to deal with sometimes complex issues with speed, professionalism and courtesy. Customers also expect to be dealt with quickly, confidently and efficiently.
As well as being able to navigate complex questions with care, enthusiasm and empathy, agents, supervisors and managers are expected to perform this while keeping the organisation’s objectives in mind – essentially meeting customer expectations, and building and maintaining relationships, while selling more products and services. That’s a lot to ask for, even on a good day!
So what’s the answer? Customer service organisations have to invest in training and professional development in order to ensure that their agents meet all of these demands placed upon them.
That’s why self-directed coaching and self-training apps and services are gaining in popularity.
Self-training allows agents to evaluate, and learn from, their own customer calls, in their own time, without the need for supervisors to spend time sitting in on calls to direct and ‘teach’ them.
Instead, organisations or individual departments should create a standard evaluation template that provides the means for agents to compare their call ‘performance’ against set targets or parameters. This frees up supervisors’ time and enables agents to ‘self train’, by evaluating a set number of their own customer calls every week against a standard template.
Touch Call Recording Service for contact centres and customer care is ideal for the self-training of front-line agents and employees. Touch Coach is an additional service that provides an automatic, structured way to train personnel to improve their customer interaction skills over the phone. The service includes traditional as well as modern self-training features.
The user friendly and intuitive interface allows employees to replay their own customer calls and evaluate their performance against templates and scripts, enabling efficient self-evaluation and training. At the same time, team leaders can supervise their agents more effectively, and provide more advice on how to improve customer experience.
So what are you waiting for? Get in touch to find out how we can help you to improve the experience of your customers.