Clarabridge Research Shows 4 ways to Improve CX in the Contact Center

By: Susan Ganeshan

April 11, 2017

Tags:
contact center
customer experience
Clarabridge Analytics
Contact Center
Customer Experience
Customer Journey
Customer Feedback Management

Clarabridge recently conducted a study of both contact center agents and consumers. We wanted to see where their expectations and experiences lined up when it comes to customer service calls.

No surprises here—the customers and agents don’t typically see eye to eye.

Dissatisfaction levels are at an all-time high when it comes to contact center calls. Only 15% of consumers were ‘completely satisfied’ by their last call center experience. And when you have unhappy customers, agents are likely to bear the brunt of this frustration: 86% of contact center employees have dealt with irate customers who raise their voice. Setting your contact center agents up for success when dealing with customers ensures happier customers and agents alike. It also has the potential to save your organization countless dollars.

Here are some key takeaways from our survey. They show what brands can do to improve their customer experience using contact center data for both customers and agents:

1.Empower your contact center employees
Only 15% of agents report inadequate training when it comes to handling customer requests, but that’s still far too high. One bad customer interaction can have even the most loyal customer turning to a competitor. Companies need to give agents the tools and information they need to ensure they can quickly and efficiently handle customer requests.Furthermore, brands need to grant their agents the authority to handle most customer complaints themselves. The reason behind nearly 20% of all customer calls is that the customer is looking for a monetary fix, i.e. a discount or refund. However, just 50% of agents are authorized to issue discounts or refunds for any reason. Being transferred from agent to manager creates yet another friction point for customers looking for a simple solution. Brands need to consider empowering their contact center agents to make this important judgement before getting a manager involved—it’ll save money in the long run.

2.Arm your call center agents with the appropriate background knowledge
45% of consumers believe that customer service representatives do not have enough background information on their situation to provide them with the help they’re seeking. It turns out that they’re right: nearly a quarter (23%) of agents report not having enough background information on customers prior to the calls that they handle.This leads to frustrated consumers who feel as though they are constantly repeating themselves. What if your agent could not only see details about the customer’s transactions, their demographics, and, their feedback. Few brands put all this info in a clear and concise format in front of the agent. However, but it is easy to do, and it provides the agent with the power they
need.

3.Use contact center data and customer feedback as leverage
While the benefits of collecting customer feedback should be obvious, many companies aren’t tapping into this valuable data. More than a quarter of agents (26%) report that feedback is collected on customer service calls. However, the information does not get distributed across other departments. Worse, 12% of call center agents report that no feedback from customer service calls is collected at all.Keep in mind, customer survey responses are at an all-time low.  So to fully understand the customer journey, you will need to capture feedback from other channels. These include voice recordings, chat, email, social and more. It’s easy to report on and share this data and turn your contact center into an experience center.Further illustrating this necessity, most call center agents (65%) report that customers ask the same questions repeatedly. If the right information were collected and routed across the business, process and product fixes could be made to eliminate the questions all together. When you calculate the estimated savings by reducing call volumes and reducing complexity in calls, it’s easy to make the business case for changes in other departments.

4.Consider social customer service as a primary service channel
Once customer information is collected, brands should consider alternative avenues like social media for dealing with common customer complaints. Unsurprisingly, nearly half of all customers (46%) report long wait times to be their biggest frustration with customer service calls. Agents are overextended. More than a quarter of agents report handling upwards of 100 calls a day.Companies should invest in quicker ways to deal not with the volume of calls they receive and automating fixes. Routing complaints through social channels is often faster and less expensive—there is huge potential for ROI. Not only do these alternative channels save companies dollars, but they also allow for more meaningful interactions on the customer’s platform of choice. This ensures that all parties involved are satisfied with their experience.

 

To learn more, download the full report, “Why Can’t We Be Friends? Examining Both Sides of the Call Center Interaction.”