Quick, accurate, pleasant customer service interactions make customers happy. Here’s what you need to know to speed up the delivery of customer service at your company.
We live in a world where everyone has too much to do and too little time to complete it. Contacting customer service is often a frustration—not only are customers already on edge because their transactions or relationships require another step, but they now have to speak to a customer service representative (CSR) who may not be able to resolve their problem.
The need for speed has driven many of today’s most innovative customer service organizations to rethink the way they define customer success and how they deliver customer service experiences. Here are four tips you can use to speed up your customer service delivery.
Use Technology for Account Verification
Historically, when you called a brand with a question about your account, the representative would ask you to verify your name, phone number, address, account information, and often other things such as security questions or even test questions for access to your credit report. Not only did this frustrate customers who wanted CSRs to know who they were when they got the call, but it also added unnecessary delays in getting their issues solved.
Today, call centers can utilize technology that uses the phone number a customer is calling from to automatically verify his or her identification. While some additional brief verification might be required, implementing this can not only save time for your call center but also shorten the amount of time your customers have to spend on the phone with your team.
Use a System for Request Triage
Customers may have any number of questions when calling your customer service team—from dealing with a broken product to asking for the status of a missing shipment. Identifying their need and connecting them to the right person the first time is another effective strategy to reduce call times. For example, if your automated call manager identifies a delivery question as the concern, the customer can be routed to a customer service agent who has real-time access to shipping and inventory data. Finding a solution that works for your team in this area should be a top priority.
Identifying the Issue at Hand
Typically, when a customer calls a service center, he or she has a specific set of considerations in mind. For example, the person may be trying to locate a missing package and establish a solution for having it delivered. If your CSRs have been trained to listen carefully and restate the problem back, they can identify and confirm with the customer what the issue is and then dive into finding a solution proactively. If agents struggle to understand what customers need or provide irrelevant support, customers will get frustrated, and calls will take much longer to resolve.
Manage the Upsells and Cross-Sells
When you have a customer on the phone, it can be tempting to cross-sell or upsell services. Recently, I called my cable provider about my Internet service being down shortly before an important client call. I expressed my concern to the rep at the beginning of the call and stated that I would appreciate his help getting back online as efficiently as possible because I had an urgent deadline. At several points during the conversation, the CSR tried to cross-sell products, upsell me to a higher-priced package, and entice me to a bundle.
Finally, when I stated that I just really wanted to focus on tech support and get this resolved as quickly as possible, the rep said that he had to go through a script in order to close the column. If you implement any kind of process like this, consider the impact it can have on the customer experience.
When you increase the delivery time of your customer service, you not only improve the customer experience but also turn those customers into fans and evangelists who will spread the good word about your company.