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Top 5 Contact Center Best Practices: Improving Customer Experiences

Whether you operate an inbound, outbound, or blended cloud contact center, one of your top priorities is customer satisfaction.  But, sometimes it can be difficult to know where to start. While some things, like reducing the time that customers are on hold, are obvious, you may not know which contact center best practices will address your specific customer service concerns.

In this article, we'll discuss some of contact center best practices you can use to help improve customer experiences.

Develop Customer-Centric Key Performance Indicators

How do you measure the success of your contact center or the performance of your agents?  If you’re looking to implement contact center best practices that improve customer experience, don’t just reward your agents for speed.  Metrics like first contact resolution and average hold time are better indicators of your customer satisfaction rates.

Maintain Consistent Communication Across All Support Channels

Once upon a time, a call center was just that: a place that managed incoming and outgoing calls.  New technologies have transformed the traditional call center into a contact center, where customers can reach out via SMS, chat, email, and even video chat.

As your contact center integrates these support channels into daily interactions with customers, it is important to ensure that your agents are delivering a consistent experience.

Users may not choose to communicate with you on the support channel that you might like, but rather on the channel that makes them comfortable.  All contact centers, but especially inbound ones, have to determine how to deliver a uniform and positive experience across each and every avenue.

Use IVR Wisely

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is a great tool for many inbound and outbound contact centers.  If configured properly, this virtual call center software feature can provide consumers with a positive impression, and help guide them to the appropriate agent.

However, some contact centers may try to cut costs in the short-term by using IVR to push users into self-service channels.  This may reduce your budget, but it’s bound to get you in trouble when it comes to customer retention and conversion rates.

Most consumers are more satisfied with their call center experience when they've spoken to a live agent; you can certainly use IVR to route a customer to the most appropriate person or department, but remember that every call is a chance to build a relationship with a customer.  Don't let that opportunity slip away by forcing your callers into completely self-service IVR menus.

Actively Coach Agents for Improved Performance

Most contact centers serve thousands—if not millions—of consumers.  As a result, many call center managers feel that they don’t have the time to properly evaluate agent performance, let alone participate in consistent and timely training sessions.

But, your agents are the foundation of quality customer service in the contact center.  While it may seem like you don’t have the time or budget to manage and educate your agents, these steps can result in higher customer retention and conversion rates.

Virtual call center software can help your contact center better manage training and evaluations.  With features like call recording, live monitoring, and call whisper, you can know exactly what your agents are saying to your customers, and provide them quick, consistent feedback.

Empower Your Call Center Agents

As a contact center manager, you want your agents to resolve customer concerns as quickly as possible.  If your call center is sales-focused, you’re probably pushing your agents to close the deal with less handling time.

While efficiency is certainly an important factor of a successful call center, you also want to foster an environment where your agents feel comfortable listening to customers, and even initiating important conversations.  This not only helps to reduce agent turnover, but also boosts customer satisfaction.

Contact Center Best Practices

At the end of the day, your customers want to feel valued. And as a contact center, you want to ensure that your customers remain happy and loyal. These contact center best practices can help your business achieve both of these goals in simple, cost-effective ways.

Looking for additional resources on improving customer experience in your contact center? Explore the articles below: