Supercharge Your Customer Service – From Average to Excellent

Average, Good and Excellent words symbolizing improvement and success
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In a recent poll 63% of our audience said they were ‘meeting customer expectations for the most part’, compared to just 6% who said they ‘exceed them’.

And why is average so prevalent? For many, the days and weeks simply blur into one another, firefighting against high call volumes, and leaders find themselves doing things the way they’ve always been done.

If this sounds all too familiar, and you’re in need of some fresh inspiration, we’ve pulled together these Top 10 Tips from our expert webinar speakers and live audience to help you take your customer service from average to excellent.

1. Try Goodwill Gestures to Make Customers Feel Special (and Forgiving)

Dan Pratt, Founder & Director DAP Consultancy
Dan
Pratt

Goodwill is a great tool! It makes customers feel special, encourages brand loyalty and forgiveness, and sets you apart from the competition.

For example, I once had a client in hospitality and if somebody had a bad meal we used to give them a £25 meal voucher to return.

And what happened? We found that when they returned to the restaurant, they typically spent another £50 on top of their voucher AND came back several times throughout the year – spending hundreds of pounds more!

Not only that, but when we did some further analysis on these goodwill gesture vouchers and compared them to standard marketing vouchers (such as buy one get one free), we found these goodwill vouchers had a better return on investment (ROI).

Contributed by: Dan Pratt, Founder & Director DAP Consultancy  

For expert advice on effective goodwill gestures, read our article: Goodwill Gestures for Better Customer Relationships

2. Focus Your Time and Energy on the Channels Customers Actually Use

Stop implementing technology channels your customer base won’t fully utilize.

It can also help to continuously monitor when a customer drops from one channel to another (for example from chat to a phone call) to get a sense of what’s working and what’s not.

Contributed by: Cassandra, who joined the webinar chatroom

3. Use Dashboards for a Snapshot Answer to “What Do We Need to Do Better?”

Bob Benner, Sr. Director, AI Strategic Sales at Talkdesk
Bob
Benner

If you’re using speech and text analytics, dashboards can give you meaningful insights on “what are my customers saying to me today?” and “what do we need to do better in the future?”. This really helps you to know your customers.

It’s now possible to look for sentiment too, so you’re not just seeing the spoken word or the text of a word, you’re seeing the emotion – whether that’s sarcasm, anger, or even humour.

Analytics can also highlight the quality of conversations, so you can understand whether agents or bots are being most effective against certain queries and address the quality of conversations – regardless of channel.

Contributed by: Bob Benner, Sr. Director, AI Strategic Sales at Talkdesk

4. Get Buy-In From the Senior Management Team

Jason Roberts, Founder Appropriate Consulting
Jason
Roberts

If you’re struggling to get the senior management team to invest in the contact centre, start showcasing the value of the insight that your colleagues can provide – in terms of potential avenues of commercial gain and return on investment (ROI).

For example, the call types where there’s a chance for additional sales, or an opportunity to reduce costs by improving a process.

When you use the right metrics and showcase your value-add in the boardroom, you’ll definitely get the ears of your Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and can begin to build a positive long-term relationship – based on customer insight.

Contributed by: Jason Roberts, Founder and Director of Appropriate Consulting Limited

If you are looking to get more budget, read our article: Proven Ways to Get More Budget for Your Contact Centre

5. Reverse Engineering Helps You Better Understand the Problem Being Solved

I always reverse engineer to make sure my team and I truly understand the customer service problem being solved.

This really helps us to ensure optimal adoption of any solution, as well as communicate with key stakeholders and make reasonable adjustments along the way.

Contributed by: Cassandra, who joined the webinar chatroom

6. Talk About Experience!

Talk about experience NOT service. It makes a massive difference to the mindset of your team.

Contributed by: Jan, a regular Call Centre Helper reader

7. Train AI on Your QA Processes First

For certainty when introducing any AI functionality, always start by training it on your QA processes and review its results.

Contributed by: John, who joined the webinar chatroom

8. Balance Employee Experience With Customer Experience (It Shouldn’t Just Be About One or the Other)

Steve Barratt, AI Experience orchestration-EMEA at Genesys
Steve
Barratt

AI is great, but it’s got to benefit both customers AND employees.

For example, you can use AI to present key information to an agent’s desktop in real time to make it easier for them to do their job.

Then, in terms of the customer experience, the agent has the answer really quickly, first time – and the customer doesn’t have to repeat themselves. It’s a win-win.

Contributed by: Steve Barratt, AI Experience orchestration-EMEA at Genesys

9. Develop Service Blueprints to Improve Consistency

A great way to make sure every customer service experience is consistently excellent is to develop service blueprints.

This is a critical tool for agents to help ensure that customer service will always be delivered to the same high standard – no matter who the customer is talking to.

Contributed by: Odette, who joined the webinar chatroom

10. Empower Customers to Reach Out Through Their Preferred Channel

We always try to get every conversation off to a positive start by allowing our customers to reach out through their preferred communication channel – whether that’s phone, email, chat, or social media.

Contributed by: Sadie, a regular Call Centre Helper reader

To stay ahead of the curve, and ensure you support multiple channels, read our article: Move Over Omnichannel… What’s Coming Next?

For more articles on developing your contact centre customer service and improving CX, read these next:

Author: Megan Jones
Reviewed by: Xander Freeman

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