In preparation for Customer Service Week (which runs from Monday, October 3, through Friday, October 7) we wanted to take a moment to recognize why customer service matters so much and provide a few tips to help you deliver a great customer experience using tooling and technology.
Your agents are the most expensive and important line item when it comes to customer service, so optimizing and empowering them is critical to both the customer experience and your business. And because customer decisions are so often based on the service they receive while interacting with your staff, website, or products, customer service can actually drive business to—or away from—your company. According to Hubspot, 89% of consumers are more likely to make another purchase after a positive customer service experience. But if they feel they received poor customer service? 61% say they’ll cut ties with a brand.
Customer service doesn’t just matter to the customer—it’s hugely important to your business. The reality is, retaining a customer is much cheaper than acquiring customers—and, therefore, important to invest in to protect your bottom line. While some companies might turn to the marketing or sales functions to drive spikes in customer acquisition, focusing on customer service in the long term is a worthwhile investment to drive loyal, repeat customers who help your company grow.
What to focus on to drive better customer experiences: Quality, efficiency, and alignment
On the operations side, providing great customer service comes down to three main areas: quality, efficiency, and alignment.
Quality With the quality of every customer interaction assured by holding agents to your quality standards, your customers will have ongoing positive experiences.
Efficiency By improving efficiency, the right number of agents are scheduled at the right time. With staffing optimized, you can stay ahead of demand, improve the customer experience, and reduce headcount expenses.
Alignment If agents are aligned, they understand their goals, how they’re being measured, and how they’re performing. And with such clarity, they can focus on the most important part of the customer experience: the customer.
Here’s a look at three ways the right tools can help you achieve quality, efficiency, and alignment to deliver better customer service all around.
3 Tools for great customer service
1. Ensurequality with AI-enabled quality management
When it comes to customer service, quality is critical—ideally, every customer service interaction will meet the standards you’ve set. Because customer service interactions happen across multiple channels and between many humans daily, using technology is critical for managing and ensuring your quality standards are met.
A tool like Pathlight’s AI-enabled QM can help you save time, boost productivity, and increase CSAT:
Save time. With the Automatic Assignments feature, which assigns tickets to graders based on tags, ticket status, and other fields, you’ll shave hours off the QA process and empower graders to participate. Using the language and sentiment analysis feature, Pathlight automatically analyzes a customer service agent’s grammar, spelling, phrases used, and tone to identify errors faster and without the need for in-depth grader review. Instead of paging through transcripts to evaluate a customer interaction, graders can focus on targeted, identified areas of improvement right away.
Empower agents. Pathlight’s Annotations feature helps graders deliver focused feedback to agents, empowering them to improve their customer interactions. By sharing grades and streamlining appeals, agents feel empowered by quality assurance processes, not afraid of them—and fairness is ensured across evaluations.
2. Improveefficiency with WFO
A Workforce Optimization (WFO) platform can help your entire customer-facing team achieve better efficiency by automating and optimizing routine tasks like scheduling, attendance, and reporting. When agents are efficient, they feel more engaged and satisfied because they aren’t struggling to keep up with their workload or feeling frustrated with processes. And when you streamline your operations, you improve your bottom line and reduce the burden of routine tasks.
Using a WFO product like Pathlight to support your staffing needs will ensure the right number of agents with the right skill sets are staffed at the right time. And with a scheduling feature for multiple channels, you’ll know that chat, email, and phone are all staffed appropriately. Attendance tools can help you create timecards and track staff attendance, and reporting on key WFO metrics will give you a constant pulse on your team. Finally, the ability to forecast and predict upcoming staffing needs based on historical volume and data means your team will never be understaffed—and your customer service experience is never compromised.
3. Drive alignment and performance with one central performance management tool
No aspect of customer service exists in a silo—every part, from staffing to quality assurance to scheduling and customer experience metrics, comes together to create an overall picture of performance. Using a tool like Pathlight that integrates QM, WFO, and other performance metrics is critical to improving customer experience quality and agent engagement and satisfaction, as well as reducing the cost and complexity of service operations.
Alignment across your team—a shared understanding of goals and expectations—is key to agents knowing how to approach customer service in order to deliver on and achieve your desired business outcomes. By providing transparency and visibility into those goals, as well as agents’ ongoing performance, in one central performance management tool like Pathligh, agents know where they stand, understand what they’re expected to deliver on, and, ultimately, take better care of your customers.
The great differentiator: Superior customer service
At a time when companies are innovating faster than ever and customers stand to make or break your brand’s reputation, customer service has never been more critical to the success of your business. But delivering great service doesn’t happen with good agents alone. Leaders and agents alike must be empowered with the right tools and technologies to achieve alignment, improve quality, and work efficiently to create a superior, consistent customer experience.
With a better customer experience, you’ll be able to differentiate yourself from the competition better, improve the efficiency and productivity of your customer service organization, and, ultimately, see the results on your business.
To learn how Pathlight AI-enabled QM and WFO platforms can help your team deliver a better customer experience, schedule a demo today.
Want to see a custom demo of Pathlight or get help finding the right plan? We'd love to chat.