The world has changed fundamentally after the pandemic. Supply chain disruptions, labor shortages, growth in digital transactions and engagement, and new hybrid work structures have forced businesses to rethink their traditional approach to operating a business. Customer service teams became the face of the brand overnight. Economic uncertainty puts business continuity and customer experience at risk in the aftermath of the pandemic.
Pathlight is helping forward-thinking businesses stay ahead of the sweeping changes in the marketplace. We’ve interviewed numerous CX leaders from creative, customer-centric brands to understand their strategies to drive continued growth in hard times.
Here are some of the key themes we found for managing customer service and experience in uncertain times.
Be structurally flexible with cost-optimization Customer service teams need to be structurally flexible when it comes to cost optimization. This is not new in the world of customer support. When the growth was going great, customer service scaled up rapidly and measured the results on the bottom line. However, with the current economic downturn and business forecasts completely overturned, many customer service teams are quickly ramping down to meet business needs.
Data is crucial for businesses needing to optimize costs for operational viability. Understanding performance across locations, BPOs, teams, and individuals helps leaders quickly identify inefficiencies and swiftly make decisions on where to scale down and cut costs.
Unify data across CX, EX, and key business metrics With data spread across multiple platforms and tools, having a unified view of performance against key business metrics is key for driving operational efficiency. Manually scraping and consolidating data to get a global view of performance is not only time-consuming and delays decision-making, but it is also expensive as it requires dedicated analysts and engineers to build those reports.
Leveraging a platform that automatically consolidates data across multiple systems and platforms, and juxtaposes them against goals is a game-changer. It offers leaders the visibility, flexibility, and agility they need to make quick decisions during rapidly changing economic times, and empowers them to deliver focused coaching and personalized support to drive business results.
Streamline quality management processes With 75% of customers willing to spend more with businesses that give them a good customer experience, and 85% citing good customer service as an important factor—outside of product and price—when deciding where to buy, delivering exceptional customer experiences is crucial for driving growth and loyalty for a business.
Quality management ensures customer-facing teams deliver top-notch experiences to customers. Unlike CSAT surveys that rate the quality of the overall support interaction, quality management monitors, analyzes, and evaluates the quality of every interaction to ensure agents meet both customer and company expectations.
Investing in a quality management platform that automates quality management processes, provides comprehensive insights and root-cause analysis, and offers integrated coaching tools can help businesses deploy quality management at scale. An integrated quality management platform can not only streamline QA processes and coaching and reduce support costs, it can uncover product and service gaps to improve self-service and reduce ticket volume.
Offer self-service automation to reduce workload and uncover outliers in CX Providing seamless self-service across every customer touchpoint is crucial for mitigating costs at scale in customer service. It not only reduces the overall workload on the support team but also helps support leaders quickly identify the outliers inhibiting the customer experience. By automatically resolving the high-frequency needs of digital consumers through automation, business leaders can easily uncover challenges with their products and/or service and make data-driven decisions to improve the customer experience at large.
Empowering customers to help themselves through an easy-to-navigate help center, chatbots to answer frequently asked questions, and proactive support that preemptively identifies and addresses customers’ needs can help businesses reduce inbound support volume while uncovering key challenges with the product or service they would have otherwise missed.
Combine CX automation with a vibrant EX program to drive engagement and retention A key contributor to CX improvement is positive EX. Engaged and motivated employees do their best work for customers. While automation eliminates mundane, repetitive tasks and empowers agents with more meaningful work, engaging and coaching them to grow in their careers is crucial for the long-term happiness and retention of their employees.
Agents deal with unhappy customers day in and out, and in a remote work environment, they are doing this isolation. Without in-person interactions with their managers and teammates, it is hard for them to understand how they are performing and how their work contributes to the overall success of the business.
Investing in agent growth and engagement is table stakes if companies want to be successful. Giving them realtime visibility into individual and team performance, and personalized coaching with a clear path to growth and success can significantly improve customer experience, profitability, and employee retention.
Turn to modern workforce optimization to streamline scheduling Scheduling the right number of agents at the right time can dramatically improve the customer experience and reduce support expenses. However, predicting the right number of agents to stay ahead of demand and meet customer expectations can be challenge. Performance across agents varies, and employees want flexibility in choosing their schedules.
Today’s forward-thinking leaders are turning to modern workforce optimization platforms that leverages historical data to forecast workforce needs and offers built-in tools for managers and agents to manage schedules from a central location.
Modern Workforce Optimization platforms eliminates the time-consuming, manual nature of managing support team schedules and attendance, and offers agents the flexibility they need to avoid burnout. By leveraging past volume, scheduling, and performance data, AI-enabled Workforce Optimization platforms ensures the right number of agents are available at the right time to deliver exceptional experiences at scale.
Centralize your performance operations In a time of economic uncertainty, investing in the right tool is the answer to continued growth in hard times. For customer service teams, adopting a platform that consolidates all employee performance-related tools including performance analytics, quality management, and workforce optimization, and provides a unified stream of data to make intelligent decisions can help businesses survive and thrive in dynamic market conditions.
To discuss what trends you’re seeing, the challenges you’re facing and see how Performance Intelligence can help, contact us for a demo.
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