Satisfied and productive employees are vital for running a text-based support funnel. Their ability to tackle a range of inquiries, toggle between different communication channels, and provide rapid replies helps your business thrive. And yet, many contact centers overlook this fact and focus primarily on improving the customer experience. But the satisfaction of customers and employees greatly influences each other and can’t be ignored.
Take, for example, the fact that companies that actively engage employees have customer loyalty rates 233% higher than those that don’t. They also report 20% higher sales and enjoy lower turnover than disengaged teams. Setting up your support operations for success thus requires providing agents with the tools, training, and support that keeps their morale and productivity high. Only then can they delight your customers and set your brand apart from the competitors.
Equip your team with unified communications solutions
Productivity in a contact center is possible only when agents have the right tools at their disposal. This includes both the physical hardware and the cloud software that allow employees to talk to customers across different channels, including email, social media, text, messaging apps, live chat, and voice calls.
Having an omnichannel support strategy alone isn’t enough, though. Your software tool of choice should also offer unified communications (UC) solutions that allow employees to engage with team members from different locations.
Bringing all of your communication tools into a single platform helps agents do more with their time. They can tackle inquiries from different channels in a single interface. Also, they can easily reach out to other agents, organize meetings, and share ideas.
UC allows companies to easily manage distributed teams and scale them up or down depending on how well their business performs. And with COVID-19 disrupting the traditional workplace, cloud-based solutions can help you prepare for a remote-first future.
As machines handle repetitive tasks, agents focus on VIP queries
Automated technologies, such as interactive voice response (IVR) systems and chatbots, are also changing the way your team operates. They pre-qualify customers and ensure callers reach the right agent. Also, machines handle repetitive questions, leaving your team with more time to work on resolving VIP and complex queries.
And as your employees start spending more time on difficult issues, it’s important to offer them guidance while still providing the autonomy they need to come up with their own solutions. Each new interaction might require a unique approach, which is why honing agents’ problem-solving skills is essential.
With more time on their hand, support teams could go beyond reactive support. Instead of waiting for customers to reach out with an issue, agents could practice proactive support that involves getting in front of a problem before it escalates. They could, for instance, call to check if the shipping address on file is correct or email a customer that a new design from their favorite clothing line is available. Any type of action that enhances a customer experience without the customer even asking for it can drastically improve brand loyalty.
Offering training and support to your employees
Enabling agents to move away from tedious repetitive tasks and work on VIP queries will make them more satisfied. This signals that you offer the possibility of career progress. Depending on their motivation and skills, you could let agents specialize in critical business areas, such as payments or logistics.
Another option is for agents to specialize in specific methods of proactive support. They could, for example, focus on improving your customer service in onboarding and in-product channels. Refining messages and instructions delivered in these instances can prevent issues by answering common questions. Or, employees could work closely with product and marketing teams and be notified about service updates or ongoing issues. They could then keep customers in the loop and prepare for any mishaps that might come up.
Managing complex queries requires specialized knowledge, which is why your team needs training and support. One way to go about that is organizing a series of seminars that cover a diverse set of topics including contact center software, productivity habits, interpersonal skills, collaboration, and technology changes.
Equip your team with the best CC and UC solutions
Providing the support, training, and tools your employees need can go a long way in helping them excel in their roles. Improved job satisfaction will translate into better customer experience, improving your bottom line and brand loyalty.
To that end, people on the front lines of your customer service need to work with the cloud-based platform that unites contact center and unified communications solutions. As an industry leader, RingCentral offers this and many other benefits. Instead of switching between different interfaces to talk to customers and team members, your agents could do everything from a single system with the best in class integration and features.
RingCentral UCaaS applications are delivered with a simple and intuitive interface across desktops, mobile, and web-based devices. Contact us now and request a demo to start your free trial.
Originally published Sep 29, 2020, updated Sep 22, 2020