Net Promoter Scores have become an important yardstick for organizations to measure overall customer satisfaction with a product or service, as well as brand loyalty. While satisfaction and loyalty are critical elements of building a successful company, some studies have shown that NPS has a direct correlation to an even more compelling metric: profitable growth.
One such study published by the London School of Economics entitled “Advocacy Drives Growth”, proves that an average NPS increase of 7% correlates on average with a 1% growth in revenue.
While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to increasing NPS, there are common areas that directly impact the metric and the overall customer experience. One such area is the call center — the place customers turn to for answers — often as a last resort. With two-thirds of customers reporting being frustrated before they even start talking with a customer service representative, missteps during these calls can cause NPS to take an immediate nosedive.
When a caller reaches a customer representative, chances are they’ve already been escalated, have some sort of problem, weren’t able to Google the answer, have been on hold/in your IVR, and are, to put it nicely, frustrated.
1) Shave Time Off the Friction Filled Beginning of the Call: While there are plenty of ways to minimize these frustrations, such as utilizing an intelligent routing system, and training agents to empathize with customers, many often overlook the most friction-filled portion of the call: the unhelpful collection of information.
Asking a customer to spell or respell their name, state their address, email and other information, only escalates things even further. And when you consider the fact that 1 in 4 emails taken over the phone are captured incorrectly, it’s no surprise that this information collection can doom the outcome of a call well before the process towards finding a resolution begins.
Organizations that invest in identifying a larger percentage of inbound callers — particularly first time callers who may not be stored in the CRM — have the ability to shave the friction off the beginning of the call by pre-populating information for their agents before the agent even picks up the call.
In fact, Next Caller partners who have engaged in this practice have reported an average reduction of 30 seconds per call on handle time which is the equivalent of about 50 cents per call — lots of money for organizations that handle millions of calls each year. Arguably more important for CX fanatics is the 12 percent increase in Net Promoter Score that stands out as an indicator that less friction on the call results in more satisfied callers.
2) Coach Agents to Limit Other Customer Efforts: Further illustrating the need to limit customer effort in call centers is the rise in popularity of Customer Effort Scores (CES) — a metric that uses the amount of effort a customer has to put into a service interaction as a barometer for the level of service. Unlike NPS, the lower the CES, the better. Unsurprisingly, low CES’s have a direct correlation to higher NPS.
CES scores can be a great way assess long-term customer loyalty. In fact, a 2010 survey of 75,000 people who had called into a contact-center by the Customer Contact Council found that reducing the customer effort needed on customer service call was the best barometer of future brand loyalty.
In addition to cutting upfront call time, smart contact centers looking to improve both NPS and CES are leveraging new tools to train and guide agents on the best way to quickly solve complex scenarios. These tools help agents navigate from problem identification through solution analysis.
3) Automate Rapport Building: Giving customer service representatives real-time intelligence on callers can also assist in building rapport instantly with customers. By prepopulating customer insight in advance of a call an agent can enter with visibility into a customer’s profile and previous issues.
This means that instead of starting a call with “How can I help you?”, a customer service agent can start a call off with “Thanks for calling, Beth. Are you still having an issue with changing your debit card pin?”
Rapport building can also mean connecting the right customer service agent with the right customer at the right time. Advanced routing technology has enabled contact centers to actually connect callers with agents that are best suited to work with their personalities. In fact, companies that leverage personality pairing for customers have seen monthly average talk time reductions of well over 100 seconds. That means customers are putting in less effort and are more connected. A win-win for customer perceptions and your NPS score.