Do you know what one of the most challenging issues facing call centers and large customer support service providers is? It’s not the common irritants you may typically think of, such as high-employee turnover, upset customers, or lack of quality agent training. While these are all difficult challenges, they’re not the main challenge – they’re actually often caused by the root problem, which is:
Yes. Anonymity. What do we mean by that? Anonymity occurs when your customers feel that that they are an issue, not a person. They are not an individual, but rather an interchangeable entity that could be anyone. They have been reduced to a complaint, a problem.
Anonymity occurs when you have a customer service approach that is based on issues. If your agents are just pulling customers from a queue, and all that your agents see before they speak to a customer is: A customer’s name, issue reported, the customer’s contact info, and the issue’s status, then chances are, your agents are going to be solely focused on the problem instead of the customer – the customer becomes anonymous and will be treated accordingly.
To combat issue-centric customer service, today’s Customer Service Tip of the Day may be a new idea to work into your vocabulary and practices: Human-Centric Customer Service.
Issue-centric customer service is based solely on solving problems, rather than capturing a customer’s story. If you only focus on getting a problem solved and moving to the next person in the queue, you lose out on the opportunity to capture more information that could assist with improving your product’s features or your service’s capabilities.
In contrast, human-centric customer service is based on people and their stories. Agents are presented with digital profiles that include background information about the customer, the customer’s history with your company, and personal information. Your customer service reps get a chance to “meet” the customer prior to helping him or her, which increases the chance that your agents can build a connection with the person. A more personalized approach leads to a warmer interaction, helps foster empathy, and, with a full history on your customer, it allows your agents to engage in cross-selling and up-selling opportunities based on specific products that could be a good fit for a particular customer.
How to implement the customer service tip of the day
There are numerous products on the market, such as desk.com, which offer customer relationship management (CRM) solutions that go beyond basic information and allow you to capture details on a platform catered to human-centric customer service. Whichever product you end up choosing, make sure that your agents are trained properly on how to work with the program, and that you work with them to develop a personalized approach to handling customer issues. A great tool, after all, is of little use if the user doesn’t understand how to manage it.
With a rich CRM program that captures a customer’s personal information and history, along with dedicated training that is focused on relationships, rather than issues, you will be changing your company’s paradigm from “putting out fires,” to “building loyalty,” and most importantly, your customers won’t feel that they are anonymous when they call your company.