All call centers want to be customer-centric, but why are so many still failing?
In this age, call centers are left with no excuse to justify poor services. Because the methods, technology, and tools for collaborating with customers are within their reach, they’re expected to build a customer-focused culture. But as many of them are failing to do so, it would seem that this process is a lot more complex than we think.
The definition of customer centricity, however, is simple. It comes as a result of a business and operating model that is built around the customer—what they want, how they want it delivered, and when they want it. So you can tell whether a service provider is customer-focused or not if all its decisions are made with the customer in mind.
It sounds easy enough, right? The challenging part, however, is integrating the voice of the customer into every aspect of the business. This way, being customer centric becomes not just a way to please the target audience; it also serves as the core element of the company branding.
To pave the way forward, call centers need to understand what’s preventing them from focusing on the customer. Here are the five biggest hurdles that may be standing in your way.
1. A disconnect from the brand they represent
If a brand’s customer service agents are working in-house, it’s easier to instill in them the organization’s culture. And once managers have done that, agents can effortlessly perform in a way that reflects the brand’s principles.
In contrast, if the call center is outsourced, there’s a more urgent need to make them understand the brand they represent, its goals, and its views on customer support. Both must operate with the same goals in mind. Otherwise, building a customer-centric branding will not be possible.
2. A metric-centered culture
Customer centricity is all about prioritization. It’s understandable if a contact center focuses on the metrics they use to measure the quality of their services. But if there’s a trade-off between customer satisfaction and high agent productivity, that’s a bigger problem.
The solution is to ensure that your metrics are aligned with the customer experience. Thus, you may need to design a more flexible performance measurement system to cater to the changing preferences of the consumer. This would ensure that your performance, the customer’s satisfaction, and the brand’s goals are complementary rather than fragmented.
3. Narrow view of the customer
Having a limited view of your customers is a sign that you don’t value their insights or that you’re failing to understand them. Understanding your clients means that you have to treat them as individuals instead of lumping them together in one group even if they may have similar characteristics. Each customer has distinct preferences, and brands are under pressure to tailor their services to match those specific requirements.
There are many ways to achieve a full view of the customer, and one is to make sense of all the traces they leave across multiple customer support channels.
4. Outdated technology
Technology has a massive impact to the way call centers deliver their services, especially now that customer experience is evaluated based on how well a brand leverages digital tools. Some of the most important indicators are speed and the capacity to provide a seamless transaction across devices. If your customer service team can’t keep up with technology updates and its rapid shifts, they’ll find it hard to meet consumers’ expectations. This can threaten your company branding.
5. Not acting on customer insight
It’s crucial to make sure that the voice of the customer is being used to enhance existing services and come up with fresh techniques. Ideally, a contact center must operate on a continuous loop that integrates the customer feedback, performance improvement, and the firm’s everyday operations. Data analytics will allow contact centers to make the most of the insights gained from previous transactions with customers.