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Blog

Sep 08, 2014

The Best Customer Engagement Begins with an Excellent Customer Engagement Team

Categories:
Customer Service

customer engagement strategy hinges on the customer engagement team

A big part of what we do at Astute focuses on enhancing, reworking, and reinventing the customer or consumer experience. One item that is always top of our client’s priority list is creating a better experience for their customer service agents; their frontline staff with the company’s brand literally in their hands everyday. The contact centre is where many brands are made, or lost.

Ensuring your customers receive the best customer engagement experience possible starts by having the right people in your customer relationship team, and that means knowing how to hire the best people who you can trust with your brand.

Learn about what motivates prospective agents to work for you

The recruitment team need to be aligned with the overall business goals and have a solid understanding of what your contact centre culture is like before they start looking for people to join it.

Asking the right questions prior to and during the interview will help you gauge if they are a good fit. Forget the usual “What do you think you can bring to the organisation?”

Instead, ask them:

  • “How would you describe our brand to your friends and family?”
  • “What do you think are the key challenges faced by our customers?”
  • “How would you like customers to describe their experience when they contact us?”

Having the right people in your contact centre from day one can be a huge commercial advantage, if they are offered the right opportunity to grow and move into different departments within your organisation. Having that initial customer insight could be invaluable down the line if they transitioned into a product development or marketing role, for example.

Once you have the right people on board, how do you keep them?

It’s important for customer service agents to feel that their contribution to the organisation is felt. They are often the ones dealing with issues as they come up so it’s important that they have channels to raise suggestions for improving customer engagement.

Providing them with the tools to do their job properly is important, but how far you take this depends on how much you want to increase engagement levels with consumers. You might have the best customer service agents, but if they don’t have the systems in place to respond to customers in the way they want (social media, SMS, live chat etc.) then you are missing out on a big opportunity.

Do your customer service agents have the power to offer excellent service?

Can your team offer on-the-spot resolutions to customers? This might mean having the right product information easily to hand (through an effective search function) or being able to use a delegated authority level for refunds and credit notes before needing to escalate to someone senior.

Adding barriers to your customer service agents means that excellent customer engagement is a further step away from your customers too. Give them the tools and empowerment they need to create the best brand experiences they can.

Also, have you thought about renaming your customer ‘service’ agents to customer ‘engagement’ agents? We are no longer in the days of one dimensional customer service, and the best brands know that engagement is a two-way process.

What tools can be beneficial to agents?

Astute Solutions offers a range of solutions to improve interactions with your brand and create meaningful customer engagement with your contact centre teams. These include:

Live agent chat
Your customers talk to a ‘real’ person in your contact centre by typing their messages into an embedded tool on your website, or social media page.

Virtual Agents
The first point of contact for customers with many leading organisations, virtual agents can be used by mobile and web customers as well as internal customer-support staff to quickly locate relevant product information. Learn more about Astute Knowledge Web Assist and AgentAssist.

Social
Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, blogs etc. Customers interact with your brand through social sharing posts and updates, liking, conversations, pictures and videos. Learn more about Astute Social.

Mobile
A mobile application is downloaded to a customer’s smartphone or tablet and enables them to interact with your company whenever and wherever they choose.

SMS
Customers can send messages to your contact centre and receive replies about their queries.

Contact Astute Solutions and let us help you to transform your customer service team into customer engagement leaders!

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