Motivating your call centre agents isn’t always easy. Call centres are all too often seen as the “go-to” place for complaints. It’s no surprise then that call centre teams have a tough job dealing with angry, upset and frustrated customers all day every day. It can wear them down and often leads to low morale in the workplace.
But it doesn’t need to be this way.
Customer service agents are critical to retaining customers. Good agents deliver good customer service which in turn delivers happy customers which leads to happy agents. The key to this working well is having a pool of “good agents”. Good agents need to be properly trained, have the right product knowledge, and be highly motivated to do their often challenging job.
Consider these facts:
94% of customers that have their issue resolved will continue to shop with a given brand again
Customers who have complained end up spending 2.5 times more than they did previously, and stay with that particular brand 7 times longer than its competitors
9 out of 10 brands believe they provide good customer service, yet, only 1 in 10 customers agree
Source: Ebay Enterprise article “Leveraging the Top Trends in Customer Service”
The bottom line is that customer service really matters and organisations need to do all they can to look after their call centre agents who play a vital role in keeping customers happy.
Use feedback to motivate agents
Feedback Ferret came up with an innovative way of turning the negative into a positive for one of our automotive clients. The initiative – the Positive Report – has been hugely successful and has now been rolled out across multiple brands.
How it works
Following every call centre interaction, a short feedback form is sent out to each customer to evaluate his satisfaction with his call centre experience. Each feedback form gives the customer the opportunity to say what really matters to them in an open-ended comments field. These responses are collated, analysed and reported back to our automotive client.
Customer feedback is commonly used to identify weak areas within a business, poor or strong performing staff, processes that are not working effectively and measure customer satisfaction on all manner of topics.
However in this case, Feedback Ferret creates a quarterly newsletter called the Positive Report, which is distributed internally as a tool to motivate and help further develop the skills of the agents. The newsletter is effectively a collection of positive customer feedback comments which gives examples of how agents have successfully solved problems and turned unhappy customers into happy ones:
“When I called in, I was able to be passed on to the correct person… She called me as soon as she received the info, and went onto solving the problem and giving me updates along the way. She deserves a “Big High Five” for the outstanding job she did.”
“I emailed consumer affairs with my issue. I received an email confirmation. I received a call from a representative in less than 8 HRS. He asked me to email some identifying information. The next day the representative called me with a resolution. The process was extremely efficient and was resolved in a short period of time.”
“I bought a car that showed a recall. The representative promptly looked up recall number, found out it had been resolved, and provided me with the info on when and where. She also gladly, offered to mail an Owner’s Manual once requested info was submitted”
“Because I almost had to put no effort into getting my question/problem solved since the rep was super helpful and did everything for me. I just explained my problem to him and he took complete care of it. Loved talking to that guy, he is just on great customer service rep.”
Rewarding the individual
Shout outs are given for positive performance and specific agents are named.
“I wish I had more time to write how exceptional a job Rachel did. I appreciated her patience and diligence to get it right. She has superb customer service skills and she’s the type of employee you should do almost anything to keep!”
“Dakota …she was just PHENOMENAL in keeping things moving, keeping me in the loop, and keeping absolutely everything positive throughout the entire resolution process. THIS is EXACTLY how this type of process/intervention should be taught to ALL who work in this capacity … I certainly hope you can use her for training purposes.”
“Throughout the process Mike was extremely attentive to me and the handling of my case. He closely monitored the required data and material as I submitted it for processing, and was quick to communicate with me each step of the way. He left me with a very good and positive impression of <BRAND>”
The newsletter also highlights key aspects of the agent training programme and best practices. Use of these best practices results in happy customers who love to talk about their stellar experience, and we go that extra mile to share concrete examples of how the use of best practices pays off.
“The dealership indicated that they were unable to provide me any support on the repair because of the age of the car and suggested to give consumer affairs a call. I appreciated the guidance they provided me and am satisfied with the outcome. Thank you again for standing behind your product.”
“I like the way customer service reps interact with a customer. Easily and with confidence. You are addressed by your name and the discuss and issues that you have to make sure they are giving you accurate information.”
“I explained to the agent that I wanted additional information about my warranty and she exceeded my expectations with a wealth of knowledge and information, she explained very slowly and I was able to understand and follow along and ask questions if needed.”
Loyalty and advocacy
It is well documented that achieving resolution during the first contact significantly improves customer satisfaction scores and brand loyalty. However, even if this is not achievable, consumers are happy and will continue to shop provided they feel the resolution to their issue was acceptable and they feel valued.
“We have had five <BRAND> and this was our first experience with consumer affairs. They were very helpful for our first negative experience with the brand. They were fair and brought our confidence back up to where we traded the car for a newer model that we love.”
“Of the dozen or so brands of cars we owned over our lifetime, your service and responsiveness is, by far, the best we’ve ever experienced. The vehicles are fantastic, but the service keeps us loyal customers.”
Of course it stands to reason that if you are motivating your call centre agents, improving overall service levels across your business could reduce the number of calls to your call centre which has the added bonus of shortening the queue, lessening the frustration of the caller and making the agent’s job that much easier.