With the soaring increase in energy price caps, energy companies are bracing themselves for a turbulent period ahead. With this in mind, delivering a memorable and effective customer experience (CX) has never been more crucial to come out of this phase unscathed.
In a report by Which? a number of companies struggled to show true value for money, with feedback including a high volume of complaints, poor complaint handling, low scores for customer service, and bill accuracy & clarity. One thing is clear: It’s time to do better. But how can organisations develop their contact centre agents and shake up their CX strategy to weather the impending storm?
Here’s our top tips for achieving seriously effective CX in the face of adversity:
When setting KPIs there are sometimes unintended consequences. For example, just focusing on reducing the average handle time (AHT) could negatively impact the quality of calls with your customers. It could impact contact centre staff behaviour too, leading them to rush the process and ‘get rid’ of customers to meet the new AHT targets. Instead of setting a new target for your employees to blindly work towards, take a step back and identify the root cause of your AHT problems. Is it a lack of staff training? A result of agents delaying the call progress? Or something else altogether? Ensure your staff KPIs are set to ultimately benefit, not hinder, CX.
If you take a look at the likes of Netflix, Amazon, and Spotify, you’ll spot that unlocking customer data is the key to exceptional CX. Businesses that understand this make sure to utilise their customer data to recognise and understand the source of their issues. From there it’s all about equipping your agents with the skills and confidence to act on customer issues, fast.
No one wants to deal with complaints and the lofty fines that can follow, so it’s always best to handle complaints against your organisation as quickly as possible – investigate them, action them and reach a solution. But it’s not enough to only be reactive to complaints, you should proactively use the complaints to better your agents. Using metrics such as first contact resolution (FCR) and customer satisfaction scores (CSAT) you can measure your agent’s performance and develop a training plan to cover those pitfalls.
Understanding why your customers are contacting you is critical. Manually sampling calls can pick up certain training or quality issues. However, it is often time intensive and provides only a slice of the insight – when what you want is the whole pie. Although monitoring calls is a time-consuming task, reviewing the calls in your contact centre will allow you to truly understand your customer journey from end to end, identifying the different point where your agents could reach a resolution and develop training programmes for those areas.
Increasing financial vulnerability, combined with difficulty locating your business’ contact details online then being held in long call queues – there’s an array of reasons why your customers are already frustrated before they even interact with your agents. It’s the job of your organisation to make life easier for the customer which can be done by taking the omni-channel approach. Ensuring your agents are skilled in different communication channels and equipped with the right information gives them the option to interact and resolve customer queries on their preferred platform and raise customer satisfaction.
We are creatures of habit and changing the culture of any business can be met with resistance. Everyone in your business has some level of impact on the customer whether they realise it or not, even if they are not directly customer facing. It’s the duty of your leaders, to help employees adjust to the organisation’s values and understand how they can contribute.
Creating and encouraging a customer-centric culture can be achieved with employee engagement programmes, learning and development strategy and making valuable process improvements.
Focusing on creating effective and memorable CX will help your organisation successfully navigate the ongoing energy crisis.
If you are looking for more information on how to bring the best out of your agents, resolve tricky customer enquiries and improve CX in your business, please get in touch with me below or the client solutions team at firstname.lastname@example.org