What exactly is customer focus? It’s certainly one of the call center “buzzwords” in recent years, and as a call center veteran, I always ask myself, “How do I turn the words ‘customer centric’ into practical call center performance standards to drive results using traditional key ?KPIs in my call center? I’m guessing many of you reading this article have struggled with the same transformation challenge over the past few years, especially if you’ve historically worked with finance teams or workforce management groups that only care about average handling time and budget.
While there are many definitions for customer-centricity, we have found that it is very important to define customer-centricity as simply as possible. In its simplest form, customer-centric means that everything we do in our contact center is built around the customer’s experience and emotional needs at the moment they call us. By focusing on the client’s question, identifying their emotional needs, and providing solutions, we have developed an actionable model that drives results directly across all of our centers. Yes, I know this sounds difficult in theory, but the good news is that we have developed a very basic concept and formulated a very simple approach based on the fact that every human being has needs, desires and emotions. That’s the simplicity of the common bond between your customers and your frontline agents.
This means that today’s answering agent in an inbound call center has at least three process steps to go through each time they answer the phone and greet the customer, it’s all about listening to determine if the customer has a problem that is trying to solve and offer. Values. The third step, after the client’s basic questions have been acknowledged, takes us to the deepest emotional level of the process journey directly related to the moments that matter. The agent has to transition from transactional Q&A processing and start focusing on the “life experience” that the customer is going through at that very moment because it really matters if you’re trying to deliver on a customer-centric initiative. the client. Keep reading to know more.
I want to share an example to demonstrate this three-pronged approach. We were working with a wireless telecommunications provider on a routine call about her bill on her family cell phone plan due to text message overages. The associate quickly resolved the issue by increasing the size of his plan, but in the second phase, the associate picked up valuable and insightful details during the conversation, the customer sharing that his oldest son had just received his first cell phone and expressed some fear of Get your son to start driving. All of this emotional detail came to light as they chatted as the plan and rates were updated. In years past, this was a quick, transaction-based, open/close call, very black and white, and easily documented in a knowledge management system as a “how to” update a plan. In today’s competitive marketplace, frontline agents must learn specific skills that develop that agility to advance to the next level and use the consumer intelligence available at their fingertips to process new information about what’s happening in the lives of your customers, as this creates significant customers. value, loyalty and increased sales. In this scenario, it makes sense for the agent to review the account and use suggestive phrases that support the real-life emotional moments that matter that were identified during the call. Focusing on the customer became actionable when the agent recognized the emotional need and vulnerability of customers. The associate phrased his next statement as follows: “Wow, I just found out your teenage son’s new cell phone doesn’t have insurance, would you like me to go ahead and add it to his plan for peace of mind?” ?” when they’re on the road driving that they’ll always be able to reach you if there’s an emergency?” Identifying customers’ emotional needs and moments that matter translates into revenue-generating opportunities for those companies that can take action on customer-centric initiatives .
At another client, one of our insurance companies, the inbound customer call was opened with a simple transactional question: “Does my plan cover the hospital and delivery of my upcoming newborn?” The agent offered action and interacted with the client as the group policy benefits loaded on her screen, as she searched for the benefit plans, congratulated the young father on the upcoming birth of his new baby and discussed the due date, shared with her that this would be her first child, he was almost giddy with joy and also shared a sense of nervousness because he really didn’t know everything he had to do. She quickly and efficiently reassured him and thoroughly checked her coverage and then, quite naturally, jumped into action at the important moments when she had answered the call. As we transform our agents to identify moments that matter, they begin to think ahead for the client, she instinctively knew that if she was expecting her first baby, she should consider additional life insurance, think about college funding, etc. Translating the customer’s emotional needs during important moments revolutionizes the experience and provides a “warm and fuzzy” feeling to anticipate customer needs. Not only does this strategy increase loyalty, it increases the bottom line of the business through increased sales while also meeting the emotional needs of the customer during those important moments. When this customer hung up the call, she felt great because she knew she had taken practical steps to create a great start for her new child. She was less stressed and could focus solely on the birth of her newcomer!