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Customer Service Hacks for Every Stage of the Contact Centre Journey

It’s a scene too many of us know all too well. You’ve been eagerly tracking your latest online order, counting down the days until it arrives. But when you finally open the box, your excitement turns to dismay—the items you’ve been anticipating are damaged. What’s next? Naturally, you reach for your phone, ready to sort out the issue, only to find yourself plunged into the depths of automated customer service hell. Several minutes (and expletives) later, you’re shouting “Agent!” into the void while furiously pounding buttons, desperate to escape the automated maze from hell. All you wanted was to replace a few simple items, but now you’ve traumatised the whole family (dog included). It’s not just about the damaged items anymore; it’s about the principle. We’ve all been there, right?

Two Unavoidable Truths

In the realm of customer service, two truths reign supreme:

  1. Customers loathe waiting.
  2. The longer the wait, the greater the frustration.

Aiming to keep customers satisfied while juggling staffing and budget constraints is a high-stakes game.

Unlocking Customer Delight

Fear not, for there are strategies at every step of the customer journey that can turn dread into delight. Let’s explore how.

Beyond self-service

One of the most effective contact centre hacks is leveraging automation tools like chatbots and knowledge bases. By providing customers with self-service options, you empower them to find quick answers to common queries on their own. Remember, self-service shouldn’t feel like a dead end so make sure to include the steps to contact a human on every page just so the option is there.

Your website offers a prime opportunity to boost self-service and reduce inquiries. Research shows webchat has the highest satisfaction rating at 73%.

Chatbots can answer basic questions like “What are your return policies?” or “How do I track my order?”  They can also guide customers to relevant knowledge base articles, and even collect initial information before seamlessly transferring complex issues to live agents, armed with a complete understanding of the customer’s history. This reduces wait times and frees up your agents to focus on resolving intricate problems that require a human touch.

With channels unified, agents can juggle multiple simultaneous inquiries across phone, SMS, and chat – increasing their capacity up to 5x. Wait times? Not here!

Maximise webchat with:

  • Intelligent chatbots.
  • Smooth transitions from bots to agents, complete with customer context.
  • Options for agents to follow up via email or SMS if needed.

The Asynchronous Advantage (SMS, Webchat, WhatsApp)

Contact centre hacks like integrating channels like SMS, webchat, and WhatsApp into your customer service strategy can also deliver excellent results. While many rely on phone and email, consumers welcome messaging options. Those channels are ideal for complex cases requiring real-time conversation, but messaging excels for quick, simple issues.

Customers increasingly prefer the convenience of messaging apps. They’re familiar, comfortable, and fit seamlessly into their busy lives. But it is also a huge business win. ContactBabel research shows messaging apps cost a fraction of phone calls. Brands leveraging messaging see significantly higher annual revenue growth.

Channel Mean Cost
Phone £6.26
Email £3.68
Web Chat £3.19
Social Media £2.29

The numbers speak volumes: Facebook reports 1 billion messages sent monthly from consumers to businesses. Embracing messaging elevates the customer experience.

When IVR Flops

Customers who’ve already attempted self-service on your website are less likely to navigate through lengthy IVR flows. By the time they call, most have already tried digital channels and just want to talk to someone quickly.

Going back to our earlier story, many callers who reach an IVR simply skip past it, rating their satisfaction low. Those who do try the IVR but still need to speak to an agent rate their satisfaction even lower. By this point, customers need an easy, quick way to reach an agent.

Frustration often sets in when customers feel lost in a maze of automated options. To make your IVR user-friendly, use simple menus with a warm, human-sounding voice. As on your website, provide an immediate “speak to agent” option and offer callback options during peak times, so customers don’t have to wait on hold.

For user-friendly IVRs:

  • Use simple, conversational menu options
  • Provide a clear “speak to agent” choice
  • Offer callback options during peak periods

By implementing these IVR cheats, you are prioritising customer satisfaction at every touchpoint which sets your contact centre on a path to success.

The Human Connection

Let’s face it, live agents are the cornerstone of exceptional customer service. Invest in well-trained agents who can empathise with customer concerns and efficiently resolve issues.  Empower agents with the knowledge and tools necessary to deliver personalised experiences. This means drawing on insights from previous interactions and customer data.  For example, if a customer has contacted support about a specific issue in the past, the agent should have access to that history to avoid asking them to repeat information. This personalisation fosters trust and demonstrates that the customer’s previous interactions are valued.

Voice remains crucial for digital-first consumers with complex issues. Successful service calls hinge on agents who can:

  1. Respond with empathy, understanding the customer’s challenges
  2. Resolve those challenges quickly and effectively

Again, the two certainties – cumbersome service processes breed frustration. Avoid that at all costs.

The Roadmap

For the highest levels of customer satisfaction, improve self-serve options and IVR systems to anticipate needs and address a wide range of issues. Make all communication channels personable, clear, and informative. Focus on mobile access for self-service and arm agents with full customer history. Embrace two-way messaging for quick, simple resolutions. Always make it easy to connect with a live agent, but ensure other options are frictionless so customers may not even need to call.

By implementing these customer service hacks – improving self-service options, optimising IVR, and prioritising well-trained agents – you can create a seamless and efficient customer journey. This translates to happier customers, increased loyalty, and a more efficient contact centre operation.  Remember, a happy customer is a loyal customer, and loyal customers are the lifeblood of any successful business.

Ready to take your customer service to the next level?

Cirrus offers a comprehensive suite of tools and solutions to empower your contact centre with the resources it needs to excel.  We can help you build a robust knowledge base, implement intelligent chatbots, and integrate seamless messaging channels.  Our solutions are designed to empower your agents and elevate the customer experience at every touchpoint.  Contact us today to learn more and see how Cirrus can help you transform your contact centre!