Contact centers and call agents have never been more important to business success than they are today. But the transition to remote work, staff shortages, and rising customer expectations are challenging even top-performing customer service teams. Colin Taylor – contact center consultant and business owner – believes this difficult environment is actually a time of opportunity for delivering better experiences and reimagining the role of agents in a customer-first world. If your business wants to boost customer engagement and satisfaction through its contact center teams, this conversation will give you some helpful tips and insights!
In the newest Next Level Podcast episode, Colin Taylor, owner of Taylor Reach Consulting, and host Micah Solomon discuss the shifting role of contact centers in a digital world, why letting agents get personal with customers helps meet an important business goal, and rethinking unrealistic metrics.
Owner, Taylor Reach Consulting
“Is first call resolution the most important call center metric? It’s important,” Colin concedes, “but there’s another question to ask: Is the call resolved when we think it is, or when the customer thinks it is? The only real measure is if the same customer contacts the business again about the same issue.”
With so much riding on a business’s contact center, Colin offered a number of compelling best practices to consider, regardless of company size or industry:
- Make agent satisfaction a priority by giving them the technology, skills, compensation, and support they need to succeed and feel valued in the business. “We give them a big job, managing the most valuable resource in business — customers. If we’re not equipping them to handle that job, it’s a recipe for disaster by way of attrition, lower NPS, and churn.”
- Use realistic and precise KPIs when evaluating call teams and agents. “There are call center metrics, service agent metrics, team metrics, and many others. But agents don’t control how many calls come in, or how many agents are on each shift. We can’t hold them responsible for average speed of answer or overall service or satisfaction levels.”
- When it comes to call length, manage the outliers and leave the middle alone. “Managers often look at shortening average handle time. But, most often, calls need to be as long as they need to be.” Focusing on those that are way too long or way too brief are better places to look for improvements.
Check out the full podcast to get more deep insights from Colin and Micah on today’s biggest contact center and customer service challenges. Then, be on the lookout for more episodes as our Next Level hosts explore what today’s customers care about, forward-thinking ways to grow a business, and what it takes to create remarkable customer experiences.
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Nicole is the Marketing Communications Manager for Nextiva is passionate about our incredible growth, company culture, and promise of Amazing Service. Outside of marketing, Nicole enjoys cooking easy and healthy recipes, taking care of the office plants, and hanging out with her cat. To get in touch, follow her on LinkedIn and Twitter.