Article | Customer Experience

4 Strategies for Improving the Contact Center Customer Experience

Patrick McCullough
Young woman pulling a Hallmark card out of a card organizer box
Young woman pulling a Hallmark card out of a card organizer box

Customer service continues to be a key differentiator among otherwise similar companies — and you’d better believe that buyers are paying attention to the experiences, empathy, and engagement they get from your contact center representatives.

So how much scrutiny do shoppers use when deciding whether a brand is worth their time or not? As noted in Microsoft’s “Global State of Customer Service” report, nearly 6 in 10 consumers note that poor customer service would cause them to end a relationship with a brand. Around the same number admitted that they now have higher expectations surrounding the care they receive from corporate agents.

Should this information pressure your organization to make even better first and lasting impressions? Perhaps. Nevertheless, it also presents an opportunity for you to stand out as a brand that consistently goes the extra mile for customers.

Avoiding the High Price of Looking the Other Way

Of course, it’s tempting to hope that these heightened expectations of customer service are a blip on the radar and that customers will revert to their old ways. That’s a risky approach, though. The longer you wait to control customers’ perceptions of your business, the more your brand image will tarnish.

Your goal should be to meet or beat customer expectations with speed, clarity, and ingenuity. And luckily, you stash away some figurative credit with consumers when you remove a friction point in the customer journey through a positive (and often pragmatic) agent interaction. It goes without saying that those social credits cultivate a stronger bond between you and your buyers.

With that, how can you start banking away some loyalty credit with customers? Consider the following tips.

1. Give customer care team members the freedom to make a little magic.

Your company’s support personnel are in a terrific position to make amazing impressions on unexpecting customers. However, they might not feel empowered to impress buyers until you give them the tools and authority to go the extra mile.

For example, giving them access to digital greeting cards allows them to connect with customers meaningfully after an exchange. Team members can choose from a variety of greeting cards in a few minutes, type a personalized message, and submit the card for printing and mailing.

2. Arm your frontline team with the tools it needs.

You can’t expect your customer care team members to be efficient or effective without the right tools for the job. Consequently, you might want to upgrade or replace your current customer relationship management system, or CRM.

Although the annual fee for a top-of-the-line cloud-based CRM product might cost you more than you’re currently spending, you can recoup the cost quickly. Case in point: Many companies leverage CRMs enhanced with artificial intelligence to enable appropriate levels of automation and handle repetitive work for customer care staff.

3. Encourage rapid fixes for common customer problems.

Every minute a customer remains unhappy compounds bad feelings between that buyer and your brand. Therefore, make it your team’s mission to swiftly get to an agreeable resolution with as few interruptions as possible.

Technology can be an excellent asset toward creating a win-win solution. Chatbots provide 24/7 access for customers who prefer a DIY approach to support, for instance. Texting or direct messages also allow your support representatives to connect when, where, and how customers prefer.

4. Partner with customer experience experts.

Is your brand just starting to explore avenues to polish up your customer experience? Consider working with a partner like Hallmark Business Connections. Our expertise lies in helping companies make new inroads with their customer bases using proven, appealing methods, including sending out custom Hallmark greeting cards.

After all, once you level up your contact center’s support, you will see more satisfied, loyal customers as well as heightened brand reputation and higher returns. So why not let a knowledgeable customer care provider like Hallmark be your guide?

Shoppers might seem more finicky than they were a decade ago, but they certainly haven’t lost their willingness to be wowed. Give them a customer experience they’ll never forget by elevating your customer service interactions from transactional to transformative.