It is a truth universally acknowledged that Temkins fourth law of Customer Experience says, “Unengaged employees don’t create engaged customers.” As many companies understand, it is the crossroad between engaged employees and their interactions with the customer that delivers a great or a poor customer experience.

And while self-serve tools will continue to grow, when it comes to customer service, there will always be a role for a live conversation with a company representative. So call centre agents will always be on the front line when it comes to delivering great customer service. Therefore it is vital that they, of all employees, need to feel fully engaged if they are to act as ambassadors for the Company.

Of course, there are a variety of tools and processes that organizations need to provide their staff such as support, training, and rewards. But based on our experience of providing automated customer surveys to a wide variety of call centres across multiple industries, we have come up with four simple actions, every business can quickly employ today that are based on the statistics and knowledge we have gained from those surveys.

Involve agents in the original survey development

As they interact with customers every day, your agents are best placed to know the major issues and frustrations customers face when dealing with your business. They can therefore provide valuable insight into the key questions that need to be asked, identify where the major touchpoints that create the most customer interactions are, as well as identifying appropriate language to be used in the surveys. This maximizes the return rates, and the value of the insights uncovered. Additionally, if you make them part of the development process, they are more likely to engage with the results and better understand how vital they are in building the relationship with your customers.

Build in alerts so agents get immediate feedback when they have given great or poor service

Setting alerts that are triggered when a customer either gives a highly positive, or highly negative, review of an agent, is a vital part of any voice of the customer surveys. Every business needs to be able to react quickly to ensure poor feedback does not escalate into a social media nightmare. And for the agent, speaking to customer after customer, it is easy to forget what happened in earlier calls as they need to quickly focus attention on the current issue. Getting an instant alert that the previous customer was either delighted with the service, or very unhappy, ensures they and their manager can immediately address how the call went with the results fresh in the agent’s memory, and can deliver relevant on-the-job training, or instant rewards, as appropriate.

Ensure they have access to reports and can compare their results with the rest of the team

The insights that Voice of the Customer® surveys provide to your company are of course vital in the delivery of great service and improving customer experience. But many organisations keep that information at the management level, and don’t understand the potential for leveraging it to provide learning and motivation to the agents who are effectively being surveyed. Fully understanding their role in keeping customers satisfied is critical for them to improve their performance, and to create accountability for their actions and the consequences of their actions. Additionally, being able to compare their results to teammates, as well as to the company average, is a proven driver of improvement. Our real-time Dashboards ensure all staff see meaningful and relevant result data, in real-time, whenever they need it.

Build training programs around the results

In addition to the instant training opportunities afforded by the alerts system, by letting your staff see their scores and hear the customer comments, they get the opportunity to identify their own areas of improvement to raise customer satisfaction. Together with team leaders, they can develop bespoke and relevant training programs that will improve performance far more quickly than generic, off-the-shelf, external training activities.

In our experience conducting millions of customer surveys per month asking about staff performance confirms that these four simple actions are all you need to engage your staff and help them become accountable for what is your most important business asset – the moment during which they are your only conduit to your customers of your standards, brand image and service ethic.

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