According to Microsoft’s 2019 Global State of Multichannel Customer Service Report, an astonishing 95% of consumers say that customer service is crucial to keeping their loyalty.

For consumers – at a time when in-person contacts are discouraged or impossible – the key point of connection with many organisations is the contact centre. The customer service they receive from your contact centre can make or break the relationship.

Organisations and their call centres live or die by one key factor: the customer experience.

However, this year has been like no other and many contact centres have also gone through extreme changes. Some organisations brought entire call centre operations back onshore, while others shifted to agents working from home, remotely or in split teams. Many have had to ramp up agent numbers to cope with the increasing number of customer calls or have looked to meet growing capacity by seeking new outsource providers.

There is also the question of agent churn / new agent uptake and how equipped they are to deliver an optimal customer experience (CX).

So what does all this mean for the quality of your CX? How can you ensure that your contact centre delivers a great CX as we face the realities imposed by the pandemic and transition to a new normal?

Towards a new normal

It’s one thing to ask your own people to rate themselves or the performance of the team. It’s entirely another to get an independent expert to benchmark how well they are doing and make also make recommendations on how to improve.

And that’s exactly what we do at CSBA.

When executed correctly, an independent and consistent quality assurance process has the power to:

  • Enhance agent performance
  • Increase operational efficiency
  • Most importantly, elevate that all-important CX.

Remember, typically 50% of a CX will be driven by factors outside your control. Say you are a super fund. If a customer has seen their superannuation balance drop due to movements in the share market (outside your control), they are less likely to rate their CX highly. It’s the stuff you can control you should focus on and at CSBA we break this down into three categories: “Success, Ease and Sentiment”.

For our call centre clients, we use highly trained mystery shoppers to explore the customer experience either by email or phone. We then benchmark the quality of each of these “customer” interactions based on Success, Ease and Sentiment. All three are critical – experiences have to be easy, they need to be successful and they should leave the customer feeling good about the interaction and your brand.

Beyond benchmarking

But while benchmarking is important, it is just the start. Only by combining measurement with training is it possible to move the needle. For this reason, our team at CSBA also provide training to staff, either one to one or through online modules to ensure continuous improvement.

Read more about CSBA’s Sense CX quality assurance framework.

Paul van Veenendaal is Managing Director at CSBA.