Why the details matter when it comes to customer service.
When the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry dawned in the Philippines 20+ years ago, most call center companies in the Philippines were handling routine calls from customers with basic needs, from help logging in to password resets and address changes. In the past 20 years, technology has advanced, and customers are now able to do so many routine activities self-service through many touchpoints such as interactive voice response (IVR), websites, mobile phones, and apps. This means today’s customers have already tried to take care of what they need, are more demanding than ever, and the interactions customer service reps are having with customers are more complex than ever before. Not only has the role of a customer service rep evolved to a higher level, but the attention to detail matters when it comes to providing effortless service. It's not new news that attention to detail is the key to high customer satisfaction. A study of over 125,000 customers, 5,000 customer service representatives, and over 100 companies identified that making the experience feel effortless is the key to customer loyalty. Customers said the key things that lead to a feeling of effort are:
How do customer service reps create effortless experiences? It all starts with customer support reps having a “laser focus” on each customer interaction by giving that customer 100% of their attention. Assumptions are put aside so each customer situation can be solved from a fresh perspective. Here are 5 tips for BPO companies in the Philippines on how to train their customer service reps to have a laser focus and attention to detail.
1. Lock onto the problem or goal.
Customers don’t tell us their real concern or problem 80%1 of the time. It’s natural for a customer service rep to fill in the gaps with the information customers don’t share. It’s also natural to overlook something the customer shares, especially if the rep has already leapt ahead to a solution based on previous contacts with similar concerns.
Locking onto the “voice of the customer” enables the rep to recognize high-effort situations, high-emotion clues, unsolved problems, and unmet goals. Locking on to this key information sets the direction for a low-effort contact and is the foundation to create effective responses that show advocacy, ownership, and make it easy for the customer.
2. Ask the right questions and control the call.
Research shows that during a typical interaction, customers reveal only 20% of what is on their minds. It’s the customer service rep’s role to uncover the other 80%.1 Yet many reps focus on either a) getting the information they need; or b) driving to a conclusion based on prior calls, and they go into fact-finding mode rather than opening a discussion.
The best BPO call center reps are problem-solvers who use questions to go beyond mere facts and gain a deeper understanding of what the customer needs and wants, and how they can deliver it.
3. Solve the problem with easy-to-understand solutions.
Companies believe 76.7% of customer issues are resolved in one contact. Yet, customers claim only 40% of their issues are resolved in one contact.2 Customer service reps who are skilled at solving customer issues don't just focus on the issue the customer contacts the company about. They proactively think one step ahead of the customer to solve issues the customer might have later that are related to the current situation. These reps recognize that solving one problem often leads to other questions and related problems the customer didn’t specifically mention or may not have even thought about.
Skilled Filipino call center reps proactively take the time to solve those downstream issues that customers themselves might not be aware of. This expands the definition of how to solve the problem, from a focus not only on first-contact resolution, but also with a strong emphasis on next issue avoidance.
4. Engineer the customer’s experience.
Surprisingly, two-thirds of customer perception of effort is based on how they feel about the experience of the interaction,2 and that perception has to do with the language used to communicate. Speaking someone’s language doesn’t just mean using English correctly. It means communicating with customers in a way that connects with them, and using words and phrases they use, which allow them to think, “This person understands me.”
Engineering the experience means to skillfully manage the customer’s perception of effort simply by repositioning words that trigger feelings of high effort.
5. Resolve high-effort situations.
Technology has made it easier for customers to solve their own problems. In fact, 81%3 of all customers try to take care of matters before reaching out to a customer service rep. That means many already have a feeling of high effort before they even contact a rep. Customers are frustrated with the amount of time they’ve spent on their own, frustrated by the lack of information they’ve found online, and often frustrated they have resorted to calling a customer service rep. They’re not calling a rep because they want to; they’re calling a rep because they’ve exhausted all options to solve it on their own.
Resolving the contact successfully doesn’t just mean just delivering a complete and accurate solution. It also means using higher-level interpersonal skills to address baggage a customer might have about a prior interaction or to reduce a customer’s feelings of frustration before these feelings lead to long-term dissatisfaction and disloyalty.
Believe it or not, the best business strategy of all is to provide effortless customer service as a standard. Not just sometimes – but ALL THE TIME. People are paying attention to what you’re doing. They may not realize it at the time, but when a customer experiences effortless support they thank you for it, become return customers, and tell their friends. At ePerformax, we know the details matter in every customer interaction. We hire the best of the best when it comes to customer service reps and provide the training they need to handle every interaction confidently and effectively. A client shared this:
“ePerformax’s dedication and commitment to our customers is phenomenal and best of all, our customers notice this. Thank you for your leadership and partnership in ensuring that our best customers get the best we can offer. Keep up the great work!”
This note is just one example of the customer service excellence our ePerformax customer support reps provide every day. Customer service is not about meeting minimum expectations, it’s about paying attention to the details and exceeding customers’ expectations. That is exactly what we do at ePerformax, and why we’re one of the top BPO companies in the Philippines. Does your customer service outsourcer exceed your customers’ expectations, or do they leave your customers frustrated with your company? If you’re ready to create loyal relationships with your customers, give us a call today, and we’ll share how we’re helping companies like yours deliver customer service that increases brand loyalty. **Contact us today: +1 (888) 384-7004**
1 Source: Dartnell Research quoted by Paul Cherry, Questions that Sell: The Powerful Process for Discovering What Your Customer Really Wants
2 Source: 2013 Gartner Research Study quoted by Matthew Dixon, The Effortless Experience: Conquering the New Battleground for Customer Loyalty
3 Source: “Kick-Ass Customer Service,” By Matthew Dixon, Lara Ponomareff, Scott Turner, Rick DeLisi, January–February 2017
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