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Today’s companies rely heavily on customer relationship management strategies to stay competitive and improve the customer experience. And your call center is an essential element of that. Your agents are at the forefront of every interaction and have the power to strengthen these relationships, but only if they receive appropriate customer experience training.

The ROI of Customer Experience Training

Each time an agent engages with a customer, it’s an opportunity to:

  • Create a new relationship59% of consumers would try a new brand for a better customer experience.
  • Upsell a customer58% of consumers are willing to spend more with companies that provide excellent customer experiences.
  • Cement a current one—On average, loyal customers are worth ten times as much as their first purchase.
  • OR lose a potential/current customer78% of consumers have stopped a transaction or not made an intended purchase because of poor customer service.

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Customers only want to do business with people they like, and your call center is critically essential to bridging the gap. Customer satisfaction will be a pipe dream if you don’t develop a customer relationship management strategy that emphasizes your brand’s human element.

This article will discuss tactical ways to support your call center agents to provide a better customer experience.

How to Develop a Customer Relationship Management Strategy

Creating call center teams that are informed, energetic, driven, and human is the critical first step in any customer relationship management strategy. Every agent must feel valued for their contribution to your company, ensuring they have the knowledge, skills, and motivation to do their best work. After all, there’s nothing more irritating for your customers than dealing with agents who can’t answer their questions 50% of the time.

The key to a great customer experience is to understand each agent and work with them to improve their skill sets and validate the things they already excel at. Here are six tips to help you launch your customer relationship management strategy today.

1. Gain Call Center Agent Insight

Gaining individual agent insight may seem overwhelming when managing an entire team. Still, the job is easier with a quality scorecard rating system (spreadsheets are not suited for this task). Customer service scorecards will provide you with information about your agents and their performance.

Include all the excellent customer experience elements on your scorecard to track KPIs that match your business priorities and customer service needs. Areas include:

  • Soft skills
  • Processes
  • Product competencies
  • Channel
  • Type of customer service inquiry
  • Compliance
  • Outcomes

With this insight, you should have all the essential data to monitor, train, and develop your multi-channel agents.

2. Help Your Agents Become Self-Aware

Scientific studies show how important it is to make people aware of their strengths and weaknesses to advance themselves and their organizations. By validating your call center agents’ current strengths and identifying areas for improvement, you show a vested interest in your agents, who will, in turn, appreciate the support and perform better as a result.

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At the heart of all human functioning is the self. The best solutions to organizational and leadership issues require self-awareness as an essential first step. Deeper self-awareness leads to self-acceptance and then self-esteem. As individuals gain self-awareness and self-esteem, they become more open and honest with their co-workers ... [which leads] into productive work.” - Will Schutz, Ph.D.

3. Engage and Empower Your Agents

Engaged agents are typically happier (and, by extension, more productive) than those who are not. Involve your agents in the quality monitoring process, so they have a clear view of their performance and feel like they have an input in their personal development.

There are a few ways to engage your agents in your customer relationship management strategy:

  • Provide your agents with their dashboard where they can review how they’re performing regarding the customer experience.
  • Connect performance to customer experience training and coaching tips so they have an opportunity to improve.
  • Showcase both areas for improvement and places where they already excel. Positive reinforcement provides additional motivation for improvement.

When your agents are engaged, you’ll see an uptick in sales, revenue, and lasting customer relationships that benefit your call center in both the short and long term.

Engage your call center agents in the customer experience with these 7 steps.

4. Use a Learning Management System

Customer experience training can be overwhelming, especially when you have many agents who need individual one-on-one help. But by implementing a learning management system (LMS), you can more easily manage all of your training needs. An LMS automates the training process and provides you with a centralized software solution for managing, tracking, and achieving your customer experience goals—anywhere and at any time.

Instead of doing hours of one-to-ones with individual agents to determine areas of improvement, an LMS will allow you to flag those agents that need special attention and then provide an individualized learning plan—both on-demand and instructor-led. Coaching meetings will be quick because the LMS will already be set up to address skill and competence gaps with product and service knowledge, communication training, soft skills training, etc.

5. Encourage Friendly Competition

A little competition in the call center can help your team’s performance. Using scorecards, you can benchmark teams against each other to create an air of competitive excitement among agents who will be incentivized to improve their productivity. You’ll see better quality scores and higher customer satisfaction levels.

6. Implement Call Center Quality Assurance Software

There are many tools available to monitor call center quality in the call center business. The key is not to choose QA software that looks at simple metrics like “average handle time.” It would help if you had a complete overview of your most critical business, customer, and process metrics, including insight into productivity, sales, customer satisfaction, and quality. You can see the anatomy of great customer experiences and identify patterns and trends for improvement.

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By utilizing QA software, you can gain invaluable insight to help identify problem areas, increase agent satisfaction and morale, improve customer satisfaction, and generate more revenue for the business.

Contact Center Customer Satisfaction

There’s no doubt that customers are willing to spend more money on a great experience, and that starts with your contact center agents. They are the key to happy and satisfied customers. By focusing on designing, managing, and optimizing a customer relationship management strategy within your call center, you’ll set yourself up for short- and long-term success.

And ultimately, if you take your customer experience training seriously, the payoff of investing your time, money, and resources will be worth it with:

  • 3X greater return on stock performance.
  • 2X higher year-over-year growth in customer retention, repeat purchase rates, and customer lifetime value.

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