Today I am excited to share with you a guest post by Adele Halsall.
Data is your company’s best friend. The information you gather regarding the demographics, locations and spending habits of your customers will no doubt already be playing a huge role in your ecommerce strategy. And one only has to Google the term ‘Big Data’ to know that this is one particular business tool that isn’t going away anytime soon.
You will probably already be familiar with the various ways in which businesses and call centres can discover more about their customers; from asking the right questions in customer surveys, to storing purchase records and grabbing demographic data left by website traffic.
But how can this data be actively utilised to improve your call centre and, in turn, your customer experience? You need to be looking for ways to implement new data that is being gathered all of the time into your current customer experience strategy. In other words, you should be looking at how to turn static data into action.
1. Post-Call Questions
Surveys presented to customers soon after they have made a call to your contact centre can give you great insight about its current performance, as can the information recorded by your reps immediately after they finish a call. Ideally you want the two to correlate so you can be content that your customers and reps are residing on the same page. If not however, see the two types of data as a useful way of monitoring the performance of your reps and seeing how this is reflected in the eyes of the customers.
Record and monitor information like:
- The time of call. This will help you to recognise the times of day your centre receives most calls, and add more staff at these peak times if necessary.
- The customer’s reason for the call. This will indicate the most common types of queries or issues that encourage customers to call your contact centre.
- How long the customer had to wait before speaking to a call centre rep.
- How long the call lasted. How fast are your reps at solving customers’ problems?
- Whether the query was answered. When combined with the customer’s reason for calling, this could shed light on which types of issues are the most tricky to resolve. It can also be nice to offer some sort of compensation for product malfunctions, or problems that were not able to be fixed, such as a replacement, discount, or refund of the
- Whether the rep has promised a follow-up call or a follow-up is required. This should be tracked to ensure that reps are following up their calls within the specified time frame. Alternatively you could have a separate team of customer service gurus who work solely on follow-up cases.
- Open questions that allow the customer to give his/her point of view (such as what could be improved about the service).
2. Brand Questions
Of course you don’t just want to know about your customers’ recent experience with your company, but their previous experience up until this point. This helps you to determine the state of your current relationship with that customer and what you can do to strengthen this. Consider coaxing the following information from customers throughout your surveys and call centre interactions:
- How long has the customer been using your brand? Are they a first-timer, or a frequent purchaser? How frequent? If your company does not already have a customer loyalty scheme in place, it can be a great idea to offer ‘thank you’ perks to customers who have been giving you their custom for one year; three years; five years, etc…Or that have made a certain number of purchases. This could be a free gift or product discount, which could increase in value the longer your customer has been coming back.
- Has the customer contacted your company before? This may be the first time your customer has ever had reason to get in touch, or it could be that they have been involved in several conversations regarding one issue, or indeed several issues. The frequency of calls per customer can certainly highlight long-term problems within your product structure or customer experience strategy, and correlations should be tracked and monitored accordingly to determine where the system is failing.
3. Customer Questions
And of course, those little details about your customers can by no means be overestimated. These include their date of birth, location, whether they use your services online or in-store (or both), and perhaps even their occupation.
Knowing more about your customer allows you to get an idea of your key demographics and in return, offer customers little additional benefits that may have absolutely nothing to do with your own products or services. This will impress customers and go a long way to showing them that you care.
The offer of a free gift or product discount on their birthday, for example, is sure to go down a treat, and you may even choose to share exclusive deals run by partners, which could be relevant to some customers based on their careers or interests. Updating customers on upcoming offers or events in their area makes use of their location information, and this can also be useful when governing traffic in call centres that may be location-specific.
About the author:
Adele Halsall is a writer and researcher for Customer Service Guru. She is passionate about retail and consumer trends, and how this is shaped and governed by advertising and social marketing.
She is particularly experienced in marketing and customer engagement, and enjoys contributing to ongoing debates related to best business practices, start-up culture, and the culture of customer relations. Email her at email@example.com or @gurucustomers.