What happens when empathy just isn’t enough to satisfy customers? An article by Jeremy Watkin discusses this type of dilemma that occurs within many contact centers. For example, a company makes a major mistake with its subscription, but instead of simply giving a refund or sending the customers a better product to make up for the mistake, they have strict policies that make the customers jump through hoops or don’t correct the problem.
The company then tells the contact center agents that they simply need to provide the customers with empathy, when the reality is that there are certain situations where empathy alone isn’t enough and the company needs to provide specific solutions. Watkin says that many contact center leaders struggle with how to handle situations where their team is required to have high CSAT scores while the company only provides limited solutions to the potential issue.
Watkin’s advice for all customer support leaders is to approach CSAT as more than just a number. It’s important to have a grasp on what causes the ups and downs of the CSAT scores. In addition, CSAT scores need to be separated from issues related to product quality so that agents aren’t being held accountable for things that are out of their control. Finally, leaders should have a list of the issues that negatively affect customer satisfaction for company executives to review when making decisions on how to improve the customer experience.
There are numerous metrics that contact centers report on for their clients. Some of these KPIs include average handling time (AHT), first-contact resolution, and abandonment rate. But one of the most important metrics measured by contact centers is customer satisfaction or CSAT.
This metric is often set in-house and then given to the contact center outsourcing partner to help determine ROI compared to the in-house contact center staff. But the responsibility of positive customer satisfaction should not lie strictly on the shoulders of contact center agents.
Quality customer service will make customers happy and it’ll definitely make companies stand out from their competitors. However, there’s more to customer satisfaction than strictly the service people are provided. Other major factors in a customer’s happiness with a brand also include affordable prices, quality of product/service, and the brand’s ability to live up to their marketing.
- Affordable Prices
This is obvious, but if you offer your product at a lower price than your competitors, people will be more drawn to you. This is assuming your reputation and reviews are decent. Many customers these days do their own research online before making a purchase.
- Quality of Product/Service
If you sell something at a lower price and the quality rivals your competitors’ quality, then you’re providing your customers with a good value. If you’re selling your customers a product that’ll break or stop working easily, then your product/service is just cheap. It doesn’t matter how low your prices are, if your product or service is junk, your customers won’t be satisfied and they’ll go elsewhere.
- Living Up to Marketing
If your company makes big promises, you better follow through with them. Companies sometimes make big marketing claims or advertisements, but then don’t communicate them to their contact center partner or don’t ensure the service teams are prepared to handle the influx of customer communication.
In this scenario, the blame for poor customer satisfaction may be unfairly placed on the shoulders of the contact center agents. Make sure you have all your departments prepared for big marketing promotions so that the campaigns can run smoothly and all aspects of the customer experience can meet expectations.
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