Category Archives: CRM

25 Customer Support Statistics You Should Pay Attention To

It used to be that winning products and services spoke for themselves, and kept customers loyal and happy; an era that’s long since been over. We think Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, said it best himself: “In the old world, you devoted 30% of your time to building a great service and 70% of your time to shouting about it. In the new world, that inverts.”

Customer support and experience are fundamental to the performance, and ultimately, the long-term success of modern-day businesses. These customer support statistics pulled from various industry reports and studies tell a story of how increasingly important it is to provide full-service, multichannel, round-the-clock, easy-to-digest support to every customer in 2017.

1. Companies lose more than $62 billion due to poor customer service every year on average. (Source: New Voice Media)

2. researchers found that among thousands of customers studied, customers who had the best past experiences spend 140% more compared to those who had the poorest past experience. (Source: Harvard Business Review)

3. 32% percent of those surveyed in a recent State of Social Customer Service Report found the phone to be the most frustrating way to engage customer service. (Source: ConverSocial)

4. 54% of millennials said they stopped doing business with a company because of poor customer service. So did 50% of Gen Xers and 52% of baby boomers. (Source: Conversion Research)

5. 40% of customers switch brands or services because a competitor offers better customer support. (Source: Zendesk)

6. There’s a $3 return on investment expected for every $1 invested in the customer experience. (Source: SiteCore)

7. 95% of consumers have taken action as a result of a bad customer experience, and of those consumers, 85% wanted to warn others about doing business with the company. (Source: Zendesk)

8. On the other hand, 23% of customers who had a good customer experience told 10+ people. (Source: Harvard Business Review)

9. 67% of consumers list bad customer experience as one of the primary reasons for churning. (Source: Kolsky)

10. 32% of social media users who contact a brand expect a response within 30 minutes, and 42% expect a response within 60 minutes. (Source: The Social Habit)

11. 77% of people say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good service. (Source: Forrester)

12. 90% of consumers say they expect consistency and continuity from a brand across channels. (Source: Microsoft)

13. 97% of global consumers say customer service is important in their choice of, and loyalty to, a brand. (Source: Microsoft)

14. 51% of B2B companies avoid vendors after a poor customer service experience, and 66% stopped buying completely. (Source: Zendesk)

15. 66% of customers said that they would spend more with a retailer for improved customer service. (Source: Salesforce)

16. Only 1 out of 26 unhappy customers complain, and the rest churn. (Source: Kolsky)

17. Live chat support has a customer satisfaction rate of 73% – the highest of all customer service channels – with email at 61% and a low 44% for phone support. (Source: Econsultancy)

18. 55% of consumers say that easy access to support and information can make them fall in love with a brand. (Source: RightNow)

19. Even for a small support team of three people, implementing simple automation can save up to 600 hours — that’s an extra 25 days every year. (Source: Groove HQ)

20. 60% of consumers view a brand with a mobile-responsive self-service offering more favorably. (Source: 2015 Global State of Multichannel Customer Service Report)

21. 90% of customer service decision-makers believe that delivering good customer service is critical to their company’s success. (Source: Forrester)

22. 50% of customers think it’s important to solve product or service issues themselves. (Source: Zendesk)

23. 70% of customers expect a company’s website to include a self-service application. (Source: Super Office)

24. 91% of customers surveyed said that they would use an online knowledge base if it were available and tailored to their needs/questions. (Source: Coleman Parkes)

25. In a survey of more than 75,000 consumers, the number one most important factor in a customer’s loyalty was found to be reducing their effort; in other words, the work they have to do in order to solve their problem. (Source: Harvard Business Review)


As new trends in customer service and customer experience emerge, companies in every industry are taking stock of what they can do to improve. With such high importance placed on providing consistent, fast, and self-service support to customers, Zingtree decision trees are a powerful tool that can streamline and strengthen customer service.

With an interactive online format that can be hosted anywhere, interactive decision trees allow customers to quickly self-solve issues, find answers to questions, and schedule follow-ups, so they’re more likely to be happier and more loyal to your business.

Did we miss any important statistics or trends? Let us know in the comments below!

Integrating a Decision Tree Transcript into CRM (and Other Apps)

doodle_banners

Beyond troubleshooting and support, Zingtree makes a handy interactive front-end for getting people to the right page on your website. We consistently see our customers building trees for sales prospecting, medical appointments, loan qualification, hiring and other environments where a little bit of automated filtering goes a long way. Plus, Zingtrees are a great means for information gathering, too!

We also get requests for integrating Zingtree within various back-end platforms – most notably, CRM. Often, when a customer’s data gets imported into another system, you’ll want the Q&A transcript of their Zingtree session attached.

We’ve created a Simple Sales Funnel demo tree and a basic back-end script in the Zingtree Gallery so you can see a working example.

Here’s how to pass a Zingtree Q&A transcript along to ANY system:

1. From your tree, create a link node to your contact form (i.e. contact_form.php), with a URL like this:

contact_form.php?session_id=#session#

2. In contact_form.php, add this JavaScript right above the ending </body> tag:

<script
id="zingtree_field_id"
value="session_data"
src="//zingtree.com/api/add-session-data-to-form.js">
</script>

3. In the form itself, add a hidden field with an id of “session_data”. The name can be whatever you like. Example:

<input id="session_data" name="zingtree_stuff" type="hidden" value="" />

That’s it!

Under the hood: When the form is loaded, the add-session-data-to-form.js script reads the session_id parameter, then loads the session transcript into the hidden field with the id=”session_data”.


BONUS:

Rather than having a field that must have an id of “session_data”, you can also specify the ID of the field that you want to insert Zingtree data into. This is especially helpful for Salesforce or other CRM apps that generate forms for you.

For example, if you added a multi-line text field to your CRM system form with an ID of “my_data_field”, you could use this piece of code instead:

<script
id="zingtree_field_id"
value="my_data_field"
src="//zingtree.com/api/add-session-data-to-form.js">
</script>

 

This article was originally published October 5, 2016.

4 Steps to Creating a Scalable Customer Support Strategy

While you can choose to pool all of your energy into development or marketing to get your product/service alive and out into the world, you’ll only ever see some of that potential return. After all, what is a reliable product without a reliable company behind it?

Investing the time and resources into building a solid, scalable customer service strategy is necessary to creating a brand that’s both profitable and sustainable. According to a recent Customers 2020 report, experts predict that customer experience will soon surpass price and product as the key differentiator from one brand to another. In other words, how you handle customer service matters.

When Applian Technologies was working on improving their processes and becoming more streamlined, they performed a support audit of their channels and found a lot of inefficiencies. Their goal was to scale up as a startup, and their human labor intensive customer support strategy was holding them back. From our experience with Applian building customer experience, we came up with a few pointed steps to lead to a scalable support roadmap.

1. Find the Perfect Help Desk Platform

After performing a full-fledged audit of your customer service efforts, it’s time to adopt a help desk solution if you haven’t already. And, if you have, it might be a good time to refresh things or even look into new platforms if things aren’t scaling up as quickly as you’d hoped.

The right help desk solution will centralize your communications across email, chat and social media, and be easy to manage day-to-day. With a platform like Zendesk, Freshdesk, or Desk.com, support teams can quickly identify repetitive issues, respond to customers and solve problems, and access key analytics to help optimize further along the way.

2. Offer Multi-Channel Customer Service

Offering multiple channels of access to support is the best way to keep customers happy 24/7; with the tools available today, it’s possible to provide consistent customer service without outsourcing live support or keeping agents up at all hours. The basic minimum multi-channel support platforms include:

  • Live chat support
  • Phone number
  • Helpdesk or CRM
  • Knowledgebase and FAQ
  • Interactive troubleshooters

While agents are offline, interactive knowledge bases, FAQs, and troubleshooters can offer customers access to many answers and solutions. Zingtree integrates with any CRM (like Zendesk and Desk), as well as live chat tools (like Zopim and Intercom) and publishing platforms (like WordPress), so you can strategically connect the dots with your customer service strategy, and help to streamline the entire process as you scale up.

In fact, when Applian technologies set up an interactive support system, they saw a 20% overall reduction in support cost and a huge reduction in the volume of back-and-forth support tickets overall.

3. Train Your Support Agents Early and Often

Onboarding new agents early and training (and re-training) them often is a hallmark of any company that truly understands how the knowledge of their employees can impact performance, satisfaction, and motivation. As customers are more empowered in their control of purchasing when, where and how they choose, so too should customer service agents be; training should always include a tutorial on how and when to go above and beyond for consumers.

Interactive training programs, much like interactive knowledge bases, are an ideal way to share information. With an online, standards-and-scenarios based training program, support staff can continue their company education in an easy-to-digest format, with complete information available on every facet of the business that they might need to know.

4. Keep up With (and Analyze) Reports

At the end of the day, the numbers and data surrounding your support strategy won’t lie. Set up your CRM tool to dole out automated reports based on the key statistics and indicators you need to keep track of, as well as for Twitter, Facebook, and any other platform you’re communicating with customers through. Aggregating and analyzing this data can help you to consistently improve as you scale up, identify any bottlenecks or trouble spots, and prove to the board that your strategy is really working.

Zingtree offers powerful analytics and reports to help make pulling data every month as simple as possible. Depending on how your interactive decision trees are set up, you can quickly see high-level usage stats, breakdowns by agent, overall traffic, and much more. Additionally, Zingtree works with Google Analytics to allow you to get even more robust and powerful tracking data.


How scalable is your current support strategy?

Start a new interactive decision tree to start streamlining, scaling up, and saving time and money. 

Any questions? We’re always here to help you get started. 

3 Amazing Ways to Use Interactive Decision Trees With Your CRM

Zingtree-Banner-Startup-4

Positive, effective customer support and relationships are key to building a solid business foundation in any industry or field. With the potency of today’s CRM systems and integrative technologies, almost anything is possible in the realm of streamlining customer-based operations.

Introducing interactive decision trees as a unified part of your CRM platform — like Salesforce, Desk, and Zendesk — is an effective way to simplify the customer support and relationship process, and their continued optimization. Zingtree provides powerful tools for agents, customers and the measurement of both.

1. Customized Agent Scripts

Agent scripting solutions allow support agents to have a live, customized script to use as a guide when communicating with a customer. They are written in the brand’s own voice and follow personalized standards that make it much simpler for agents to portray the correct information and provide help to the customers.

Scripts help agents deliver more consistently positive experiences with less training, using prompts to follow along with; new questions will be presented depending on the answers given. This type of organized conversation makes the customer feel (and know) that they are actually being heard and understood.

2. Interactive Self-Help Troubleshooters

Zingtree is a powerful tool for building custom interactive decision tree troubleshooters – these allow customers to follow a path of questions and answers that lead to a final most-likely solution, and are especially helpful for more technical issues or questions. Additionally, when a customer’s data is imported into the CRM platform, agents can attach the full Q&A transcript of their decision tree session to keep every piece of relevant information in one useful place — with the Zingtree API, this information retrieval is automatic.

For organizations taking advantage of live support chat systems, Zingtree integrates directly with chat platforms to allow simple extraction and presentation of data. Our software allows Zingtree to open a Zopim or Intercom.io chat with the customer, gather information before the chat begins, and include a full transcript of the decision tree session as a part of the chat so that agents are provided with a holistic picture of the customer’s issue.

Companies that integrate Zingtree troubleshooters into their customer support processes have seen, on average, a 20% overall reduction in support cost and a measurable improvement in the volume of tickets. Using support decision trees based on customer-facing knowledge base data makes it easy to provide help across a variety of areas, become more efficient and save resources, while in turn cultivating long-term customer relationships.

3. Analytics & Customer Data

At the end of the day, the numbers reveal all. With built-in, real-time analytics and powerful usage reports, organizations can view the direct impact of their implemented Zingtree decision trees.


By introducing decision trees based on company knowledge base and agent information, implementing customized agent scripts and continually measuring the data behind both, organizations will best utilize their CRM and other support processes to benefit the customer and company.

Any questions? Please don’t hesitate to contact our trusty staff!

This article was originally posted on March 17, 2016, and has been updated for accuracy and freshness.

Can Agent Scripting Improve Your Call Center KPIs?

Call centers play a fundamental part in how efficient and effective a company can truly be, but it takes much more than just providing customer service to reach new heights as a business. Each call center will likely have variations on the same metrics to be tracking as key performance indicators (KPIs). Regardless, you should spend time figuring out which ones matter the most for your company’s overall goals and start tracking them if you aren’t already.

Zingtree Agent Scripting solutions provide a helpful platform for making improvements and optimizations in many practical areas for call center agents, including the following most commonly found call center metrics.

1. First Call Resolution

First Call Resolution (FCR) is a measurement of the number of customer calls that are resolved during that interaction, and do not require any follow-up for additional information. With agent scripts in place, call center representatives can quickly and easily match customers to the right problem and/or solution through an interactive guide, making the process of improvement infinitely smoother than other options.

2. Average Speed of Answer or Resolution

Average Speed of Answer (ASA) is the average amount of time it takes for an agent to answer calls during a specific time period. Agent scripts allow call center reps and customers can spend less time waiting and solving problems, and quickly identify end-results. The Session List report allows you to see which agents take the most time and which achieve the best results. You can also use customer-facing decision trees to help customers self-solve, as well as quickly gather background information to speed up resolution time.

3. Customer Satisfaction

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) is a critical measurement for all organizations to keep at top-of-mind. For call centers, this metric is expressed as a percentage, with 100% representing complete customer satisfaction with the level of service provided. It’s been proven that spending less time on the phone or on chat dealing with a question/issue, and getting the right answer quickly, makes customers happier and more loyal. By implementing interactive agent scripts, every customer call is quickly routed where it needs to go, leading to faster answers and more satisfied customers.

4. Agent Performance

Agent Performance is a direct measure of how effective call center agents are; a necessary metric to keep an eye on in order for true improvements to occur (after all, your agents are at the front lines of every customer interaction!). With our Agent Scripting tool and, you can easily track each agent interaction and each customers’ reason for needing support, as well as access Session Matrix reports on how your script is being used by agents within a given date range.

5. Average Handle Time

Average Handle Time (AHT) of a customer inquiry measures the average duration of one customer interaction, including any hold time or other related tasks that follow the direct interaction. Tied directly to Customer Satisfaction, it’s imperative to improve both in tandem to achieve the best results for your call center. By using optimized, standardized agent scripts as a part of your day-to-day efforts, call center agents are able to effectively cut down on the time spent in each call by eliminating any inefficient questions or language.

Get Started with Agent Scripting

It’s easy to get started after signing up for a Zingtree account! Just select the Create New Tree button found under My Trees and select your preference for building an agent script. Let the Zingtree Wizard prompt you for the questions and answers, use Visual Designer to draw a flowchart, or even import from Google Sheets or Excel.

Follow our in-depth instructions for building your interactive agent script. Once your script is ready, you can:

  • Host on any web page or browser for easy access
  • Get complete analytics and reports for optimization
  • See full Q&A transcripts of every call for true understanding
  • Keep track of agent performance and improvement

Check out our short video to learn more about how Zingtree Agent Scripting can improve your call center:

Any questions? We’re always here to help!

Zapier Decision Tree Integrations with Zingtree

zingtree zapier integration

Our Zapier app makes it easy to send data collected during each Zingtree session to more than 500+ applications supported by Zapier. In case you haven’t heard of it, Zapier is a tool that simplifies data exchange between various web applications. We’re big fans.

Here are some cool things you can do with Zingtree and Zapier:

  • Send data collected in a Zingtree session to Salesforce, Zoho, Highrise, or any other CRM.
  • Add an email address entered in a tree into Mailchimp.
  • Send  yourself an email or SMS message when a customer reaches a critical node in a tree.
  • Save new customer information in a Google Sheets row.
  • Create Trello cards from trees, and include customer notes and session data.
  • And tons more!

When using Zapier, you create “Zaps.” A Zap has a “trigger,” which is the source of the data, and an “action,” which is where the data gets sent. Most of our customers want to send data from Zingtree to another app, so we’ll demonstrate how this is done here.

Before starting, you may want to examine a demo tree from our Gallery that gathers data and sends it to Zapier, or copy it to your account.

How to Set up Zapier for Zingtree

The Zingtree Zapier app is currently invite-only. But if you’re reading this article, you’re invited!

  1. Create a free Zapier account at Zapier.com.
  2. Go here to accept an invitation to use the Zingtree app. The invitation appears:

    Accept the invite.
  3. You’ll be prompted to make a new Zap:
    Click Make a new Zap.
  4. You’ll be asked to choose a Trigger App, which is the source of the data exchange.
    Search for Zingtree, and select Zingtree (Beta).
  5. You’ll be asked to choose a single trigger.
    Click Save + Continue.
  6. Next, you’ll need to connect your Zingtree account, and a tree to Zapier.
    Click Connect a New Account. 
  7. You’ll be asked for your Zingtree API Key, which you can find here at the bottom of this page. Also enter the Tree ID that will be sending data to Zapier.
    Click Continue when finished.
  8. Change the name of the account, then click Test.

    You should see “success.” Click Save + Continue.
  9. Next, Zapier will attempt to retrieve any variables or sample data from your tree. If this is a new tree, you may want to run through it once and gather some data.
    Click Fetch & Continue.
  10. You’ll see some of the stock data that Zingtree always provides, as well as any custom data for your tree. Again, if you don’t see all the data you expect, do a test run through your tree, and enter some data at least once. This will make the rest of the process easier.
    Click Continue.

Set up the Action App – Email Example

So now you’re done with the Zingtree part. Congratulations! Next, you need to set up an Action App, which will receive data from Zingtree. Let’s set up email delivery as an action, as follows:

  1. Search for email, and choose Email by Zapier as an action app.
    Select Email by Zapier.
  2. This app has just one action.
    Click Save + Continue.
  3. Fill in details for the outbound email. You can insert fields from Zingtree in the body of the email as well.Click Continue when the email is set up correctly.
  4. You’ll see  a preview of what to expect.
    Click Create & Continue to save the action and send a test email.
  5. You should see another “success” screen.
    Click Finish when the email appears as you like.
  6. Name your Zap Zingtree to Email, and turn it on!

Your Zapier Zap is all set.

Making Zingtree Send Data

The final step is to tell Zingtree when to send all the data collected in a session to Zapier. This can be triggered from one or more nodes, when they are seen by the end-user of your tree.

  1. From Overview, Edit Node, edit the node that you want to trigger sending data to Zapier.
  2. Go to Send Message to, and pick Zapier: Zingtree to Email. This is the new Zap you created.
  3. Click Save.
  4. Now try a test from Zingtree. Using Preview or the Publish tool, navigate your tree, and when you reach the node that triggers the send, you should see something in your inbox. IMPORTANT: Make sure to use https in your published Zingtree URL when using Zapier.

Once you get your first Zap done, it becomes easy and addictive to hook Zingtree to the other applications that your business depends upon. So keep going!

Have any questions? Contact us anytime!

Form Fields: Decision Trees with Data Entry

blog-howto-2

One of the most requested features for Zingtree interactive decision trees is to have the ability to collect key customer information from users while they are navigating your tree. So, we made it happen!

With Zingtree’s data entry feature, you can do things like…

  • Add form fields to your trees (text, list boxes, check boxes, radio buttons, dates and numbers).
  • Include form data dynamically in other parts of the tree (i.e. you can ask for a name in the first node, and have that name appear in other parts of the tree).
  • Export form data into any other system, including Help Desk or CRM applications.

For example, your decision trees can gather data like this:

Example Tree

Try the Form Fields and Data Entry Demo tree from the gallery. This will ask you for some information, echo it in other parts of the tree, and finally inject it into a standard HTML form.

How to Include Data Entry Fields in your Tree

Here’s how to add a Data Entry field to a node:
  1. Edit a question node from Overview or Designer.
  2. Click Add next to Data Entry Fields.

  3. A new Data Entry field dialog appears.  Select the type of data you want to collect, and enter a variable name and a label which the end-user will see.

  4. Select Required to make this field require an entry before proceeding.
  5. For radio buttons and list boxes, you can enter the option choices as well. If you are using scoring nodes, you can enter a score variable, and a score to assign to each choice.

  6. Click Add Field when finished.

 

Inserting Form Field Data into Other Parts of the Tree

Once the end-user adds data to a form field and then clicks a button, this data can appear anywhere in the tree’s content, question or title areas. The trick is to use the variable name, surrounded by # characters. For example, after adding a text input field named name,  insert text like this into a node to show the value of name:

Hello #name#! Welcome back.

The #name# part will be replaced with whatever was entered previously into the name field.

Injecting Zingtree Form Data into Other Systems

Once your form fields are set up and your tree is running, the entered data can be injected into any other form.  Here’s how to do it:

  1. Make sure the variable names in your Zingtree form match the variable names on the form you want to inject data into.
  2. When opening the URL for the destination form, make sure to include &session_id=#session# in the link URL.
  3. In the destination form, include this piece of code:
    <script id="zingtree_field_id" value="session_data" src="//zingtree.com/api/zingtree.js">
    </script>

When the destination form is opened, it will include the data from the Zingtree session in the fields that match.

The Form Fields and Data Entry gallery tree shows a full example. Click all the way through, and you’ll see an HTML page with Zingtree forms data present.

Misc Notes

  • The form fields button in the editor is not available in Designer. You’ll need to use Overview, Edit Node to access it.
  • Tech note: If you’re hand-coding the HTML for your forms, each form element must have a class of zt-data to be recognized and saved.

Any questions? Reach out to us at any time.

The Most Common Customer Service Mistakes

Customer service is less of an exact science than its own art form — it takes a lot of careful thinking, patience and a natural finesse to pull off in a fun, fruitful way. When done well, customer service can benefit your business or organization in ways you can’t even imagine!

There are a lot of companies out there today making similar support mistakes; the biggest ones being that they haven’t yet moved to find a solution. Here are some of the most commonly found issues in customer service today.

1. Making it difficult to reach you.

One of the worst possible things you can do as a company is make it hard to get in contact with customer support; trust us, we’ve seen our fair share of websites and services that will make you jump through digital hoops to receive any kind of response from a person.

Perhaps the most important thing to do as a company working with customers is to provide a clear path of contact from anywhere on your website, support articles, marketing communications and more. Find your customers’ preferred contact method — whether it be email, chat and/or phone support — and work to provide it to them well.

2. Speaking negatively, or being difficult.

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 1.55.11 PMSupport representatives are the front-lines of any customer interaction, whether you are using phone, email or chat support. Employing agents who are prone to negativity and inflexibility don’t appear to be helpful to the customer and are extremely likely to leave the customer feeling dissatisfied.

Scripting solutions for representatives is a great way to build a custom, yet standardized, script that agents can follow along with during customer communications. Zingtree Agent Scripting allows you to see each session by agent, receive in-depth performance summaries and more.

3. Improperly training agents.

At the end of the day, an improperly trained support representative will likely encapsulate one or more of the mistakes listed above. For this reason, it’s incredibly important to take the necessary steps to properly train agents on standardized processes and correct etiquette, as well as empowering them to make decisions that will put customers first.

Adopting decision trees for training support employees on specific best practices, along with integrating scripting solutions, is the perfect way to get the most (and best) out of agents. You can check out the Zingtree Gallery for training decision tree examples to copy, and draw inspiration from.

4. Using out-dated support systems.

Assuming that your customers don’t care about the methods of receiving answers is always a mistake. The customer’s perceived experience will often set the tone for how they feel about your company as a whole, and so it’s important to keep up when it comes to your customer support platforms.

Companies that integrate interactive troubleshooters, FAQs and more into their support processes have seen a 20% overall reduction in support costs on average, simply through making it easy to provide help across a variety of topics. This, in turn, helps to cultivate happy, long-term customers.


Ready to improve your customer support process? Get started with Zingtree support solutions today.

How Personalized Customer Experiences Promote Brand Loyalty

Untitled design-10

When customers interact with a company, they expect the communication to be a reflection of that company itself. These days, it’s becoming increasingly more popular among customers to prefer experiences that are both personalized and helpful.

It’s simple — superior customer experiences breed brand loyalty in ways that your product or service alone cannot. In fact, according to a recent study from Verint, 89% of consumers agree that good service makes them feel more positive about the brands they engage with.

Tapping into the more personal, positive and proactive side of customer service will allow your customers to feel a stronger, more long-term connection to your company. In turn, this will help your business thrive, especially among the competition.

Create Signature Moments

Companies can often take the little things for granted; often, it’s those small acts that make customers feel completely welcome and satisfied. Sending personalized messages to follow up after an issue or with a lead, interacting on social media and remaining available for your customers are all huge for creating those signature moments. For support agents, customized agent scripts are an amazing tool for finding and maintaining your ideal brand voice that will keep your customers happy and loyal.

Foster Real Relationships

Direct communication with your customers is like having access to your own database of information; you can understand how they think, feel and share your company’s products or services, often just through a simple conversation or survey. It’s important to take the time to foster relationships with your customers so that they feel they are being heard, and are a part of, the whole process.

Customize Self-Help Tools

It’s largely understood that these days everyone — especially millennials — prefer to access self-service support in order to figure out answers to their questions, or solutions to their problems. Building customized self-help solutions for your customers, such as troubleshooter decision trees created with your brand in mind, is a great way to not only solve their problems but make them feel more satisfied with your company overall.


By creating personalized communications, maintaining happy relationships and enabling people to self-help in a customized way, you and your organization will be well on its way to building amazing, strong brand loyalty among customers.

Contact us today to get started with customized support tools for your company.

How to Train Customer Service Agents for Success

training2

No matter the reasons why a customer chooses to reach out to you, it’s important that each agent is professional, knowledgeable, courteous, and can offer expedited assistance. Training targeted specifically to areas of competency, efficiency and customer service best practices are all requirements to delivering excellent customer care.  

Training alone is not enough to account for consistent customer service delivery, though; the software that customer facing agents rely on is equally important. The technology surrounding CRM platforms is evolving and nowadays it is easier to stay nimble thanks to cloud technology. Another big change in software is the analytic capabilities that allow companies to incorporate some pretty nifty features such as customized scripts (like Zingtree!) and persistent ticket tracking, which allow for better customer experiences.

Let’s review a few training tips to take your customer service from good to awesome.

Use Your Knowledge

Customers are coming to you with a lot of product awareness, but they still expect your representative to be the expert. Customer facing agents should be trained thoroughly on all of the products and services they are responsible for representing, in addition to knowing where to quickly send a customer if s/he requires help or service from another department. Beyond product knowledge, training should be comprehensive regarding the software/hardware platforms the agent is working with.

Always Be Professional

Training customer facing agents how to handle frustrated and irate customers is key for employee morale and low turnover. If agents aren’t fully and properly trained in working with upset customers, you can plan on a revolving door in your contact center. Customer facing agents who can remain professional, even when tested, will reflect well on your company. Training agents to remain professional whenever they’re representing your company should be ongoing – there is always room for improvement!

Remain Courteous

The push and pull of a profitable company call center requires agents to efficiently resolve a customer’s issue, while also remaining polite and courteous. Training agents in how to be polite and productive is a practiced skill. As more customers demand personalized care, agent training that teaches manners and personalization techniques will be rewarded with customer loyalty.

Have Departmental Knowledge

Before an agent is allowed to work with customers, he or she needs to be broadly aware of the functions and roles of the other customer-serving departments. The next step is to ensure proper training in how to patch a customer through to the right person; this is where the need for an omni-channel strategy comes in. It’s easy to see how frustrating it can be for customers to start with one agent, then get transferred to another while having to start over at the beginning if your software doesn’t track a customer through different channels or departments.

As with all training programs, it should be relevant, easy to absorb, and appropriate to the learner. Making training tools available for various types of learners is important if what is being taught is to be incorporated into the workplace.

Customer facing agents are under a lot of stress and pressure but a good training program that is ongoing pays off in that employees are more satisfied in their jobs, which ultimately translates to more satisfied customers!  

 

This article was written by Jodi Beuder of MHI Global. Are you interested in submitting a guest blog post? Please contact us!