Let’s face it: Not only can customer escalations be time-consuming and costly to resolve, but they can also damage the reputation of your brand.
To create positive customer experiences, your organization’s contact center agents need to understand how to effectively address customer needs and prevent escalations.
Here are seven ways to reduce customer escalations in the contact center.
1. Invest in training
Providing your contact center agents with the right training is crucial to reducing customer escalations. Make sure they’re well-versed in your company’s policies and procedures and the products or services you offer.
Agents should also receive training on how to handle difficult customers and de-escalation techniques. Regular training sessions can help agents stay up to date with the latest information and ensure they’re equipped to handle a wide variety of situations that may arise.
2. Improve communications channels
The first key to understanding why customers escalate issues is to understand why they call the contact center in the first place. Typically, customers call in for three key reasons:
- They want to solve a problem.
- They want to talk to someone.
- They want to be heard.
If the customer feels these issues are not being addressed, they’ll likely escalate the scenario. To meet your customers on all three of these expectations, there’s an opportunity for your company to improve your communication channels.
For example, take an omnichannel approach to streamline communication. Open an option for a live chat, email and even a self-service portal. If you give customers the option to choose the channel that’s most convenient for them, they’re more likely to feel heard and have confidence that their needs are concerned are being addressed.
3. Understand analytics
In order to prevent escalations, you first need to understand why they’re happening, when they’re happening and how they are happening. This is where analytics come into play.
If you haven’t already, incorporate analytics to track the customer journey and pinpoint where issues are happening and why. You need insight into what’s happening to understand how to prevent issues from further happening.
4. Implement customer feedback mechanisms
By gathering feedback from customers, you can identify areas where your contact center may be falling short. Consider sending out customer satisfaction surveys or feedback forms after each interaction. This information can help you identify trends or common issues that may be leading to escalations. By addressing these issues, you can help prevent future escalations.
5. Monitor social media
Social media has become a popular channel for customers to voice their concerns. Monitoring your social media channels for customer complaints or feedback can help you identify issues that may be leading to escalations. Make sure to respond to these complaints promptly and professionally, and try to move the conversation to a more private channel if possible.
6. Set clear expectations
Setting clear expectations with customers can help prevent escalations from occurring in the first place. Make sure customers are aware of your company’s policies, procedures and timelines for resolution. If there are limitations to what you can do, make sure customers are aware of those as well. By setting clear expectations, you can reduce the likelihood of misunderstandings or miscommunications that can lead to escalations.
7. Empower your agents
Finally, empower your agents to make decisions and take action to resolve customer issues. By giving agents authority and freedom, they’re more likely to feel confident in handling difficult situations. They can help reduce escalations by resolving issues quickly and effectively.
You can also empower your agents by setting them up for success with the right tools and training. Here are three ways to empower your contact center:
- Provide customer service support. Arm your agents with plenty of resources, trainings and support so they can feel confident when handling difficult scenarios.
- Implement automation and AI. One of the best ways to streamline the workforce and make tasks easier and more efficient for your agents is to automate them. Lean on customer experience experts to understand how to start incorporating this tech into the contact center.
- Use analytics to understand why escalations happen. Again, having analytics is critical to giving you insight into the customer journey and therefore helping you understand pain points and areas to improve.
Choose the right tools and support
Reducing customer escalations in the contact center requires a proactive approach. By investing in training, improving communication channels, gathering customer feedback, monitoring social media, setting clear expectations and empowering your agents, you can help prevent escalations from occurring and ensure that your customers are satisfied with the service they receive. By taking these steps, you can help build a positive reputation for your brand and improve customer loyalty.