Kathy Juve is the EVP of CX Technology & Insights, at Concentrix. Concentrix is a leading business services provider. They deploy Cogito’s AI coaching system in their contact centers to provide their front-line phone professionals with real-time behavioral guidance to drive enhanced CX.
Today more than ever before, it’s clear customer experience (CX) plays a direct role in organizational success. Recent studies report that four out of every five consumers believe CX is just as important as the product or service being offered—resulting in customers setting higher expectations for the brands earning their wallet share. Yet, repeatedly, brands fall short in providing quality CX to meet those changing expectations, bringing us to a critical point in the modern call center.
Achieving positive customer outcomes has been challenged amid the ongoing pandemic and changing workforce dynamics, leaving many leaders scrambling to retool their strategies. What many leaders have come to find, however, is that successful CX is not a one-size-fits-all approach.
In my many years as a customer service leader, I’ve found that unified, internal buy-in across an organization is a must for consistent, engaging and dedicated interactions and efforts—where no one department carries all the weight. Organizations can genuinely cultivate long-term success if frontline agents, supervisors and c-suite executives work together towards a common goal and understand the importance of their customers’ experiences.
Here are a few tips—broken down by role—to go all hands on deck and achieve CX success.
C-Suite Executives: Lead with Empathy
The most successful organizations have executives and leaders who lead with empathy and invest in their employees. Empathy has the power to move mountains. And, in the world of CX, empathic leadership helps you form authentic connections and motivate your workforce. This is especially important as we live and experience what many have coined the “Great Resignation,” and as we aim to understand how best to engage with employees for higher job satisfaction.
I’ve found that one of the best parts of leading with empathy is how it rubs off on others. The chain reaction started from the top creates organizational buy-in that profoundly influences the motivations and performance of supervisors, agents and everyone in between.
To become more empathic, I challenge leaders to become better listeners, communicate openly and demonstrate compassion.
Supervisors: Improve Coaching
Supervisors offer critical guidance and coaching support to agents experiencing the fast-paced and often overwhelming role on the frontlines. Traditionally, much of a supervisor’s role relied on the ability to walk the call center floor to listen in on calls and provide support to agents. But the pandemic forced many organizations to not only reconsider what coaching looks like with a disparate, remote workforce, but also how to achieve undisrupted CX success, no matter the agent location.
Thankfully, with the advancements in technology today, reimagining and reinventing the supervisor’s role is possible. With the assistance of tools such as Cogito’s AI coach, supervisors can now leverage real-time behavioral call insights when coaching their agents, empowering new ways of thinking and providing mentorship at the moment it is needed—whether that be in real-time or after a given call.
When looking to improve coaching, I believe approaching work in a supportive and curious manner can provide endless possibilities—supervisors with that curious nature and who leverage the machine’s intelligence, along with their own, can coach agents to drive more genuine human interactions.
Agents: Humanize the Experience
Last, but certainly not least, the role of the agent.
Speaking with customers upwards of 30x daily, the call center agent’s role is one of the most difficult and most important roles in the CX chain. They are the face, or rather voice, of the organization. Agents must humanize the customer experience to create real connections that, in turn, make customers feel heard and supported. If customers feel otherwise or walk away from an interaction unsatisfied, they always have the choice to do business elsewhere. Humanizing the experience can greatly impact whether customers remain loyal and return.
An organization cannot expect a CX strategy to work if it is not thoroughly integrated into your workplace culture and executed along every organizational ladder rung. Though everyone plays a different role, the success of each role depends on the success of the others. Partial effort only reaps partial returns—so make sure your team is all hands on deck from the top-down, bottom-up.