For any service company, the biggest challenge is to satisfy their customers and to showcase a performance experience that exceeds their expectations, as it is crucial for running an efficient and effective contact center.
As we all know the ultimate goal of any call center is to provide best services to their customers at a low cost which can be a very challenging task.
A recent research shows that the level of customer satisfaction plays a very important role in attaining customer loyalty towards an organization.
So, it will not be wrong to say that customer satisfaction is not only essential for the productivity but is also the main key to building a reputation for your contact center and gaining new business.
Now, the question is how to measure the customer satisfaction level of your contact center and how to improve it?
The answer to that, it mostly relies on the overall service experience that the customer has when interacting with the agents, and therefore, some parts of the CSAT score are dependent on the efficiency of the tools that the agents use such as a call center software.
So to understand this in a better way let us see in depth what CSAT is and why it is critical to keep improving the CSAT level for better performance of the contact center.
What is CSAT?
CSAT stands for Customer Satisfaction. It is used to measure how a customer feels about a service, interaction or the product. It is described as a numerical measure of customer satisfaction. Generally, the higher the score the more satisfied the customer is with the service.
How to measure CSAT score?
To calculate CSAT score, the contact center directly asks their customer base to evaluate their service experience. Mostly, the contact center will provide the customers with a survey form through email, phone or any other mode of communication.
The form typically contains a set of questions and their accepted response. The type and wording of the CSAT question vary from one company to another company. But some of the most commonly used questions are mentioned below:
On the scale of 1-10, how would you like to rate our service?
How satisfied are you with our service? (Unsatisfied, Satisfied, Very Satisfied etc.)
The CSAT score depends on the questions being asked on the survey form. One of the most common ways to calculate CSAT score is as follows:
CSAT score = Number of customers who responded as ‘satisfied’
Total number of customer surveyed
Ways to improve CSAT:
There are certain ways which can help the call center management in improving the customer satisfaction score:
1. Less waiting time: There is no doubt that nothing is more frustrating than to be put on hold for a long time and waiting forever for a call center representative to answer the call.
This is probably one of the biggest reasons for dissatisfaction as a customer. To ensure improved CSAT the management should try to eliminate or reduce the call wait time as much as possible.
By reducing the wait time the call center can also reduce the overall operating cost. So for the benefit of both the contact center and the customers, the management should provide customers with an option of requesting a callback instead of waiting in the queue.
2. Keep promises: Setting correct expectations and living up to those expectations is very critical when talking about customer satisfaction as that is the base for a strong trust and relationship.
A customer will automatically be dissatisfied and will loose trust in your contact center if they figure out that the contact center is keeping them in dark about their services and for gaining new business opportunities.
3. Learn from mistakes: Everyone makes mistakes but what’s important is to learn from your mistakes and keep improving. Fortunately, in the field of customer service, it is very easy to know the areas where your contact center needs improvement with the help of customer feedback’s.
The management and agents should keep a close eye on customer feedback’s as they are a great way to understand what a customer needs. And making proper use of feedback’s a contact center can gain more business.
So as a best practice, the agents should be instructed to inform constantly coming feedback to the concerned team so that they can ensure that customers do not face a similar issue in future.
4. Set clear performance expectations: A contact center is nothing without its agents. So it is obvious that for gaining customer satisfaction the management is dependent on their agent’s performance.
Thus, for improved CSAT it is essential that the management shows the agents what is expected out of them by illustrating examples of excellent performance. Also, make agents realize the importance of their role and actions in the contact center’s progress and productivity.
5. Personalize keeping the customer in mind: To be in the race it is essential to keep improving your service. For enhanced customer satisfaction, the management should make sure that everything they do it should make the customer feel that he or she is the only thing that matters.
Showing care and concern like using their name while interacting or congratulating on their birthday can make a customer feel more valued and respected and enhance the overall service experience.
6. Keeping agents happy: There is no doubt that happy agent = happy customer i.e. when your agents are happy only then they will provide better service to the customers.
Keeping the agents happy and satisfied depends on a lot of other factors such as work culture, good income, and incentives, future opportunities etc.
Encouraging and appreciating your agents can not only help the contact center in improving customer satisfaction but will also lower the agent turnover rate which also plays a huge role in inflating the contact center operating cost.
Thus, for the all-round betterment of the contact center employee, satisfaction and engagement are also equally critical.
7. Agent’s Knowledge: This is one of the most importance aspects of customer service. A customer care contact center can never perform well if their agents do not understand the company’s service/product completely.
Only using the above techniques are not enough to gain customer satisfaction when your agents are not knowledgeable enough to handle customer’s query.
As this will only add to customer frustration and build a bad reputation for your company. Thus, the way an agent handle the issue with his/her knowledge and professionalism is also very crucial for customer satisfaction.
Now, let’s see a case study about how the above ideas helped the contact center in increasing their CSAT scores.
The case study is about an e-commerce company. The company is a global leader and to achieve cost efficiency and smooth management they outsourced the customer service department of their call center to another company located in India.
The outsourced company, lets name it “TMS Pvt. Limited”, was founded in 2011 and with their head office in Chennai. After the TMS took over the customer service department within the period of 10 months the company noticed a huge dip in the overall performance.
The CSAT scores were very low for TMS. Due to their consistently low performance, the owners were losing out on plenty of business opportunities and customers. Hence, there was a lot of pressure on TMS to perform and deliver results in next few months.
The management of TMS was under a lot of stress to improve their CSAT score and show betterment in their performance. The management took charge to control the situation.
They created a separate team to monitor all agent’s call, thoroughly review all the feedbacks given by the customers and having a face-to-face discussion with every agent to understand the root cause of their low performance.
Through their research the management established the following decision:
1. They observed a very high waiting time in every queue. To overcome this problem they modified their call center solutions with an IVR (Interactive Voice Response) which provides the customer with an option to request for a callback.
2. By monitoring agents’ calls they were able to identify the most common issues that customers have and how an agent is dealing with that situation. Using that information, they arranged multiple training programs so that agents can be more proficient when handling customer’s call.
3. One of the major issues for low CSAT was agents not keeping their promises.
For Instance, an agent informed a customer to call him after one day as he needed some time to research on the issue and the customer agreed. But the agent did not contact the customer nor even informed him about the delay in fixing the problem. Due to this, the customer was very disappointed with the contact center’s service.
For such similar reasons, the CSAT scores were very low. To control this situation the management strictly instructed the agents to keep team leaders in the loop so they can monitor every call and campaign closely.
4. Another big contributor for their bad performance was few agents being unsatisfied with their income. For this, the higher management introduced various performance incentive programs that encouraged agents to perform well.
5. To achieve their goal the management explained various KPI (Key Performance Indicators) and their target score they need to meet to improve their CSAT score. Since the agents were aware of the seriousness of the situation they gave their 100% to very call which helped in controlling the CSAT scores.
By making all the above changes in the system and the process the contact center started to show improvement in their performance. Since the owners saw the hard work by the company and their agents and also the improved results they gave TMC another 10 month time to reach their expected target.
With all the changes and employee satisfaction they continued with their good performance and surpassed the target numbers in only 8 months. With the help of all these techniques, they built a good reputation for their contact center and got the contract extension from the current company.
From the above article, we now understand the value of CSAT score and how it helps in measuring the quality and performance of a contact center. We can see also see that it requires the efforts of both the company’s management and their agents to increase the CSAT scores of a contact center.
• In simple words, there is no one-stop solution that can help contact center achieve maximum customer satisfaction.
• The key is to have a customer centric environment which will help the management to understand what customer expects out of them and then make appropriate decisions.
To sum up, by adapting to above ways to improve CSAT scores the contact center can not only attain better productivity but also gains customer loyalty which will benefit them in the long run.