Understanding your customers’ needs is just a phone call away

Posted on: May 12th, 2016 by Art Barger

Listening to your customers should be job one, right? What better resource is there to help you get in sync with their needs than to talk to them directly. We may interact with our customers on a daily basis, but the question we need to ask ourselves is how closely do we listen to them?

According to the recent article, “5 signs a caller doesn’t value customer insight,” many contact centers aren’t making the most of their telephone interactions. The article cited a few indicators that can tell you if your call center agents are not listening to your customers as effectively as they should be. 

  • Multiple repeat calls: If customers are calling back about the same issues, it’s a sign that your first-call resolution rates are probably down. When agents aren’t solving problems during the first interaction, the customer has to go to extra lengths to fix the issue they’re dealing with. This can also impact your customer retention rates and annual profits.
  • Services don’t meet your customer needs: Product and service updates should be driven by your customers’ needs, not the other way around. If your services aren’t keeping up with customer trends, it’s likely you aren’t learning the valuable insights they’re providing over the phone.
  • Lack of improving your customer experience: Contact centers need to evolve, there’s simply no way around it. If your call center is not keeping up with your customers’ changing preferences, you’re likely not maximizing your time on the phone.
  • Costs are increasing, but your level of service is dropping: Every dollar you spend upgrading your call center should be aligned with your customer service goals. If you’re not seeing the outcomes you want with the money you’ve invested, chances are there’s a disconnect between your call center strategies and the needs of your customers.  

We know consumers typically call customer service to resolve a problem or get help on a transaction. No matter what the issue, the precious few minutes you’ve got them on the line can provide valuable insight into customer trends, concerns, and other issues that you can incorporate into your call center strategies.

Because your telephone agents are busy helping callers resolve issues as quickly as possible, they don’t have much idle time to chat. But they cannot lose sight of the value of truly listening to them. 

Each time the phone rings is opportunity for your agents to gather valuable information about the problems your customers face, what they are looking for, and how you can better serve them. Tools like the TRUSTID® Physical Caller Authentication solution give contact centers the opportunity to listen to customers rather than interrogate them with a bunch of scripted security questions. By validating calls before they’re routed to an operator, telephone reps can immediately begin addressing your customers’ issues right away.

When it comes down to it, there’s no better way to align call center strategies with customers’ needs than listening to them. After all, getting a better understanding of what your customers want is really just a phone call away.