The entire world is familiar with the message “Your call may be monitored for quality and training purposes” whenever we call somewhere for customer service. Quality Assessment (QA) is a no brainer for Customer Service teams. When done well, it drives consistency and quality of the customer experience when there’s a service issue.
We find, however, that companies typically limit QA to the Customer Service team while ignoring the fact that there are other teams in the in the company, especially in the B2B world, who interact with customers and have a significant impact on the customer experience.
Some of the most impactful work that Intelligentics has done for clients over the past 30 years has been with the Inside Sales teams of B2B clients. How an Inside Sales Representative (ISR) handles product inquiries, quote requests, and orders can have a huge impact on a customer’s satisfaction, retention, and loyalty.
One B2B client we worked with had an Inside Sales team that serviced a singular product array for a global industrial supplier. Our Service Quality Assessment (SQA) quickly found issues, both systemic and agent specific, that were driving dissatisfaction and customer frustration. It’s hard to effectively increase sales when customers are always frustrated before the ISR answers the phone. It’s even more difficult when the ISR handles the interaction poorly.
Our team worked with our client’s management to address some of the systemic issues, and we coached individual agents on how to better serve and sell in those moments of truth when they were on the phone with customers. In a short period of time, this Inside Sales team was gaining praise from customers, increasing sales, and changing the organization’s internal culture.
Inside Sales is, arguably, the most strategically overlooked team when it comes to assessing, coaching, and driving a world-class customer experience.
In the B2B world, matters of credit and payment can get intense. We often assess a Customer Service or Inside Sales team who receive frantic calls from a customer about to go line-down because they haven’t received a critical order. When the issue is a credit issue, the matter gets transferred to the Credit, Finance, or Accounting team. At that point, it typically becomes a black hole for assessing the customer experience. It’s surprising that the team responsible for establishing credit, placing customers on credit hold, collecting on past due accounts, and releasing orders is almost never assessed for service quality.
Over the years, Intelligentics has enjoyed the privilege of providing QA for Accounting, Credit, and Collections teams in various industries. Over and over we’ve found that when the Credit and/or Collections team provides professional, efficient, and personable service, both the customer and the company benefit. However, when a customer experiences a poor or difficult experience with these teams they may simply choose to walk away and never do business with them again.
Issues of credit, payments, and finance can play a huge part in a customer’s overall experience. It’s too important not to assess, monitor, and train those team members who are interacting with customers on these crucial issues.
Believe it or not, there are still a number of businesses that insist on using operators or receptionists so that customers promptly speak with a human being rather than some robotic, confusing phone menu. Over the years, we’ve found that this strategy works for some clients, but not for all. It’s highly dependent on your business, your industry, and your customers. This is a good reason to conduct a Voice of the Customer (VOC) survey of your customers.
When receptionists are the first point-of-contact for customers, their job is critical. They create the first impression that your company makes for that caller. They are the gatekeepers who can either get the caller efficiently where they need to go or launch the caller into voice mail or phone menu hell. The receptionist also finds themselves regularly providing Customer Service triage, asking probing questions and determining the best direction for that call to get routed.
Because the role of Receptionist makes such an important first impression and can make the difference between a customer experience going right or wrong, it’s important to conduct an objective assessment of the Receptionist team. A good assessment not only looks at what the Receptionist says and how they say it, but also analyzes what happens to customers after they are transferred and where they end up systemically.
QA and call monitoring have been a business staple for decades, but it’s often confined to the Customer Service team. This is short-sighted if providing a superior customer experience is the goal of your team. Providing a stellar customer experience requires assessing, coaching, and improving every team that interacts with customers. Otherwise, you might have a solid Customer Service team whose efforts are undermined by other teams that frustrate, irritate, or antagonize your customers.
Intelligentics has been providing a full array of quantitative and qualitative customer research products along with Quality Assessment, training, and coaching services for over 30 years. An initial, one-time assessment of your team’s service is affordable, valuable, and effective. For more information, email us at email@example.com or call us at 515-777-8899.