Most business leaders have been on the receiving end of a bad customer service experience themselves. But few understand how to prevent that experience for their own companies. Too often, contact center procedures leave customers feeling unengaged. For automakers, this can have repercussions with not only vehicle owners, but in some cases, the media and regulators.
Many contact centers rely heavily on lengthy, impersonal scripts. This can leave an already agitated customer feeling even more frustrated. Instead, contact center agents should be well trained to display sincere empathy while at the same time skillfully directing the conversation to achieve the desired result. This will help ensure vehicle owners feel cared for, whether they are dealing with a recall notice, a reacquisition claim, or some other issue. In the case of a safety campaign, it can also drive more owners to schedule their repairs with local dealers.
In addition to eliminating robotic, wordy scripts, it is crucial for agents to be well-versed in the industry they serve. Few gaps will frustrate customers quite like dealing with a representative who can’t provide concrete answers to their questions. Even outsourced agents should be specially trained and act as an extension of the company so that callers can’t tell the difference.
To engage customers, it is important that employees feel engaged as well. Agents should be provided with regular feedback, especially positive responses from callers. This will help keep employees motivated and counteract some of the negativity that comes with the territory. A high level of morale among agents will lead to better results and reduce the high level of turnover that is so common in call centers.
Finally, companies should focus on metrics that provide insight into the goal they are trying to achieve. In the automotive space, this includes measuring how well contact centers are performing warm transfers to dealers to schedule recall repairs. While measurements such as call times and, in particular, wait times are important to providing good customer service, the data should focus on the results.
As automotive recalls continue to plague the industry, the pressure to improve repair rates is high. By following best practices, or partnering with a third party that does, automakers can respond more effectively to the challenge.
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