December 1, 2023
Business can be demanding. And time is the ultimate precious resource. I mean, you can’t replace this second. Or this one. Time is constantly slipping away. And so, it’s crucial to value and utilize our time effectively. Even more so in customer interactions. In this article we will imagine together how you can refine your ‘warehouse of time’ and optimize your customer engagement strategy throughout this year.
Compounding The Value Of Time
The pandemic has had a significant and lasting impact on customer behavior and the volume of inquiries that businesses receive. When time is of the essence, there needs to be a strong focus on productivity and efficiency. But how do you make sure efficiency doesn’t kill quality? How do you keep providing a great experience to your team as well as customers?
- Effective processes lead to improved productivity and effectiveness. When employees can manage their time well, their work becomes more streamlined. Resulting in faster task completion, and with fewer mistakes. Ultimately leading to happier customers.
- In addition to increasing productivity, valuing time also leads to cost savings. By streamlining processes a company can reduce unnecessary activities. Thus bringing back the amount of resources needed per customer contact.
- Thirdly, we believe that valuing time creates a positive work environment for employees. When they feel their time is respected, stress levels go down and they feel more motivated in their work. We can all relate that this increases job satisfaction and creates a stronger company culture.
Rethinking Customer Engagement
OK, so now we’ve shown why it is important to spend time thinking about time. The next challenge is finding out which buttons you should push. Now, please suppress the urge to immediately extend opening hours or add more bodies to your customer service center. Or to put some random chat bot endpoint on your website. Let’s really rethink innovating your customer engagement strategy.
1. It Starts With How You Lead
Want to ensure that time is being used effectively and efficiently? Tag, you’re it! Employees need the help of leadership to avoid time-wasting on tasks that are not related to key objectives. It all starts with setting clear goals and priorities.
Is your primary customer support goal 100% First Call Resolution? Prioritize accordingly and don’t push too hard on bringing down the Average Handle Time. Set realistic response and resolution time targets to ensure timely dialogue handling, without sacrificing quality. Do you obtain the highest Net Promotor Score in your industry? Give people the space to go the extra mile for customers. Maybe entrust them with a small budget and mandate to surprise customers with personalized small gifts.
Setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals improves performance. It also creates a clear structure to allocate resources, such as staff and technology. And last but certainly not least, clear objectives enhance accountability, ensuring value delivery to the organization.
2. Customer Engagement Is Not A Department
The second measure that I’d like to bring up is implementing an effective organizational way of working. Sounds as logical as setting goals, but let me show you what I mean. I’m not talking about implementing tools and techniques such as task management software, time tracking tools, or the Pomodoro Technique. I’m not even talking about using bots as end points. Ultimately, these are all just plasters on the wound. What you really need is to rethink how you want to engage with customers. Or better: how customers want to engage with you.
“Rethink how you want to engage with customers.
Or better: how customers want to engage with you.”
One of the most important reasons for wasting time in 1-on-1 communication situations is how we often organize customer contact. Contact centers set up like firewalls, or organized for the business rather than for the customer. Don’t believe me? Call an average company and check out their IVR. As a result, customers get stuck or agents need a lot of consulting with subject matter experts.
Business communications in enterprises need a dramatic paradigm shift and start to treat communications routing just as precisely as supply chain processes. Streamlined communication logistics eliminates time-wasting.
More concrete: the way forward for enterprise communication is not organizing customers around your company; adding contact center seats or random AI solutions to the front office. The way forward is organizing your company around the customer; extending intelligent omnichannel communication capabilities to everyone in the entire organization. Everyone can answer customer queried in their field of expertise. Customer Engagement is a core task, not necessarily a Department.
Of course, bots and self-serve both have their place in that ecosystem. Not as gimmicks, but to actually and measurably speed up first-time-right resolutions of straightforward inquiries and routine tasks, in order to reduce the amount of unnecessary interactions with your valuable co-workers.
3. Training On An Intuitive Tech Stack
Third and last point that I want to make is enabling and empowering people. On the one hand this is about training them to efficiently and effectively handle customer inquiries. People have always been capable of learning new ways to do their work. Especially in this digital era. Investing in their digital dexterity means teaching them the flexibility to do their work seamlessly from any place, at any time.
Helping people to be optimally productive is not just about educating them. It’s also about choosing an intuitive tech stack. Does your company use Microsoft Teams for internal meetings, Google Meet for calls with external suppliers, a call center PSTN solution to answer customer queries and a CRM-system to find customer data? Good luck with making the most of employees’ valuable time.
Your technological infrastructure is an important influencer of digital dexterity. Whether people are working in the office or from home, they should always be able to do their work in the most intuitive way. The easier and the more uniform the technology they work with, the more productive and satisfied they will be. So choose a single pane of glass solution.
Not having to switch back and forth between point solutions result in faster handling, saving costly time and over-delivering your customer’s expectation. That’s why we have built our Anywhere365® Dialogue Cloud platform as a native communication layer on top of Microsoft Teams. Prefer to let people work from a Customer Engagement Center (CEC) such as Salesforce, Bullhorn, SAP, Dynamics365 and ServiceNow? We have created seamless CTI integrations with over 30 CRM and IT management systems. And with our low code Dialogue Studio we can dock to any solution that has an open API. You choose your preferred desktop environment, we’ve got your back (end).
It’s About Time To Talk About Time
In conclusion, it’s about time to talk about time. Valuing time is essential for the demanding environment of your business.
By recognizing the value of time, prioritizing streamlined communication logistics and business processes, you can increase productivity, reduce costs, create a positive work environment for employees and ultimately position your organization for success in an increasingly fast-paced and competitive marketplace.
Find Out More:
In our next blog article in this series we will zoom in on how solutions such as Robotic Process Automation, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence can help you win time.
Want to deep dive into your business specifics? Feel free to schedule a demo!