Call centers know that a stellar customer experience (CX), whether it’s servicing customer issues or calling a potential buyer, is critical for generating positive outcomes.
But too often, call centers take a narrow view of CX, neglecting how employee experience (EX) – and other factors – are interwoven. Call center leaders need to broaden this view to differentiate themselves: and start investing in a more comprehensive approach, centered on total experience (TX).
Total experience is a business strategy that aims to create more integrated, holistic experiences for all stakeholders that engage with a brand. Organizations that embrace TX see how the experiences of their customers, employees, and other end-users influence each other.
By prioritizing TX, call center leaders can better support their agents and provide more seamless customer interactions.
The Three Pillars of TX
There are three main pillars of total experience, according to Gartner. Let’s take a closer look at each of them and how they relate to call center operations.
1. CX. CX encompasses a customer’s entire journey with a brand, from the moment they become aware of the company all the way to point of purchase: and everything in between.
In many cases, a customer’s call center experience is the first actual conversation they’ve had with a representative of that brand. As such, the quality of this interaction carries tremendous weight.
Too often though, many consumers have a negative call center-related story to tell, and these poor experiences can be difficult to recover from. 76% of consumers say that a bad customer service experience negatively impacts their perception of a brand.
2. EX. EX describes the overall perception employees have of their company, informed by what their day-to-day typically looks like.
Support looks different for employees depending on the type of call center they work for.
A call center that focuses on sales must train its employees on handling customer objections and closing deals. While a call center that focuses on servicing requests must train its employees on increasing their product knowledge and empathy for customer concerns.
But EX in call centers can be turbulent. Call center turnover is notoriously high, and employees often lack the support they need to adjust to their role.
Regardless of the type of call center, the more supported employees feel, the more likely they are to go the extra mile to provide excellent customer service.
3. Multi experience (MX). MX is a strategy for providing customers with seamless experiences across channels.
This is one of the most underappreciated factors for call center leaders to consider. The call center is only one channel that customers use for service requests. Online chatbots and social media pages are increasingly the go-to options for customers, especially among younger generations.
As the number of channels for receiving customer service increases, so does the importance of integration between these channels.
If a customer initiates communication with a brand via web chat – and is then directed to call a customer service line where the representative has no insight into the problem – it’s a frustrating experience.
No one enjoys having to repeat themselves. Which is why call center employees must have visibility into the steps a customer has taken before hopping on the line with them.
Why Care About TX?
Enterprises that provide TX are projected to outperform competitors by 25% in satisfaction metrics for both employees and customers. CX-related metrics like post-call surveys and call length play a major role in how call centers earn new business: which should make TX a priority in your call center.
However, the nature of TX makes it difficult for many call center leaders to put it into practice. TX is predicated on interconnectedness. While this makes it a valuable approach for businesses, it also means that a failure of any one of the three pillars can lead to a breakdown of the other two.
For example, if a customer has been transferred multiple times due to poorly integrated MX, they enter their interaction with a call center rep frustrated and impatient. This short fuse increases the likelihood of a poor interaction, which comes at the expense of EX. It’s a domino effect that’s difficult to stop once it gets rolling.
High turnover rates also make it difficult for call center leaders to maintain continuity. Many managers already lack the bandwidth to provide sufficient training and support for each employee. And when employees are constantly cycling in and out, it makes TX more abstract than actionable.
Even so, TX is still the most accurate, holistic way for call center leaders to run their operation. And it’s worth navigating challenges to achieve it. Call center employees are the face of the organization for many consumers. And organizations cannot risk losing business by failing to consider all the factors that affect their success.
Clear the Path Toward TX
Investing in and building TX is an ambitious undertaking, but it becomes more manageable when you have the right technology in place.
One tool that can lighten the load on employees and managers is conversation intelligence. Conversation intelligence software records and analyzes both servicing and sales calls to identify patterns, then uses this acquired knowledge to provide real-time coaching for call center agents.
This software hits on multiple aspects of TX. It enhances EX by providing support in the moment instead of just after the call is over. Unexpected customer situations are inevitable, but having a helping hand to guide agents through these situations can keep call times down, thereby improving productivity and customer satisfaction.
Call center leaders don’t have time to parse through every call a rep makes to identify areas for improvement. But with the right software in place, you can gain access to call scores that provide a top-level view of what employees struggled with that week. These insights make the process of perfecting TX less abstract and more immediate.
Regardless of what technology you choose to implement, it’s important to ground your decision-making in a specific problem or objective.
Many call center leaders fall into the trap of dictating team culture without actually consulting their employees. You can guide EX, but it starts with the lived experiences of your agents. When considering potential technology solutions, consider the challenges your agents are experiencing and work backward from there.
TX is an Ambitious Goal but Worth It
If your call center is interested in improving EX or CX, you need to consider all the factors at play. Employee and customer satisfaction are intrinsically linked and influenced by external factors such as user and MX.
Taking a holistic approach through TX is undoubtedly a more complex endeavor than focusing solely on CX. However, it pays dividends. TX unlocks your call center’s full potential by helping foster customer loyalty, attract new customers, and generate repeat revenues. And by leveraging the right technology, you can give your employees the support they need to put a TX-centered approach into practice.