Call centers have been flooded with an unprecedented amount of call volume since the beginning of the pandemic as customer behavior has shifted from physical interactions to digital transactions. In fact, in 2020, we saw enterprise contact center call volumes jump over 800% from normal levels (Source: Pindrop). In turn, this has had a negative impact on the customer experience (CX) for all of us as businesses have been slow to adapt. For example, Average Handle Time (AHT) increased from an average of 3-6 minutes to over 10 minutes (Source: GEP) which directly correlates to an increase in Abandonment Rates (AR) as customers are seeing a spike in hold times and are sick of waiting and just drop the call as a result.
Sick of Excuses
At the beginning of the pandemic, as shoppers, we were sensitive to the situation that hit us all in the face almost overnight and accepted the sharp decline in our buying and support experiences. But here we are a year later, and in most cases, still taking the grunt of retailers’ weaknesses in adjusting to the new normal. It’s now becoming unacceptable, and consumers have become less forgiving leading to a nosedive in Net Promoter Scores (NPS) for many.
Sumit Aneja, CEO of Voxco states, “In this modern age, there’s no excuse for a bad net promoter score.” Of all the numbers a business could measure, the Net Promoter Score is among the KPIs most closely monitored, and for good reason. Businesses with the highest NPS consistently grab the biggest share of the market. In fact, studies have shown they outgrow their competitors by 2.5X.
The unfortunate reality is, NPS scores have completely plummeted. According to Qualtrics, the aggregate of NPS across 20 industries has dropped by more than 50% as businesses have failed at keeping up with the goliath shift to digital activity.
This sharp decline in NPS should not be a real shock to anyone as most companies do not have the right technology or people in place to handle the increased volume in the digital world. Couple this with the fact that executives have been prioritizing cost savings over customer experience for years.
To make matters worse, the experiences most companies are providing do not align with the customer preferences we have today. According to a study conducted by Zendesk, less than 30% of companies offer self-service, live chat, or bots which are what consumers are expecting here in 2021 and beyond.
From a contact center perspective, the existing tech stack and approaches being used are leaving some major holes that are negatively impacting NPS for many.
Some examples are:
- Repetitive Work: Call center employees are challenged with tackling a large amount of repetitive work involving mundane tasks leading to less productivity and a disgruntled workforce.
- Lengthy Ramp Time: On average, it takes seven months for a new agent to become proficient (Source: Aberdeen Group), and with the WFH mandates, this has made training and coaching even more difficult.
- Performance Gap: There is a three-fold difference in the performance and revenue generated by the top expert and the median performer on the team. This means customers are almost always dealing with a mediocre to low performer in their interactions.
- High Turnover: The Call Center has always had a huge problem in finding, keeping, and leveling up top talent. Call Center attrition is the #1 KPI killer, and rates are hovering around 40% across the industry (Source: SWPP).
Around $75 billion is lost every year on poor customer service experiences while 74% of customer service leaders say that they don’t empower their agents to deliver the right customer service with the best tools (Source: ICMI).
Your customers want you to invest in the latest customer experience technology. In fact, 57% of customers say that change is crucial for you to do so (Source: Salesforce).
A Modern Approach
We now live in a world that requires instant gratification, and we can thank the mass adoption of smartphones, social media, and consumer-friendly apps for this. This has led to heightened expectations for us as customers as we no longer tolerate endless hold times, incompetent service agents, or handoffs.
One bad experience today is all it takes to lose a customer (for a lifetime) which is why executives are now prioritizing CX over all else.
A modern approach focusing on the consumer experience and improving NPS will almost certainly involve AI in the contact center as this market is targeted to go from $800M (2019) to $21B by 2028 (Source: Adroit Market Research).
Improve NPS with Cresta®
Cresta turns every sales and service agent into your best agent. Our real-time expertise AI uncovers expert behaviors from every customer conversation and amplifies them with real-time assistance and coaching.
Unlike conversational AI and speech analytics which focuses on automating people and post-conversation insights, Cresta uses patented AI and real-time architecture to optimize conversations as they take place. This dramatically improves NPS as a result. In fact, Cresta was able to drive up NPS by 19.1% for a top 5 SaaS company in less than 5 weeks.
How We Do It:
- Real-time guided responses – Quickly address customer needs with real-time guidance that references your knowledge base.
- Personalized coaching during every conversation – Help agents continuously improve with live coaching based on top performers and industry best practices.
- Automate repetitive workflows – Deliver to your customer faster with quick access to knowledge base articles, increased concurrency, and automated ticket creation.
- Report on agent and team performance over time – Understand your team’s strengths and weaknesses and identify tactics that are working and those that need more fine-tuning.
Customer service leaders simply select the metrics that matter most to their business (i.e. CSAT, AHT, NPS in this case), and Cresta takes care of the rest. As teams interact with customers, our Expertise Engine is continuously learning, observing, and identifying top performing behaviors.
From here, our real-time assistance and coaching put insight into action, allowing customer service teams to:
- Automate repetitive workflows
- Bridge the performance gap between top-performing agents and the rest
- Cut agent ramp-time in half
- Answer questions faster
- Take on more calls/chats
- Improve customer interactions
- Ensure compliance
Customers demand expertise. According to a Zendesk report, the most important element of a good customer experience is interacting with an agent who understands the issue (51%) and has the potential to resolve that problem quickly (49%).
You can think of Cresta as having the greatest chess player in the world in your ear, telling you every move to make in real-time. This makes every one of your agents, your best agent and become Experts on Day One®