Illustration by Anderson Cardelli for Pipeline

Errors or oversights caused by staff and functions outside of the contact center can create a significant amount of call volume. Other departments can create further inefficiencies and frustrations for contact center agents by dragging out the turnaround time for responding to customer inquiries.

You can improve the overall customer experience and your center’s performance by driving end-to-end process excellence. Industry experts have identified four proven strategies.

Identify Service Barriers

Identifying the barriers that lead to a poor customer experience (and increased traffic to the center) requires an enterprisewide review of customer touchpoints and call drivers. There are tools available that can identify opportunities for improvement, such as speech analytics (e.g., identifying keywords or phrases that indicate timeliness or departmental issues) and quality monitoring (e.g., conducting source-cause analysis on the extent of calls and errors). Comparing your website analytics to call types can also help you to pinpoint top customer issues.

An empowered front line is another effective source. CSRs are in a position to catch most customer issues, and to work both upstream and downstream to identify gaps and partner with other departments to fix the root causes of customer concerns.

Create a Collaborative Focus on Process Improvement

Wherever possible, key performance metrics should be shared across and among various business units to drive mutual goals and outcomes. Take the first step toward enterprisewide process improvement by sharing with other departments the metrics that reflect your customer service strategy. Your long-term objective should be to ensure that the entire channel—contact center, branches, stores, back-office operations—also are using metrics that reflect the customer service strategy.

Lead the Charge

Often, a clear understanding of the individual and organizational benefits of improving service processes is all that other business units need to see to get on board. Be specific about what you want when explaining your vision and goals. Make sure that other departments understand that helping the center to improve its service delivery will ultimately lighten their workload and the volume of issues that they have to handle, as well.

Continuously Reinforce Customer Service

Maintaining a companywide focus on service excellence is not a once-and-done process. You can reinforce the contact center’s mission, goals and direction through a monthly email that highlights company events and activities that will impact the center, as well as the center’s objectives. Set up monthly or semi-monthly information-exchange forums at which every department offers an overview of what’s going on in their area. Make sure that service-related projects are discussed and get agreement on which projects resources should be assigned. Send out monthly service bulletins that highlight the center’s metrics, identify the top call and email reasons and let everyone know about projects or improvements dedicated to resolving those issues.