Call Center Goals vs. Objectives
To make all things clear, we have to comprehend the difference between these two concepts. If to say shortly, call center goals are the long-durative and all-around plans that can be achieved by completing objectives - the steps which can be gauged and which are often fast to complete.
Now again - when you arrange call center objectives and goals, you must apprehend that to accomplish the call center goals you must form a checklist of required objectives that will guide the firm to success.
Use S.M.A.R.T method
SMART goals are the conception which is described as an anagram of five words: Specified, Measured, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Dependent (anyway there are many varieties).
- Specify the targets to be confident they are understandable and easy to determine.
- Measurability means that the control of call center goals achievement is easily counted and described as metrics and KPIs.
- Achievability is the opportunity to fulfill call center goals in the near term and with reasonable costs.
- Realistic call center goals should contain clearly defined terms and objectives while the efforts and spending must be counted in detail.
- Time-Bound characteristic is about determining the time required to reach the goal as accurately and optimized as possible relative to other tasks.
Why should the CEO choose this method? Smart goals are the shortest tactic to attain these goals - because it covers all issues which may happen while their implementation.
Here is the list of advantages of using the smart goals strategy:
- Improve your rates
- Hire more talented agents
- Greatly decrease clients outflow
- Upgrade the training tactics
- Lower agent turnover and burnout rate
- Do more deals
- Easy implementation of new tools
- Better providing of the buyer’s feedback
And here we have shown only the part of the benefits you can get by using the smart goals concept! But there is another nuance - smart goals require specialists who will set them up. And let us be honest, even the ideal CEO can’t do this job alone - it is not effective or justified. So the sense is to prepare agents of the customer service department to set such targets on their own, such as boosting FCR by 25% per 6 months or increasing response time for social networks by 50% in the next 3 months. The explanation of how to do this is below.
Can management encourage reps to set smart goals?
The role of call center management is to make the agents perform at their best. This purpose is unachievable without the reps’ ability to set the targets individually. The contact center manager must find all possible tactics and methods to teach reps how to determine intents - it’s one of the most significant smart goals for call center managers. This approach has a great benefit - agents will be trained to see their imperfections and know the ways to fix them. Customer service team goals are perfect customer experience, low customer churn, and a heightened rank of optimization of contact center activities. The target of the contact center manager is to be confident that agents comprehend these plans and work to reach them.
Make reps accept the responsibility
Customer service team goals are identical for every team member. Agents should understand the sense of any bourn and agree that it can bring benefits. If you let reps form individual goals, they will become considerably more active and entrusted to perform competently, because it is their responsibility to achieve their targets. As CSRs, they have knowledge of how to set the correct customer service goals. The challenge is only to coach them to be more confident to take the charge and stand prepared for such a trial.
Agents who are applied in designating targets can bring more benefits than you could guess:
- More increased engagement score
- Comprehending their responsibilities
- Knowledge of business goals and business objectives
- Less potential to leave the job
- Higher productivity
- Faster achievement of any customer service objective
Employ dashboards to build trust
The contact center manager is responsible for coaching and controlling employees. In the case of a rep’s training and coaching them to choose targets personally, transparent informational panels are a reasonable tool to build trustful relations between the contact center manager and reps. Using this instrument, the contact center manager can control the overall performance of a rep and share the info with him. In such one-to-one meetings, the rep trains to analyze his results and understand where he needs to enhance his enactment. The supervisor has also to fix all imperfections in up-to-minute mode to help the rep to enhance some aspects of their work exactly when the issue appears.
Give the feedback immediately
That is not a good choice to delay the agent feedback. The representative is a higher dynamic if you set the fast tempo of the communication. Providing feedback is not only about sending the report on the agent’s activity - it is about communicating, analyzing, and perfecting the skills. Discuss individual goals of every rep to understand their issues, needs, and thoughts. Provide reps with data about their KPIs - contact center software has an option for this. Motivate and reward reps who are performing the most satisfactorily. All these activities will boost workers’ happiness and engagement, so the goals would be achieved faster while the reps will work harder and gain new skills faster.
Implement more personal coaching sessions
The most suitable format for operating with agents’ customer service goals is individual pieces of exercise, where the manager has enough time and can put maximum effort into enhancing reps’ stats and rates. These meetings can allow you to understand which reps are more concentrated, which executes better, and which try not too hard. Every employee is unique in his characteristics and methods of work, and only personal communication can help to get these specifics. Check the customer service metrics together, discuss key business goals, and talk about the agent’s opinion about how to acquire customer delight and what call center activity is the most difficult for the rep.
Let us demonstrate a couple of samples
It was talked a lot about theory but now is the moment to see how it works on real benchmarks. Customer service goals for your operators may be different, but call center activity can be gauged in several well-known metrics. These scores may be easily set as reps’ goals. The main tips are to select the right terms and awaited results after achieving destinations, because as you can remember, for SMART targets the major priorities are their realistic and achievable essence. Below are samples suitable for almost any situation:
- Boost the CSAT up to A% per B term
A customer satisfaction score is a very significant metric for any contact center. Unsatisfied customers will prefer another company, but he would never keep doing business with a firm that can’t propose qualitative assistance. Finally, no additional reasons are needed to describe why this rate has to be permanently boosted.
- Decrease Call Transfer Rate up to A% per B term
The call transfer rate is important as it affects the client satisfaction rate. People don’t like to repeat their questions, and what they like even less are long waitings for the next agent or manager to come and help them. Do you desire your clients to be pleased with the service? Then upgrade the enactment until the transfer rate will be minimal.
- Get a new skill and get a score of A on testing
Point a period when the agent should learn a new skill. It is especially important about soft skills, which we have described here. Making your reps teach new skills is extremely important in implementing the perfect customer service experience. Such skills can be get during special training, but to make this process faster set deadlines for the reps to make them do their best. Don’t forget about rewards, because soft skills are difficult to learn.
- Upgrade a chosen KPI (Y percent for X period)
Despite numerous KPIs exist, the SMART goals concept permits improving them one after another. To understand long-term goals examples for call center, just choose the call center metric which is crucial, and encourage reps to enhance it, up to 20% per month. Then monitor who is doing better and decide which agent needs help and which one is on the path to success. Straight KPIs are a good method to empower reps to operate on their improvement, but never try to improve all KPIs together using this technique.
This example list is not exhaustive, so you can shuffle metrics or terms as you prefer. Confirm that there is a possibility to control the process and determine workers who do better or who perform worse. This tactic brings you more than enough data for analysis while the agents will strive to complete the task - this combination is surely perfect, isn’t it?
Objectives of customer service: tactics, strategies, and specimens
Finally, we reached the next piece of the story. We hope that we have explained all about goals’ implementation, smart goals strategy building, and enhancing operators’ accomplishment in the case of working with smart targets. But as we have said at the beginning, goals are attained via attaining objectives. Any customer service objective is a unique element of the strategy - the way how they are developed and implemented determines how fast will the key goals be achieved. Thus, no better choice exists than to study all about a customer service objective as a mark that directs to plan achievement. How do business objectives affect customer service objectives? What objectives of customer service are significant? Can the accomplishment of marks help to enrich the customer service experience? How does the contact center software support choosing and implementing objectives? Can these objectives decrease customer churn?
Prepare to read - we are going to explain the questions and have a little surprise - we will show you the examples of.
Customer satisfaction as a king of all scores
What drives the business? Good product? Good service? Great advertising? Price politics? You know the question - all these elements as altogether. And how can it be counted? To answer this question we have to return to client satisfaction. This score compiles all factors in itself, so the quality of the product, service or buyer support are united as the client satisfaction rate.
But before we will talk about the improvement of this rate, we must decide how to count it and how to collect the data - and there is no single answer. Only you know the preferences of the target audience and you have to decide how to get their feedback - during phone calls or via questionnaires, or via email or chatbot. No matter in what way will the feedback be collected - the plan is to construct the consequences of it. This data gives you all the information about what the clients like or dislike about the assistance - if the queries are compiled in the right way.
So the primary customer service objective is to increase client satisfaction. It is even more than an objective - it is a core business process. Do your best to enhance operators' work in collecting buyers’ feedback.
Do all to gain loyal clients
The client’s loyalty is his opinion of a firm. A loyal customer has more causes to return another time. But how is client loyalty formed? Firstly, it is again connected nearly with the customer service experience. If the client is delighted with the service, he would return again and make another purchase. If the service is bad, the client will never return and can decide to tell his acquaintances to avoid the firm. Is it a fitting final for client-and-brand relations?
So another key customer service objective is to get more loyal buyers. There are two methods, and they should work together: advance the overall service, agents’ performance, and skills while also offering special discounts and presents for loyal clients. Better customer service experience and higher customer service metrics mean more loyalty.
Try to boost Client Lifetime Value
The longer a client stays with you, the more outcome he brings. An easy formula that has to empower you to do all to keep in touch with permanent clients for as long as possible. It is an essential customer service objective because such buyers can bring you much more than one-time shoppers, and what sweetens the situation is that a permanent customer has a high chance to become a brand ambassador. How to make such clients stay? Offer them a special attitude - personal discounts, free shipping, presents on their birthday, personal customer support representative, VIP status, and so on. There are too many bonuses which can be offered that we can’t even put them in an article! Choose the most suitable and be calm that your clients will return once more.
Give attention to the client management
Should we repeat once again that tools like CRM are a must-have? Even though it sounds strange in 2022, some companies can still use Google Sheets instead of a specialized tool. Surprisingly, almost any contact center platform or contact center software can integrate CRM systems in one interface. There is no more necessity to pay for dozens of tools - all are put in one place.
Why are these instruments vital for buyer service? Well, the reality is that by gathering the info you can construct closer relations with a client, so personalized service can be supplied. Client management is one of the measurable objectives - data collected by agents is used to design personal offers or even new products. The benefits don't end here! Use gathered info for lead generation strategy, creating an ideal customer portrait, or segmenting the target audience.
Increase Client Retention rate
Another customer service objective is to make disappointed clients retent. Excellent support service can solve any issues, so customers who have faced it prefer to stay after the help and great service provided. It is a measurable objective to avoid losing customers because of low support reps qualification or bad collaboration in a team. Don’t let any customer stay alone with his problem - provide qualitative assistance and they will evaluate your efforts and attention to the issue.
Customer Recovery as an opportunity
Some clients come for support in an already bad mood. They can’t deal with the product, or they don’t get something about its options, or some bugs or problems happened. Don’t look at this situation as punishment or dirty work. It is a great opportunity to turn the angry client into a satisfied customer. Offer him a special discount or service, provide perfect assistance and, for example, propose the help of a personal specialist. Such service will make the customer believe that you value him and the company will do its best to help him solve the issue. The problem and its nature will be no more important - perfect service will overshadow it.
Work on productivity
One of the easily measurable objectives - is calculated by the number of cases resolved per day or week or by counting the number of calls handled. Your target is quite obvious - make these metrics raise. How to do that? Train the agents to solve all issues during the first contact - higher FCR will affect productivity, so there will be more time for new requests.
Does great customer service boost sales?
Client service affects sales rates directly and indirectly. The first situation is when a possible buyer calls the contact center to discover more details about the service or product. In this case, the rep can convince this lead to purchase by describing the advantages of the product or its features which beat competitors - this is the direct influence. The indirect way has already been explained in this writing - satisfied clients return to a company, make a second purchase or recommend the firm to friends, relatives, etc.
Encourage clients to write reviews
The era of online shopping has made reviews almost the most important factor of influence on potential customers. Before choosing a company, the client wants to see the feedback of previous customers. In the end, the company that is rated the highest is chosen. You can get more reviews by asking your clients for it. Offer a 5% or 10% discount for a detailed review - it is a fair price for your positive image.
Offer perfect CX
The better client’s experience you offer, the more willingly the customer will come back - it is an axiom. Your whole business strategy must be focused on providing a perfect customer experience. There are many methods to achieve this - personalized service, customer surveys, well-trained agents who adapt to customer needs and the communication style, special offers, regular keep in touch, and so on.
Make products for the clients, not for yourself
Do you know how does the client-oriented approach work? When you’re designing products and services which are used by many clients, you have to collect their feedback not only about existing problems but about their expectations. Update products regarding the customer's needs, not yours. Make sure all their wishes are collected, processed, and put in one database so you can decide which of them can be implemented. This principle will make customers love you just because there are not as many companies who hear their audience.
Implement client’s advocacy
The customer is above all - that is the principle that has led us to implement client advocates. This role has responsibilities to collect feedback from customers and ask them about what they would like to change or what expectations about service or product they have. Many companies now invest in customer advocacy to make clients feel their importance. On the other hand, the only way to deserve customers’ love is to provide perfect service and hear the audience’s needs - that is the perfect form of customer advocacy.
Get feedback - no matter the cost
Clients’ feedback is your most valuable resource. It shows the imperfections, describes clients’ wishes, shows your target audience, and presents the ways of improvement of details that you can’t find by yourself. According to this, you should catch all opportunities to get feedback - during calls, in email communications, in web chat, or even in videocalls. The more information you can get from the clients, the easier it will be to understand the problems and solve them. Do you want to update the product? Get feedback about what the audience needs! Do you want to create a new product? Create a survey to know how it will be evaluated! Data, exported from feedback, gives you endless opportunities to improve the service.
Make your employees know what they are selling and maintaining
Investments in product knowledge are important objectives at least because it is impossible to provide qualitative service without it. Organize training for agents which would include practice with a product to make sure they will get an absolute understanding of its nature, pros and cons, its purpose, place on the market, competitors, and issues that happen the most often. Put all needed information into a knowledge base that will have free access for agents to help them get info during calls.
Build warm relations
Do you remember our recommendations about personalized service? It is time to say it again. Putting the client into a strong relationship with the brand is not enough to provide great service. You have to show him his importance to the company. Try to make a special agent call a client every month and ask about his experience with the product, his expectations of further updates, or his complaints (if there are so). Special offers and discounts sent by email or during the call are other great methods to strengthen the relations between the firm and the buyer.
Train, work, and train again!
Connect the training process of the reps with the customer feedback system to see how training sessions affect customer satisfaction and service quality. Count the progress to make changes in the training process. Find and reward employees who perform the best. Don’t forget to put customers’ expectations into the training program to find the balance between improving service and pleasing the community.
Related: Call Center Training Best Practices
Try to boost revenue
Higher revenue - higher profit. These two scores are interdependent, so if you want to earn more try to increase the revenue. Here the customer insights come to help you - by checking their interactions you can find out what they are ready to buy in addition to their previous purchases. Another way is to set revenue KPIs for every unit in a team - but be realistic and keep following the rules of smart goals setting.
Don’t forget about stakeholders
Perfect clients’ service and satisfaction positively affect every stakeholder - no matter it is management or owners, or customers themselves. Overall improvement of the service will bring profit to all stakeholders, so they will be more willing to invest more in the company. And as you know, more investments mean more realized projects and upgrades in the firm.
Optimize costs wisely
Good customer service can help to reduce costs in many ways - by decreasing the staff or by avoiding the problems with a product or service which were determined during customer surveys. One of the main objectives is to decrease spending and increase revenue and profit and there is no better way to do this than to improve the customer experience and service.
Build a positive image
We have already mentioned that reviews are one of the core instruments in creating images and winning the competition with your opponents. But there are other ways to improve the image - video interviews with happy customers, special top-lists of similar products (where you will be put in the high place), articles in thematic media, wise advertising, strong and engaged community, recommendations of influencers, etc.
Motivate clients to talk about you
No matter where and how they will do this - at home with the family or on Instagram in their stories. The more real content regarding your products will be created, the more new customers or at least leads you will get. Encourage people to discuss your service, branding, or even advertising. Don’t be afraid to experiment with the tone of voice, social media, or other things - people like to talk about non-standard companies. Organize a giveaway and talk with winners - and you will get unique and engaging content!
A little conclusion
To finish this story, let’s make a summary. Call center goals are dissimilar from the objectives because they are more long-termed and concerned more with the strategy than with short-termed objectives. Another factor is that a list of objectives creates a way to reach the goal. Smart goals for call center managers are the best tactic to achieve higher performance. The smart strategy is also vital for agents - they should be trained to set up goals for themselves and take the responsibility for reaching them. Use the tools which are offered by the call center software, such as dashboards. Provide feedback more often to encourage agents and organize more coaching sessions.