The Emotional State of the Customer
Like most businesses, call centers continually try to improve their Customer Experience. The happier customers are, the more profitable call centers are likely to be. During Part 1 of the Customer Experience series, we discussed the vital nature of a call center interaction, and how negative conversations greatly affect your business. During Part 2, we’ll focus on the customer side of the conversation, and discuss how their emotional state and the skill of your agents can make or break a call.
In an ever more competitive environment, call centers continually strive to improve their Customer Experience. A debt collection agency, for instance, will find it easier to come to an arrangement with a debtor if the phone calls are polite, efficient and professionally-handled. Similarly, if you have well-trained and professional call center agents operating the customer support department, you will find that your customers may become less negative towards your company, despite their initial concern.
The emotional state of a customer has a huge impact on the quality of a call. A call involving a happy customer will most likely have a better resolution than a call involving an angry, aggressive customer, who an agent needs to appease. Happy customers often become repeat customers. Everybody benefits from calm, rational, well-handled calls.
The Customer Experience in a call center directly correlates to the agent’s level of service. A skilled phone agent, who can modify the flow of a call depending on the emotional state of the customer, will lead to a successful outcome for the customer. A happy customer, in turn, will bode positive results for the business, allowing for upsell opportunities, positive reviews, and long term customer loyalty.
Survey v Predictive Analytics
Traditionally the way to determine customer satisfaction is through surveying after the completion of their interaction. This is the only method for determining whether the Customer Experience was positive or negative. The problem is only customers who feel strongly are likely to respond to the survey request.
Surveys therefore show you a small percentage of customer interactions, often as little as one percent. The results are a highly subjective, often biased, view of Customer Experience. Surveys very much demonstrate the old saying that “the squeaky wheel gets the grease”, in that they focus on the loudest complaints from a small sample, ignoring the vast majority of interactions that did not produce a strong positive or negative result.
Surveys are highly subjective. Just as the phone calls can be greatly affected by the customers’ emotions, so can the surveys. Survey data obviously depends on the state of customer emotions at the time they record their views on the conversation. Thus, survey data only give a call center limited insight as to the quality of their calls.
A much better alternative is RankMiner’s Predictive Voice Analytics. Every call that passes through the call center will be systematically analyzed producing results without subjective opinion. In the vast majority of agent-client interactions customer emotions will be relatively neutral, and agents will handle the calls appropriately. However there is hidden value in every call if you have the right tools that allow call centers to fully understand the customer experience their agents are providing.
Using RankMiner’s predictive voice analytics, any unusual calls will be flagged for review, so that your supervisors can target their focus on these call interactions. Any seemingly average calls will be analyzed and scored based on the raw customer emotions, not subjective survey data. Often a phone agent will think the customer sounded neutral, but if the caller expressed subtle tones of frustration, RankMiner will recognize that emotion. Now the call center executives will be able to gauge the true quality of their Customer Experience based on objective data from 100% of call.
Now with Predictive Voice Analytics, you do not need to rely on a few subjective surveys to see how your customers perceive your business. Their emotions are raw data to RankMiner and we’ll produce an objective report for every call. You can now tell how any customer genuinely felt during their interaction with your call center. You can also tell whether the call outcome was a result of an extreme emotion being displayed by a customer, or whether it occurred because of poor call management, or the emotions displayed by an agent.
With predictive voice analytics providing you with objective evidence about the emotional state of your customers and your agents, you do not have to worry about making incorrect assumptions regarding the quality of your call center. Instead, you can focus on finding strategies to improve results and remedy any problems the analytics unearth.