How do you build meaningful emotional bonds and a human connection with your customers? How do you understand the status of your relationship?
To accomplish this and become a real advisor to your customers you have to make customer intent and sentiment priorities of your organization.
The outcome of your entire organization is visible in the contact center. And contact centers expose everything that’s going well and not so well to your customers across every department of the organization.
When your agents are empowered to build human connections, you can deliver the brand experience you want to put into the marketplace and create a powerful feedback loop across all teams.
Why does customer sentiment lead to human connection?
The ultimate goal of all the metrics you invest time and energy into tracking is to understand whether or not you’re meeting the needs of your customers. There has been a long evolution of contact center metrics. From the simple measurement of handle time, accuracy, resolution to customer satisfaction (CSAT) and net promoter score (NPS), for instance. None of these metrics can be ignored or avoided. However, they are all giving you generalized, rear view mirror feedback on how your customers feel about you.
Sentiment is entirely different, mainly if you can capture it in real-time. And customer sentiment is the only metric that is about them!
To create a real human connection you have to go beyond measurement and metrics. And sentiment gives agents a different kind of power if they hear it as it unfolds.
To get there, you need a different approach to probing – this puts empathy on the table. It starts with listening. Are you determining the spoken and unspoken questions and concerns they’re expressing? What is happening in the course of the conversation? It’s not transactional. It’s a two-way dialogue. You’ll never become an advisor to your customer if you’re transacting.
Investigation is the final component. Now the agent has listened, conversed, and connected. Next, they must know enough about the subject matter to answer the spoken and unspoken questions of your customer. When an agent can deliver this experience, with empathy, your customer will have established a human connection. They will believe that you are capable of advising them and completing the story.
Read part two of this post where we dive into journey mapping and building your training programs around customer intent. You can also check out a recorded session that Jenny led here or learn more about our PACE program here.