No matter what sport you play, every good athlete knows that cross-training is crucial to staying at the top of your game. Cross-training strengthens your core and makes you more agile and dexterous. Without it, you’re prone to mistakes or injury, and are likely to give a mediocre athletic performance.
The same principle applies to customer service: a multi-skilled team is stronger than teams divided by specialization. This holds true especially for businesses that are text enabling their Toll-Free Numbers. The code of conduct for a great customer service experience via text is entirely different than over voice.
As we discuss the importance of connections, specifically the connection between customers and businesses, it’s crucial to embrace the reality that these connections are happening in new and exciting ways. So the next hiring and training stage for the new breed of call centers, the Interactive Engagement Center, is a hybrid approach, where some customer service agents are purely dedicated to either voice or digital while others can switch between channels. All these are to be measured against one criteria: customer satisfaction.
Teams that can operate over more than one platform make the entire customer service experience stronger. A customer service representative that is confident across social media, phone conversations, and email correspondence will be able to provide the customer with the same level of service no matter how the customer chooses to engage.
Consistency is key, and the key to a consistent voice is cross-training.
Take, for example, how customer service is conducted over email. This long-form way of getting to know and please a customer can be very effective, thanks to its ability to sound personal and thorough without being as time-consuming as an in-person conversation.
But when that same customer reaches out with an inquiry via text, only a trained customer service representative can stay on track on different platforms. With fewer characters to work with and several possible texting conversation styles, choosing the right tone and message is critical to providing consistent customer service.
The next phase of customer service isn’t just one fancy new platform, it’s many. And when the future of your business relies on your relationship with your customers, finding the right strategy for hiring and training service representatives will be the defining factor.
So take a page out of every athlete’s book, and don’t neglect your cross-training — for the health of your customer engagement and the good of your business.