Call center service quality is as much about preventing mistakes as it is responding to demand. What many businesses fail to remember, though, is that it’s also about continually improving standards. This is a fundamental part of call center quality because it increases customer satisfaction while also bringing in more business.

Different departments will see call center service quality in different ways. For managers, it could mean archiving recordings of calls to check employee performance. For owners of the call center or brand, it could mean identifying trends in service requests.

Whether your customer service lines are running at the top of their game or falling short of most KPIs, the many definitions of call center quality can confuse the real question. We’re not going to write today about which KPIs you need or what data you should extract from recordings. Instead, we’re going to give you a specific and actionable opportunity to radically improve your call center quality.

That opportunity is based on product data (in other words, the information linked to products sold online). With this customer service efficiency hack, you’ll improve your call center quality no matter the definition.

Defining Product Data

Before we get into strategy, let’s talk about definitions.

What does “product data” include?

The first place to look is a product listing. All the content there is broken down into specific elements related to that product. Most of the product data on a listing is what’s called “essential product data” because it makes up the bones of what consumers need to know when buying online.

Essential product data includes:

  • Product titles
  • Feature bullet points
  • Product descriptions
  • Weight, size, and other physical specifications
  • Hero product image
  • Metadata
  • Technical specifications (like speed, megapixels, etc.)
  • Ingredients (when applicable)
  • Product warnings (when applicable)
  • And more

The second product data category is called “enriched product data” because it includes non-essential information that helps consumers along the buyer journey. Though it’s not “essential,” this product information is becoming increasingly crucial for consumers. After all, product descriptions alone aren’t enough for someone when buying something normally touched and tried on in-store.

Enriched product data includes:

  • Enriched product descriptions (with added callouts, CTAs, etc.)
  • Virtual product tours and 360-degree tours
  • Product comparison charts
  • Instruction manuals
  • AR-immersive experiences like virtual try-ons
  • Photos and videos
  • And more

Enriched product data also includes marketing collateral that’s product-specific, like a particular product ad used to promote that product on Facebook. Product data, thus, has to do with every aspect of conversions.

What does it have to do with call center quality, though?

How Call Centers are Responding to New Consumer Expectations

Consumer expectations and customer service expectations, specifically, are more demanding than ever. Today, consumers view their high standard of customer service as one of the most important factors when buying from one brand over another.

More than 50% of consumers purchase more from brands they perceive to have “outstanding” customer service. Businesses cannot afford to be lax about the call center attention they provide. They have to keep improving to keep today’s consumers happy.

That means:

  1. Integrating call center attention into the customer service provided on social channels.
  2. Integrating chatbot service into call center attention.
  3. Understanding omnichannel sales and service.
  4. Using strategies with a customer experience (CX)-driven outlook.
  5. Ensuring access to instant and accurate information.

This final point is where product data steals the show. To provide instant and accurate information (for anyone looking or through a call center rep), your whole organization needs access to product data that is complete, accurate, and optimized for each channel a customer might reach out on.

Perhaps, surprisingly, product data is the answer to these other points, too. Let’s see how.

Product Data: The Lynchpin to Meeting New Expectations

Let’s go through one-by-one to see how product data can be used to improve your call center quality (while also meeting new consumer expectations).

Consumer expectations on social media

Organizing complete and accurate product data is step one. Step two is optimizing a dedicated version of that data for social media. By ensuring the best product data on social channels, it puts downward pressure on inbound call center demand. It also acts as a resource for any call center rep in charge of that channel. When calls do come in, product content and information are at the representative’s fingertips to quickly address customer concerns.

Chatbot integrations

Chatbots are powered by AI, and AI needs clearly defined rules based on the best information. Without the most complete and accurate product data, chatbots won’t work like you need them to. The surging customer expectation for instant information can be easily met once the product data behind a chatbot is fully fleshed out (because the AI will quickly find whatever the customer is looking for).

The omnichannel experience

Imagine it: a customer contacts your call center because he saw an ad in one place that said something different than an ad in another place. It’s not just the offer that was different, either—it’s also the size of the product. Worse yet, he already bought the product based on the first ad he saw, but it turns out that was the ad with bad product information. Product data that is aggregated and optimized in a “single source of truth” solves this problem, ensuring the right information can be found just as easily channel-to-channel.

Customer experience (CX)

This is a big one. Call center quality is about more than just resolving a need, it’s also about making long-lasting and deep impressions on your customers.

Product data comes into the mix in an unexpected way. Before a customer even calls in with a need, she might have passed through multiple touchpoints with the brand. There was the ad that first sparked her interest, then a blog she read, then an infographic she downloaded, and then a couple of emails. 

The product data woven into all these channels set the stage for how she thinks of your brand, and it frames how she’ll think of you when she calls. Product data optimized to enhance the customer experience (before customer service is even needed) will improve call center quality by changing the whole context of the conversation.

Access to information

Fewer call center requests come in if the product information customers have access to is accurate and complete. Even when calls do come in, optimized product data will have a huge impact on the outcome of the customer’s call and on the representative’s confidence. Call center reps with instant access to the best information about products will answer questions more easily. They’ll know more about the products to begin with, too. They’ll also be better trained to reply to even the most specific questions.

If that’s not good for call center quality, we don’t know what is.

Your Big To-Do

After all this talk about product data, omnichannel e-commerce, and consumer expectations, we want to funnel you back to the principal message. Product data that is complete, accurate, and optimized for every channel is an incredible asset for call center success.

Of course, getting that library of complete, accurate, and optimized product data is another story. Some businesses have thousands of SKUs to optimize in multiple versions.

Overwhelming? Yeah, a little.

That’s where product information management software (PIM) comes in. Just like CallHippo’s interface was built for on-demand Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) numbers and management, a PIM software was built specifically to aggregate and organize product data into a single source of truth while also providing insights into how to improve the data stored there.

Among other benefits, PIM software allows greater collaboration between departments. Product developers have the data they need while inventory can update their information, and marketing teams more efficiently organize product data for multiple sales channels.

Why shouldn’t your call center representatives collaborate in the same space, too? By granting reps access to the most complete and accurate product data, all the benefits we’ve covered could be yours.

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