Customer relations team: back to school in 4 steps

Back to ‘school’!

It’s time to head back to the office after the holiday break.

Feeling down at the idea of going back to work? This new school year is very unusual and will not be easy, between managing going back to work in “flex office” mode, events starting up again, and an activity spike for some of you.

Customer experience can be a differentiating factor between brands, sometimes even ranking ahead of products and price for some consumers. How about making a fresh start the new school year, and putting good practices in place? September marks the start of a new period, and it is the perfect time to make good resolutions and review your organisation with the aim of pampering your customers!

We share our advice on how to fully satisfy your customers after the summer holidays.

Step 1: Anticipate

The first key to managing your customer relationship well is anticipation.

Adjust your resources and be clear about customer expectations

t is essential to prepare your forecasts in terms of contacts per channel based on activity history, and to forecast demand volumes. This will enable you to assess your human resources requirements, and better understand your clients’ expectations and behaviours: What are their main issues during this period? What were the irritants in the customer journey in previous years? What are the possible areas for improvement?

Train your advisors

Customer experience and advisor experience go hand in hand. To ensure good customer relations management during the new season, it is essential to focus on training and building the skills of your advisors ahead of time, so they are properly prepared for the activity spike in September. Call scripts, call recordings… these are tools that will help them understand your customers’ needs and provide the right responses.

Be prepared for the unexpected

In addition, it is important to protect yourself in the event of a major outage or technical incident as the consequences could be significant for your business between data loss, loss of revenue and customer dissatisfaction. For complete peace of mind as the holidays come to an end, and to anticipate any inconvenience, we advise you to put in place a business continuity or recovery plan; in other words, workarounds that can be deployed quickly to keep your business operational in the event of a problem. An extra tip? Imagine all the possible breakdowns so that you can envisage as many simple and quick contingency plans as possible.

Call deflection

In 2021, people go by in average 3,9 different channels to get in touch with customer services. When there are several contact channels in place, it is important for companies to make sure that their customer experience is fluid. One avenue would be to set up call deflection (or call digitisation) up front. This involves redirecting your customers’ calls to an alternative channel (SMS, email, chat, etc.) depending on your staff’s workload and customer requests. For example, if you cannot respond, offer Rich SMS to capture the content of the request and offer to call your customer back at the most convenient time with an appropriate response!

*BVA, Observatoire des Services Clients 2021


Finally, set up self-care tools to cope with the back-to-school rush. The advantages are numerous in the event of activity spikes: it will naturally reduce waiting time because your customers will be able to find answers to simple requests instantly and independently. For example, integrate self-care options that are available 24/7 on your IVR so that your customers can easily find opening hours, answers to frequently asked questions, or pay their bills.

Step 2: reconnect with your customers

Now that you’ve got everything prepared, it’s time to reconnect with your customers! After several weeks without interaction, it’s time to reconnect with them, without being too intrusive. The aim is to show your customers that you haven’t forgotten them over the summer.

To do this, be proactive and reach out directly to your customers via call campaigns, VMS or SMS. Many solutions today help you to create them quickly and simply, to define the parameters according to your needs and to monitor performance.

There are many advantages:

#1: Refresh your database

Changes of position, new staff… Today, there is a lot of turnover in companies and back-to-school time is the perfect moment to update your data and customer information.

#2: Organise Surveys

Take advantage of these call campaigns to survey your customers. This is an opportunity to ‘take the pulse’ and better understand their expectations and needs. This is valuable data that will help you put concrete actions in place to fully satisfy your customers.

#3: Communicate important information

Retain your customers this season by sharing important information, keeping them up to date with all your news or by sending them promotional offers.

#4: Acquire new customers or chase up prospects

Finally, a new year means new projects. Campaigns are also the perfect tools for acquiring new customers or chasing up dormant prospects and former, inactive customers. A tip: use tools that provide smart features (smart distribution, record retrieval, etc.) to boost your advisors’ efficiency.

Step 3: Freshen up your customer service

Now you’re in touch with your customers! Let’s carry on with our new resolutions and put in place concrete actions to freshen up your customer service and start the new season as we mean to go on.

Consumers are increasingly demanding when it comes to customer service quality.

Personalisation and responsiveness are the bywords for a quality customer experience. It is therefore important to give your customers a proper welcome. There are features to enable you to optimise your telephone greeting and ensure effective management of incoming calls:

  • Remember to update your post-holiday calendars
  • Optimise your call routing for better call qualification and distribution. For example, if the caller is a major customer, route them directly to their preferred operator. If the customer’s phone number flags up a loyalty reference number, give the customer choices that are appropriate to their specific needs.

Step 4: prioritise improving the experience by monitoring your customers’ satisfaction

Now that you have concrete actions in place, all you have to do is measure your customer satisfaction.

It is important for you to track your KPIs daily to ensure your customers are receiving quality service and understand the main irritants in their journeys.

To do this, we recommend that you monitor the following customer satisfaction indicators on a daily basis:

The customer satisfaction score (CSAT) is “hot” customer satisfaction, i.e. just after the interaction with your customer service. You establish the scale of values.

The pickup rate is the proportion of calls answered compared to total incoming calls. It helps you to monitor the effectiveness of your customer service.

The average handling time (AHT) ncludes the waiting time before picking up the call, the conversation duration with the advisor, and the processing time after the call. Identify stress points during the customer journey and do your utmost to reduce the average speed of answer (ASA).

The irst call resolution (FCR) rate provides a view of the number of queries that are addressed to customer service and resolved on the first call. Resolving a customer problem quickly will increase customer satisfaction while decreasing the number of call backs.

The net promoter score(NPS) is the probability that a customer will recommend you to others, on a scale of 1 to 10. This is measured over the long term to better detect the consequences of a change in activity level on the quality of your customer relationship.


anticipating and re-focusing on your customers’ expectations are the secrets to fully satisfying them over this recovery period.
School bell’s ringing, time to go for it! And now you are ready to approach the end of the holidays positively and with peace of mind.

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