September 22, 2016
Contact/call centers are an exercise in efficiency. How can you receive and respond to hundreds of questions, requests, and complaints in the most efficient way possible? There just isn’t time to dawdle. In your pursuit of efficiency and excellence, we recommend developing customer personas (also known as a buyer personas). It can both help your on-boarding process for new hires as well as guide your agents through their average call.
If you have not made customer personas for your key audiences, follow the guide below to get started.
What Is a Customer Persona?
A customer persona is a caricature of the kind of person who would seek help from your contact/call center. If you really look at all the different people your agents talk to throughout the day, you’ll start to see some broad stroke similarities between them. Perhaps they are all approximately the same age or have the same level of education. Perhaps they have many of the same family dynamics or careers. All of this is vital insight into who your customers are as people.
By charting and mapping your average caller, your agents can get a general impression of the customer before the call ever even begins. This can be very valuable in sussing out what the caller wants and needs.
Writing Your Customer Personas
Search through your call records, scour your CRM, and talk to your agents to gather the necessary data to produce your customer personas. The more information you can gather, the more accurate your personas will be.
Sometimes a company could have two, three, or five different personas reaching out to them. That’s fine as well. You can—and should—have more than one persona. Remember, don’t force your customers into persona buckets. Let the buckets form around the groupings that already exist.
- Personal Data: Figure out where most of your customers live, how old they are, their education level, whether they tend to have kids or not, and similar information. This can be used to sketch a general idea of what their personal lives are like.
- Career Data: What kinds of jobs do your customers tend to hold? What is their average day like? Who do they report to? These questions are especially pertinent if your company is a B2B organization, but even in a B2C field, this can provide valuable background information about their professional lives.
- Goals and Challenges: This field will help you determine what most customers are looking for when contacting your team. An example goal could be to troubleshoot an issue in your company’s software, while an example challenge could be limited familiarity with computers and the internet. By understanding what your customer is looking for and the roadblocks ahead, a contact/call center agent can move the combination in a productive direction.
The Limits of Customer Personas
While at Mindsight we stress the value of customer personas to achieving your contact/call center goals, it is important to recognize their limits. At the end of the day, you’re still talking to a real person. Real people can’t be entirely explained by a handful of persona buckets. Before you think you know who you’re talking to, listen to what they have to say. The unique circumstances of each call should guide your decision-making just as much as your customer persona. If you try to make your customer persona too perfect and narrow, you’ll find more and more people who diverge from the mold in important ways.
People are people, and personas are personas.
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Mindsight, a Chicago IT services provider, is an extension of your team. Our culture is built on transparency and trust, and our team is made up of extraordinary people – the kinds of people you would hire. We have one of the largest expert-level engineering teams delivering the full spectrum of IT services and solutions, from cloud to infrastructure, collaboration to contact center. Our highly-certified engineers and process-oriented excellence have certainly been key to our success. But what really sets us apart is our straightforward and honest approach to every conversation, whether it is for an emerging business or global enterprise. Our customers rely on our thought leadership, responsiveness, and dedication to solving their toughest technology challenges.