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Do You Know Your Customer And Agent Communication Styles?

SQM has developed ground-breaking research and best practices on how CSRs in Call Centers can adapt their communication styles to match their customer’s style resulting in higher call resolution and customer satisfaction.

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Persona Communication Styles

Most agents cannot identify the different persona styles for the customers who call them or are not trained to be adaptive to match their communication style to the Persona Communication Styles of the customers calling them. Therefore, the majority of contact centers do not understand the impact that different customer and agent Persona Communication Styles have on their customer experience (CX) performance.

4 different people with different communication styles

What Are Persona Communication Styles?

Both customers and employees use one of four Persona Communication Styles (i.e., supporter, influencer, analyzer & driver) as their primary communication style when interacting with others. Identifying customer and employee communication styles and applying adaptability style strategies helps agents determine the best way to interact with all customer persona communication styles successfully. Contact centers and agents who provide great CX (e.g., high FCR, call resolution, and NPS ratings) have high adaptive style ratings for handling different customer Persona Communication Styles. An agent needs to identify the persona of a customer they are interacting with quickly and adapt to their Persona Communication Style to deliver great CX and for improving customer satisfaction (Csat).

Persona Communication Styles Diagram

SQM’s Unique Approach to Persona Communication Styles

While there are a lot of ways that organizations measure communication styles, at SQM, we realize the value of letting the customer be the judge for determining their communication style. SQM’s Persona Communication Styles is unique because it uses the voice of the customer. After all, it is the customer’s view that matters most for assessing and improving CX. SQM conducted comprehensive research to determine persona communication styles. Furthermore, our research identifies the agent behaviors and word choices that an agent can use to adapt to a customer’s persona and ultimately provide a great customer experience.

Download the Persona Communication Styles PDF

Overview of the 4 Communication Styles

A man with a report in his hand.

The Analyzer

The analyzer persona likes accuracy and uses data when interacting with an agent.

 

 

A man with a briefcase looking at his watch

The Driver

Drivers are also less expressive but will tell an agent the solution they want. The driver persona wants results and is aggressive.

A womon giving herself a hug.

The Supporter

Supporters are highly expressive but ask for a solution. The supporter persona likes to be friendly, collaborative and is agreeable.

 

A woman jumping with her thumbs up.

The Influencer

Influencers are also highly expressive but will tell an agent the solution they want. The influencer persona is persuasive and innovative.

 

Persona Communication Styles Distribution

Our research shows that each persona has a significant percentage distribution, which suggests that for an agent to provide great customer experience and improve customer satisfaction (Csat), they need to understand each persona. By identifying the customer Persona Communication Style quickly, an agent can potentially avoid the behaviors that can create poor customer experiences by using behaviors and word choices that match the customer's Persona Communication Style.

Persona Communication Styles Chart

Get a complete understanding of your customers communication styles.

Download The Persona Communication Styles PDF

Agent Adaptability Score

To determine agent adaptability capabilities, we asked the customer how strongly they agreed that the agent’s communication style was a good fit for them. To assess agent adaptability capabilities, SQM uses an Agent Adaptability Score. This score is based on the percentage of customers who rated them top box response (i.e., Strongly Agree).

It is important to note that agents with high adaptability scores have the same customer satisfaction ratings across all customer Persona Communication Styles. Low Agent Adaptability Scores represent a great opportunity for most contact centers to focus on improving their agent’s ability to quickly identify the customer’s Persona Communication Style within the first minute of the call and train them on how to adapt their communication style to match the customer's Persona Communication Style.

A chart with world class call centers vs average call centers.

Conclusion

Matching an agent's communication style to a customer's Persona Communication Style will create a stronger connection and enhance their experience in doing business with your organization, resulting in higher call resolution and Csat ratings. Each persona impacts the preferred way a customer and an agent acts, thinks, and makes decisions. By identifying the Persona Communication Style an agent will be able to use behaviors and word choices that match the customer Persona Communication Style.

 

Four different communication styles represented by people.

Improving Agent Adaptability Scores with mySQM™ CX Insights Software

While there are a lot of ways that organizations measure communication styles, at SQM, we believe the best practice for identifying Persona Communication Styles is to let the customer be the judge. What makes SQM’s Persona Communication Styles approach unique is that it is based on the voice of the customer using mySQM™ CX Insights software for identifying personas and our software’s Soft Skills e-Learning Personalized Intelligence™ feature for training agents how to adapt their communication style to match the customers they are talking to.

About The Author

If you liked this article, you can learn more about the author Mike Desmarais, and SQM Group.