Service levels in call centers are at an all time low. Dawn Pici offers some tips to boost your call center customer service.
When contacting a call center you may hear the phrase “This call may be monitored for quality assurance.” Really? Does all this information actually go somewhere? Believe it or not, the answer is yes.
The number of times an individual has to call to resolve their situation, the average handle time, the effectiveness of an individual client service representative, etc. is all recorded and analyzed.
From these statistics, tendencies emerge.
These tendencies reveal that 52% of the time client service representatives at call centers cannot resolve problems on the first call.
This means that if there was a mere 1% improvement, companies would save an average $250,000 per year, not including the financial benefit of retaining clients.
Now ask yourself how much are clients worth to your company over a period of five or ten years?
Below are some changes that can help you improve your call center customer service, resulting in a marked improvement of your bottom line.
1. Enjoy the Call
Begin with a desire to help the client and an attitude of service. This attitude will help create a more positive connection. Positive connections open the door to rapport building. Treating clients with respect while also being able to correctly analyze the problem at hand, making the solution correct and efficient, will help develop rapport and retain clients.
2. Be Optimistic about the Ability to Find a Solution
There is nothing worse than hearing “Oh no!”, “What a mess”, or “I don’t think we can fix this.” Even if the situation will need more extensive help, speak in affirmations. Using more positive statements such as, “I understand how frustrating this is” or “If I cannot resolve this, I will put you in touch with someone who can”, will reduce the amount of negativity and make the client feel important and cared for. This will then, in turn, reduce negative feedback about the company at large.
3. Practice Careful Listening
When clients are asked what the key to excellent service is, they generally say it is demonstrating interest and concern by listening intently. Clarify and be certain you understand what they are saying. Do not make assumptions based on what you think they want. Paraphrase the customer’s questions back to them. This saves time and helps avoid frustration.
4. Make Sure You are Understood
CSRs and customers can often feel like they are speaking different languages. State your case in a way that the client will understand. This may require rephrasing or explaining things in multiple ways, as well as using lay terms.
5. Use a Calm Soothing Tone of Voice
Show your empathy with each client’s situation by expressing a sincere desire to solve the customer’s problem. A bothered or angry tone will rub clients the wrong way, making them either unlikely to engage in repeat business or cause them to file a complaint.
6. Do More than Required
Think about and try to anticipate other problems the client may be experiencing or may encounter based on their initial question. This will greatly reduce the necessity for call backs.
7. On Hold is Not a Positive Experience
Respect the clients’ time by explaining the reason for the live hold. You will be perceived as efficient and accountable.
8. Patience Wins the Day
The more patience exhibited, the more positive and effective the call will be.
9. “Play it Again Sam”
Play back is your best friend. Spend time listening to your recorded calls with your manager. Avoid becoming defensive with their critique. Heightened awareness of behaviors is a powerful tool for improvement. See the good and make note of what was less than effective. Make changes accordingly.
10. Focus on Personal Progress
Seek self-improvement and challenge yourself to improve little by little, day by day. You do not have to be flawless to succeed. Keep looking for ways to improve skills and make positive changes.
The ultimate goal is for clients to say, “I was extremely pleased with the customer service. The agent answered all my questions and was very patient and knowledgeable. This was the best service I have ever had with a customer service agent!”
Your positive attitude, effective solutions, and genuine concern about the client’s challenge are sure to create positive changes in your call center. Respect coupled with a positive attitude will improve both the CSR’s and the client’s experience and lead to an overall better view of the company. Keep answering those phones!
About the Author
Dawn Pici is CEO of Pici & Pici Inc. Pici & Pici provide programs that help improve communication and customer satisfaction, enhance team efficiency, reduce turnover, and create focus and direction for ongoing growth with maximum productivity. Training may be administered on-site, in boot camps or in one-on-one coaching.