According to a recent survey by GoDaddy, 78 percent of customers say that competent customer service reps are critical in creating a satisfactory interaction.
Whether you’re operating a call center or are an entrepreneur with a small start-up, what are the strategies you can use to generate the maximum benefit from your phone inquiries?
1. Use a script
It’s not enough for your team to have the technical expertise or product knowledge to respond effectively to customers. And it’s not enough to simply hand them a script and expect them to follow it robotically. They’ll need training in listening skills, perhaps in taking notes, clarifying that they’ve correctly understood what the caller wants from your business, and explaining how they can help.
2. Look after your team
The bottom line – whoever picks up the call and speaks to a customer IS your company as far as the caller is concerned. So it will pay you in many ways to consider, not only the customer’s experience, but also how the person taking the call feels. Are you providing all the tools they need to do the best job? Are they clear about your priorities? Do they have positive working relationships with their supervisors? In this age of AI and automation, keeping the human touch can make all the difference between outstanding and indifferent service.
3. Track your calls
Incoming calls provide a wealth of data that will help you better understand the needs of your customers. Whether you use a cutting-edge call tracking system, with speech analytics that can pick up keywords, or a more basic call-recording and playback system, you should be considering how to use incoming calls to know who your customers are, and what’s on their minds. These insights can be invaluable in helping you to target your marketing efforts.
4. Leverage your CRM system
One of the biggest frustrations we have when calling a business, whether to enquire about their product or to resolve an issue, is the need to repeat the same, often basic information to different agents over and over again.
Ensure you’re using your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools to keep track of all leads, inform agents about the history of interactions with the customer, keep all customer information visible, and provide valuable analytics whenever possible.
5. Resolve customer issues seamlessly
No one enjoys spending time on phone calls trying to get through to the right person who can resolve their issues – it’s one of the biggest time-stealing frustrations of modern life. Poor handling of phone calls is a major incentive for customers to give up and take their business to one of your competitors.
So in addition to equipping your call handlers with the skills and knowledge they need to understand customer problems, empower them to make decisions and resolve issues without the need for callers to be put on hold for extended periods, or passed from person to person. While not every issue can be resolved easily, surprising the customer with a genuine ‘can do’ response and removing the need to go ‘up the line’ can create a powerful and positive impression.