When you stop to think about the job of a call center agent in an inbound contact center, it’s really no wonder so many people consider it a stressful task. Talking to complete strangers on the phone, one after another for hours, day after day is enough to make many people anxious. Add in the element of not knowing how those people will be feeling when they call and knowing that they are likely to have questions, concerns, or complaints makes it even more nerve-wracking.
How can you make your agent’s job less stressful - and help them provide better service? How can you ensure that every call center customer has the best possible experience - even if they are upset or frustrated when they call? Here are some tips for calming your caller and keeping your cool - as well as providing an excellent experience to everyone, no matter how they’re feeling when they first dial your number.
Mind Your Manners
Above all other advice you will read, the most important tip for keeping your call center customer calm is to stay calm, yourself. Be polite. Keep your voice even and do not shout. Never be rude or short with a caller, even if they are doing so with you. You will find that a pleasant tone will quickly diffuse a tense situation, whereas an unpleasant one can quickly make it worse.
Make It Personal
In today’s world, everything is so hurried that it leaves little room for a customized experience when it comes to doing business. However, that customized experience is exactly what most consumers are looking for. Experiential shopping and consumption is now the priority for the youngest generations - and these generations make up the majority of the market, moving forward.
If you want to make these consumers happy, personalize their experience. This doesn’t have to equate to grand gestures. It can be as small as using their name appropriately or referring to details that are relevant to them when providing service. By providing a personalized experience, you are showing your consumer that you care about their feelings and that they are valuable to you, which can set them at ease and make the rest of your exchange much more pleasant!
When a call center customer contacts you with a question, concern, or complaint, they are likely to be in a bad mood. Whether they are confused, frustrated, or completely irate, your first task in getting to a solution for them is calming them down. For most agents, this involves reassuring the customer that a solution exists and that the agent intends to find it for them.
Reassurance can go a long way toward pacifying an angry caller or soothing a worrier on the other end of the line. Just remember to remind your consumer that their problem is not their fault and that they are entitled to their emotions, even if you need to help them find a more positive way to channel them!
Remain in Control
While it is critically important to build up and reassure your call center customer throughout the conversation you share, it is also important to remain in control of that conversation. Your agents should be trained toward the goal of maintaining firm control of exchanges with even the most difficult callers. This benefits both your agent and their caller in several ways.
First, more confident agents are better able to accomplish their goals during calls. If you spend every second of your time apologizing for the way a consumer feels and trying to console them, you won’t accomplish anything that they’re asking you to assist them with. Remain focused on your actual goal and in control of the conversation to satisfy the customer.
Secondly, agents who are in control also invoke feelings of respect and trust from their callers. The call center customer is more likely to listen to and take the advice of an agent who sounds assured and in control of the exchange they are having. Ensure that your agents remember this when speaking with consumers.
Talk Your Call Center Customer Through Your Actions
One reason that many callers do not like to be put on hold or to experience extended silence while waiting on the line with a customer service agent is that they don’t know what the person on the other end of the line is doing. While this may sound odd, this confusing silence can be unnerving for your customer. It can also lead to feeling ignored or overlooked.
To prevent this feeling - and keep your consumer both engaged and feeling attended to - minimize dead time and hold time by replacing them with talking callers through your actions. Where you might have once placed a caller on hold while pulling up their information for review, simply talk them through the process of what you’re doing instead. This gives them a visual to focus on and lets them know you’re actively working on their concern.
You know that uniquely warm tone of voice a person has when they are smiling as they speak? That is something that can only be achieved by smiling; you can’t fake it. So, our last tip for those who want to give their call center customer a reason to smile is to give them a contagious-sounding smile to catch. Even if you don’t feel like smiling all the time, research has shown that smiling until you do can change your attitude for the better and brighter - and it can make a huge difference for your caller in terms of the pleasantness of their experience, as well.
No matter what you do to provide excellent service to your call center customer, you’ll need the right tools and technology to do it. To outfit your operation properly, contact the industry leaders at ChaseData. We have everything you need to create an amazing customer experience for every consumer from the ground up. Give us a call today to learn more!