6 Things Your Customer Service Call Center Agents Should Be Doing During Every Call
Call center agents are the frontline soldiers of providing excellent customer service and solving the problems your consumers call in. Looking for ways to improve their performance – and your callers' perception of your center – only makes sense.
If there is a formula for success when it comes to making your consumers and clients happy, it is handling every call as well as your agents possibly can. What does that mean? It is different for every caller and every agent’s interaction with those callers, but in general, here are six things that a customer service call center agent should be doing every time they pick up the phone:
1. Get Right to the Heart of the Issue
Time is money, as is often said in the world of business, and in few places is this truer than in the world of the call center. Every call that lingers longer than it needs to on the line results in time that could have been devoted to serving another caller – but you don’t want to cut calls too short and neglect to properly serve each customer, either.
The solution is to politely but quickly get to the heart of the issue every time you receive a call. Whether your caller has a complaint, a concern, or simply needs a question answered, you’ll want to get right to the root of the problem as quickly as possible. Be friendly along the way but use direct language and remain focused on the issues at hand to address them promptly and make your consumer feel heard and understood.
2. Avoid Negative Statements
One of the easiest ways for call center agents to provide great customer service is to avoid making negative statements. Instead of telling your callers they must be put on hold, let them know that you’re transferring them to a staff member who is more qualified to address their concerns. Always assure your consumers that their concerns are valid, and their time is valued. They’ll pay you back in high customer satisfaction ratings.
3. Focus Entirely on the Caller
It can be easy to get distracted when you work at a desk or in front of a computer screen all day. Whether it’s something that pops up on that screen or something that catches your attention on your desk, your office is likely filled with distractions that will keep you from giving your callers your undivided attention.
It's important not to let this happen when you can avoid it. Always remain as entirely focused on your consumers as possible, using language that reminds them that they are your priority. If you do have a lapse in providing your full attention to your caller, ask them politely to repeat themselves for clarification. Clear your desk of possible distractions and organize your computer or tablet desktop screen so that there are as few distractions as possible to keep your attention where it belongs.
4. Take Notes
It may not seem practical for an agent to stop during a call to take notes when they have to work as quickly as possible – and that’s because it’s not. To provide good customer service call center agent must be able to do both at the same time.
How? Today's best call center software programs typically offer note-taking sections or widgets that can be used alongside the main components of the programming. These allow the agents using these programs to continue their conversations and take important notes so that they can address issues after the call ends or send directions on to other departments, all without a single pause in their customer service.
5. Remain Calm
Few jobs offer as much opportunity for employees to get upset and become frustrated as that of a customer service call center agent. The type of calls you receive are often loaded with unhappy customers, dissatisfied clients, or confused consumers who are looking for answers or help. It’s like a formula for frustration!
However, a good call center agent not only knows how to handle that potential frustration, they know how to remain calm and pleasant while they take note of the consumer’s complaints, concerns, or questions. Here are a few tips for doing so if you find that you or your staff are having problems doing so:
- Remind yourself or your agents that these calls are not personal. No matter what is said, at the end of the day, callers don’t know your agents personally and don’t mean any harsh words on a personal level.
- Remember your training. Your employees have trained for most scenarios they will encounter during calls. Remind them of training basics regularly so they will remember these techniques when needed.
- Your callers can hear your facial expressions in your voice. Even when you don’t feel like it, try to smile. Soon, it may feel more natural than you expected it to!
6. Ask for Feedback
At the end of each call, train your call center agents to request caller feedback. This may be a difficult habit to get into for agents, especially when they experience call interactions that fall at either end of the positivity spectrum.
Calls that go very well may discourage agents from requesting feedback because they may feel as if there is no room for improvement or nothing to learn from the experience. Likewise, a negative call interaction may discourage a request for feedback by upsetting both the consumer and the agent and making ending the call a priority for both parties.
Work with your agents on preventing emotions from influencing their decisions, especially when it comes to asking for feedback. Caller feedback can be one of the best ways to get accurate information about how a company is doing in terms of consumer relations and customer satisfaction. Make a habit of asking for it every time.
If you still need help with improving customer service call center agent performance, contact the experts at ChaseData. We have the tools and technology you have to train your entire staff to handle every call with a level of professionalism that will leave your consumers looking forward to their next contact with your center.