The customer experience is one of the most important factors in creating a strong business with a thriving bottom line. If your consumers are not happy with the experience they share with you during the length of their interaction – the very definition of the customer experience, according to Forbes – then you can rest assured they won't return for a second one.
The customer experience is especially important in the call center setting. Because of the nature of telephone interaction, it is easy for consumers to become dissatisfied with the service they're receiving and the overall experience they're having. Communication over the phone or internet chats has certain limitations when it comes to conveying emotion and making sentiments clear, but it's also the most cost-effective and easiest way to handle consumer inquiries, complaints, and concerns.
So, how can you deliver a positive call center customer experience every time your consumers pick up the phone? Read on to find out how today's best-loved businesses are making the call center customer experience equally pleasant and profitable!
1. Prompt and Proper Service
While there is a distinct difference in customer service and customer experience, they are certainly related.
Consider this: When a person contacts a customer service line, they're expecting some kind of measurable result. They need answers to a question, or they need help with solving a problem. Perhaps they need a replacement or refund for something that arrived broken or was lost in shipment. Maybe they're having issues getting a product or service to work for them the way they need it to. No matter what the reason, your customers call to find help. Providing them that help is the absolute priority of every person who staffs your call center.
Not only should your customer's needs be met adequately when they contact your call center, but they should also be met in a timely manner. This means that wait times should be as short as possible, representatives should be attentive listeners, and solutions should be presented as promptly as is feasible for the given situation. Making sure each person is attended to as quickly s possible – and with proper attention – will ensure a positive call center customer experience for every person who picks up the phone.
2. Passion for the Product
Whether your company sells goods, services, experiences, or something else entirely, there is nothing that will garner loyalty from your customers like perceived loyalty and love of your product from your employees. Enthusiasm from employees often gives an air of trustworthiness to your business; after all, people are the best spokespeople for products they genuinely use and enjoy. This is why hiring passionate people is one of the best things you can do for boosting the overall customer experience.
Have you ever seen someone working in a retail position or any other job that simply radiates the look of not wanting to be at work? This disinterest in a job isn’t only a visual problem; many call center employees give callers the impression that they'd rather be anywhere other than sitting down with them to address their concerns. Help your staff to understand upon hiring that your company's expectation is enthusiasm and an attitude of graciousness toward every person that dials in.
Fostering and maintaining passion in the workplace doesn't stop at hiring enthusiastic employees. Train your staff to know and love the products they're peddling. Offer them information that helps them share exactly what there is to love about what they're selling. Give them incentives to enjoy their jobs, and that contagious enthusiasm will be sure to be caught by every person contacting your company's call center.
3. Apathy as Your Enemy
Everyone wants to feel valued, understood and heard. When your customers contact a call center, they're likely not calling just to have a chat. These are paying customers who have encountered a problem, are having issues with your product, or need to address questions or concerns. To provide a positive call center customer experience, you need to provide a sense of understanding and empathy for these concerns. That empathy – even if it is trained into the speech and writing patterns of your staff – will help them connect to your customers on a personal level and make those customers feel like their thoughts and feelings matter.
4. Create Company Experts
When a person contacts a company representative, they're looking for answers of some kind. It can be very frustrating and disheartening for a consumer to contact your call center and be repeatedly referred to someone with the specific knowledge necessary to answer their question. While no single employee can possibly know the answer to every question a customer might ask, it's important to offer them adequate training and equip them with the knowledge and skills they will need to proficiently answer the majority of questions they encounter. This way, customers won't have to tolerate the inconvenience of being passed from person to person throughout your company's chain of command, just to address a single issue!
5. The Customer is Always Right
It's a business cliché, but the policy of making the customer feel as though they are always right really does go a long way in the call center setting. If there is a way for your employee to provide an immediate solution for your customer, this is always the best course of action.
Sometimes, making amends for what's troubling your customer is not immediately possible. IF this is the case, consider offering some kind of consolation in the form of free product, discounts, or other incentives to keep customers coming back. You might be amazed at just how quickly a person's negative perception of your brand becomes positive upon receiving even the smallest gift as an apology!
Your customers are your company's lifeblood. Disappointing or upsetting your customer base means dooming your products to market failure. Far too many businesses that rely on call centers and similar setups to maintain communication with customers do not prioritize the call center customer experience – and their bottom line suffers. Invest time and energy in creating a positive experience for consumers when making contact through your call center, and your brand is sure to reap the benefits.