7 Customer Service Tips for Call Centers

For most companies, customers are a walking and talking form of advertisement. In many cases, customer service call centers may be the only place where a company has direct interaction with its clients. It is essential that the right amount of attention and courtesy is delivered over the phone to customers. However, striking the right balance between keeping customers happy and dealing with irritated customers eager for a quick resolution can be challenging.

customer service

You want your call center to not just provide good customer service, but to provide a customer service experience that stands out from the rest. Here are 7 tips that call center managers and agents can use to improve their customer service experience.

1. Body language

Have you ever heard someone say; “I heard their smile over the phone”? That’s because your mood, thoughts and body language are all aligned with the way you behave and act. A person who is having a bad day is more likely to reflect a negative attitude over the phone through their tone of voice and responses.

To avoid letting any frustration leak through the phone, make sure you are sitting up straight when you’re on the line, and try to speak with a smile. Improving your body language will emit a friendly and engaging energy over the phone.

2. Listen before speaking

After dealing with multiple calls regarding the same general issues, you may already have a pre-conceived notion of what the customer’s issue may be along with the solution from the beginning of the call. As tempting as it may be to cut them short, never interrupt the customer. Listen to them fully and allow them to express their complaint or problem entirely.

By doing so, your customer will feel more valued. This will also ensure that you are, in fact, addressing their specific issue properly.

3. Be your customer’s advocate

A customer wants to feel understood. Speak with authentic concern in your voice and say phrases such as, “I completely understand how you feel,” and “you’re right to be upset.” Making customer care the main priority will promote customer loyalty, and that alone is of immeasurable value to any business.

4. Values-based service

Brainstorm a list of values and principles that should be reflected in every phone conversation at your call center. Some examples include respect, trust, and awareness. The list can be created as a team or individually. If done as a team, the activity will produce a clear company culture among staff members. Print this list out and display them in the office or in your workplace as a reminder of how you want your customers to view your service. These principles can also be used as ‘metrics’ to track performance based on customer feedback.

5. Offer a callback option

We’ve all experienced this scenario: A customer waits a decent amount of time for an available agent. They finally get an agent on the line, and just when they are about finished explaining their problem, the call drops. The customer is extremely frustrated when they realize they have to call back and start the process all over.

This is common, but restarting the entire call process can easily be avoided by making sure the caller’s contact information is collected. Some call center software may automatically do this, or it may have agents ask for the customer’s phone number at the beginning of a call and offer a callback option if the need arises. This allows call center agents to handle problems effectively and in their entirety.

6. Monitor call center effectiveness

Evaluate which methods are effective in increasing the overall level of customer service by implementing call recording software as a tool for monitoring calls. In order to build a good reputation in the community, it is important to make sure improvements are being made.

7. Promote yourself

Once you have made a name for yourself and have been proven to provide excellent customer service…let the world know! Highlight how your service differs from the rest via social media or marketing materials. The key here is to make sure you have an existing customer base that can attest to your claims. Engaging your customers by maintaining a good social media presence can be the driving force for fostering loyalty and distinction.

These tips will ensure that agents provide the best resolutions and support to their clients. Don’t just deliver good customer service; deliver a unique, helpful, and friendly customer service experience that builds relationships.

Daphne has been writing about customer service and business related topics for many years and currently writes on behalf of the call center recording specialists at Kova Corp. In her spare time, she enjoys capturing moments through a camera lens; traveling to new and far away places and cheering on the Florida State Seminoles. Follow her on Twitter @daphnelefran

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Winning the Hearts of Your Customers

good customer serviceAn office at one of the world’s best business centers, a fleet of high-end company cars, and droves of black-suit clad managers do not necessarily make a business a success. What you have to pay attention and devote time to are your customers. They are the heart of your business. Without the pulsating beat of your customer’s support and patronage, your business will not survive.

If you want to reach your profitability targets, you have to make sure that you do the right thing in winning the hearts of your customers.

Connect – You have to reach out to the right target market. In today’s highly interconnected world, there is no excuse not to connect with your customers. There are various venues for this both online and offline. Traditional businesses would advertise in tri-media to get their messages across. Today, there is an added dimension to the customer communication – customer feedback. You know for sure that you have connected when they respond to your efforts to reach out to them.

Satisfy – The next step that you have to take is to satisfy your customers. Nowadays, it actually goes beyond mere satisfaction. Businesses are competing with one another to wow their customers in such a way that they become the company’s real-life brand ambassadors and endorsers. Customer satisfaction comes from a genuine desire to exceed customer expectations. It comes from listening to the real voice of the customer.

Build Relationships – Once customers are satisfied with your products and services, you can start building a relationship with them. Build brand loyalty. For some companies that carry products that serve consumers womb-to-tomb needs, this means a lifetime of customer relationships. You can be as personal as you want to be. Some financial institutions send out birthday cards to their top depositors. While some companies go to the extent of sending a representative to bring flowers and balloons to a customer who just gave birth.

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High Tech and High Touch: Balancing Innovation with Customer Service

People can do so many things today that do not require human contact. Even the online customer service facilities of some companies have already been automated. When customers send in their inquiries, they are often answered by robots or recorded messages. It cannot be denied, however, that people are innately social. This means that consumers still crave for human touch no matter how much they demand for convenience and quick service. Balancing innovation with customer service is a challenge that most companies today face.

customer service

This challenge is not too difficult to address. There are still ways to deliver high touch service without sacrificing high tech innovations. In fact, technology should be used as a way to make initiating and nurturing long term customer relationships possible. Companies should be able to use the technology available to them in opening more channels of communication with their customers.

The following are some ways of balancing innovation with customer service:

Go Social

If you are not already in the social networks, you are missing perhaps the biggest high tech way to give high touch service to your customers. Be where your customers are. Get to know your customers. Talk to your customers. Social media posts give you an opportunity to get more personal with your customers. The best thing about going social is that it does not cost much to reach a significant number of target customers.

Go Mobile

A lot of people today do things on-the-go. Having a mobile app or customizing your site for mobile browsers is a must if you want to be easily accessible to your customers even when they are away from their computers. A lot of the bigger companies even have lifestyle apps for their customers to use even when they are not online. Some examples of this are diet planners or calorie counters for weight loss products and recipe box and meal planners for food brands.

Go Live

Making use of high tech customer service platforms does not mean that you have to go cold and impersonal. You can actually still go live even if you are on a budget. This is a service that you can outsource if necessary. There are also software programs that you can purchase to allow you to maintain just a handful of customer service personnel to entertain your customers and prospects. Balancing innovation with customer service is possible if you adopt the right attitude and find the right tools.

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The Power of Live Customer Service for Online Businesses

In today’s high-tech age, consumers are still looking for high-touch service. This has been proven in many consumer studies that show increased sales when customers are able to talk to a live person who represents the company they wish to do business with. There are many advantages to having live customer service for online businesses. It is recommended that online businesses explore the option of offering a live chat service in their websites.

live customer service

Opportunity for Conversion

Studies show that consumers who shop online are more likely to make a purchase from a website that offers a live chat service. Seeing that live chat button allows them instant access to a company personnel who can answer their inquiries and ease whatever apprehensions they might have about the products and services they are interested in. The company can take every request for live chat service as an opportunity to close the sale right then and there. Live customer service for online businesses should be staffed by people who have both sales and service orientation.

Lead Generation

A lot of companies are more aggressive in their live chat services. Instead of simply waiting for customers to click the chat button, they are proactive in asking or inviting the customers for a “chat.” Live customer service for online businesses is now more than just answering customers’ inquiries. It’s about initiating conversations with customers so that valuable leads are generated. This is done by getting the customers’ important information. This way, even if the customer does not make a purchase during his visit, the company can continue to communicate with him to convince him to eventually make a purchase at a later time. When companies are able to maximize the lead generation capabilities of their live chat service, they are also able to build their database of qualified prospects that they can tap for more revenues.

The Technology of Live Chat

There are companies that specialize in providing software and support for live customer service for online businesses. These companies can customize live chat packages to suit the needs of the businesses that they serve. While these services do not come for free, the potential revenues that businesses stand to gain from having a live chat facility on their websites are significantly more than what the company has to spend. A live chat service is a wise investment for any online business today.

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Latest Technology for Customer Service Roles

It’s true that technology has had a huge, resonating effect on how we can communicate with one another. It’s also true that the customer service industry is based largely (or even wholly) on communication, which means there is no service role more in need of helpful technology. At Com2 we are all about helping business connect to their clients, and as such have compiled some great communication systems that are designed to enhance the customer service experience.

customer service roles

What if you could automate your customer feedback surveys?

You’d be able to constantly gauge the satisfaction of your clients! This is now possible with new customer service feedback software, which can send your customer a survey after each request to monitor how they viewed their experience. By opening the door to criticism and working with your customer to overcome any shortfalls, you can effectively nip the problem in the bud. You also allow direct contact for your customer to vent, rather than waiting for them to find you on a public forum such as Facebook to announce their displeasure.

Get real-time reports

Sick of waiting around for end-of-month reports? Monitor your customer’s satisfaction in real time by getting on top of all your statistics. Flag those overdue requests, understand which complaint is most prominent in your business and no longer spend countless hours poring over the facts when you can have it sent straight to you anytime, anywhere. This is the reality of real-time reports and dashboard software.

Simplify your workflow

Workflow is one of the toughest aspects of business to figure out, especially in customer service roles. With automated workflow software, you can share with the customer or client exactly where you are in solving their issue or request. They remain updated and you get to spend more time working productively on their case. These features help to alleviate a potentially frustrated customer as well as move their request through the queue to the correct service agent.

Compile your own business Wiki

If you’re staff are constantly asking each other the same questions, it may be worthwhile to invest in an internal knowledge base, kind of like your own business Wikipedia. There are many systems available where you can create your database and update it easily, making one large internal location for all your documents and files. With these types of systems you can cut lost time by providing a wealth of information associated with your business to your employees for swifter referencing and training.
Give your customers the tools to answer their own questions

We all love feeling accomplished, and now your customers can too with online self-service. This software identifies questions that are asked frequently and compiles them into a single section of your website. This allows you to go into greater detail for each question the one time, saving you an unmeasured amount of time answering the same questions again and again.

There is much to be gained from the latest in customer service technology, and at Com2 we’re sure this is just the beginning.

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