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.
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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