Call centers have come along way from the institutions that emerged in the 1960s to efficiently handle high volumes of customer calls. Today’s call centers have evolved with emerging technologies, and changed tactics based on consumer needs, but at the root of call center developments still stands the ever important need for high-quality customer service.
For many consumers call center agents are the face of the companies they are reaching out to, as they may be the first, if not the only contact customers have. The level of service received in a call center can determine whether or not customers continue to do business with a particular company. It is crucial that agents do all they can to improve customer satisfaction rates. Some key tactics for success can be: reducing hold times, providing excellent servant leadership, and managing the call flow effectively.
Keep Hold Times Short
Most customers enter into interactions with agents expecting them to be able to solve their problem or answer their question without placing them on hold. While putting a customer on hold is sometimes necessary, it is important to remember that most customers do not view a company as having multiple layers and teams. Customers, may view a firm as one massive structure, and they expect the call center agent they have been connected with to have the right information for their need. Though it is best to keep transfers or hold times to a minimum there are a few simple steps that can decrease waits and increase the chances of giving customers a good experience and a positive impression.
• Explain the necessity of a short hold. When call center employees need to put someone on hold, they should explain what they are about to do and why. When a customer understands how the process is unfolding and that a brief wait is vital in order for an agent to solve their problem, they are more likely to be patient and understanding, thus streamlining the entire process.
• Regularly train agents. Call center employees are a direct link between a company and its customers. Positive or negative, the experience will define what customers think about a business. Recurring training and coaching for call agents is vital to reducing waits and producing a high level of positive interaction with the public. Daily refresher courses can help agents remember what to do and provide them with the latest product and service information so they have the best possible chance of providing customers with good experiences.
• Use a knowledge base. A pool of information available to agents can dramatically lessen waiting times as well as enhance customers’ experiences.
Modern business is fast-paced and globalized, and companies are expected function quickly and make the most of resources. By empowering and building up employees through servant leadership, businesses can enjoy success both now and in the future. Servant leaders focus on finding new ways to encourage others through helping them discover and exercise their own powers and abilities- and then giving them the tools to use them. When businesses focus on enhancing servant leadership within the ranks of call center employees, they can provide improved customer service.
Organize Call Flow
Call center agents specialize in different areas. One agent is not going to be equipped to solve all problems they may be presented with alone. Businesses should ensure that their call center has measures in place that efficiently route customer calls to the agent who can best help them. There are a variety of useful software available to help companies develop an effective forwarding system.
Enhanced Experiences for Agents and Callers
By incorporating enhanced practices and techniques, businesses can further the call center experience for customers as well as for agents. Reducing hold times, empowering employees by fostering an atmosphere of servant leadership, and managing call flow are just some of the ways companies can build future success by raising customer satisfaction rates today. Putting good practices in place in these are areas will push your customer interactions further, and make your agents more successful.