Your call center is a vital and necessary part of the business. Whether you’re responsible for customer service or sales, you want to know that your call center employees are able to give their best to each customer in their queue. To implement the best customer service possible, try out some of these tips.
Integrate Call Logging Into Your Process
With CRM software that automatically initiates call logging, you take the burden for this task off of your employees, who may be more caught up in trying to help the customer than in remembering to record all of the necessary data. Call logging enables you to know immediately who last spoke with the customer, how the call went, and what promises or assurances were made. How many times have you had a customer call back for what they claim is the second or third time, insisting that “The girl I talked to yesterday promised that it would be here by now,” or, “The young man I spoke with last week told me I could have X discount,” when you’re sure that none of your employees would have made those promises? With call logging, you can quickly and easily replay the call to determine what was really promised–and therefore what the customer can reasonably expect.
Call logging also has the added benefit of making it easier than ever before to check up on your employees and determine whether or not they are using proper phone etiquette, treating customers with respect, and following company policies. While you’re confident that your employees have been trained well and know what to expect, it’s not uncommon for a customer to call back and insist that they were treated “rudely” by one of your employees. Call logging means that you can be sure of exactly what your employee said–which means that you won’t end up in the position of disciplining an employee who has done no wrong or ignoring an infraction from someone who mishandled a difficult customer.
Train Your Employees in Phone Etiquette
There are some things that should be automatic when speaking on the phone, but for many people, phone etiquette doesn’t seem to come naturally. Train your employees in excellent customer service, making sure that they adhere to basic etiquette and always treat customers with respect. This is particularly important when you’re handling older individuals, who can quickly become offended when they receive what they see as a slight. Remind employees to:
- Utilize the hold button when necessary. Any time they’re speaking to someone other than the customer, it’s probably wise to put the customer on hold.
- Wait for the customer to finish speaking before interjecting. This can be difficult, especially when a customer is going on a long rant about a problem, but listening to everything that the customer has to say will allow your employees to address the real problem when the time comes.
- Keep customers informed. Whether this is over a long-term struggle–for example, waiting for a new shipment of an item to arrive–or a short-term discussion, like putting them on hold while you talk to someone on another line, let customers how long they can expect to wait for a resolution.
- Smile. It seems simple, but putting a smile on your face whether you feel it or not will make your voice sound more friendly. Train your employees to smile when they’re talking to customers to help customers automatically warm to them.
Maintain a Positive Environment
Call centers are a notoriously difficult place to work–especially inbound call centers. Your employees often catch the brunt of customer frustration or anger. As a result, they could consider it a highly negative environment–but you don’t have to let that happen. Develop a highly positive work environment for your employees. Recognize achievements. Offer opportunities to take a break when they need it after handling a particularly difficult customer. Share successes with the office as a whole. By developing a positive work environment, you make your employees want to work harder toward customer satisfaction–and that means that you’re making your customers happier, too.
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