Call Center Customer Service Tips No One Uses But Should

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Every business worth its salt has standard operating procedures in place that help employees understand how to do their jobs step by step. These procedures can make day-to-day tasks more efficient, but they can also cause your employees to check out mentally.

Of course, this may not cause much of a stir for departments that aren’t customer-facing, but for customer service agents who spend their days interacting with customers directly, it can negatively impact your business.

Thus, if you run a call center, you’ll want to do everything in your power to maintain the same efficiency level while delivering top-notch customer service.

Call Center Customer Service Tips Not Enough Agents Use 

You don’t need to read a script verbatim, rush through calls, or even use all of the latest technologies to be a great call center agent. Sometimes, all you need to do is think outside of the box to deliver quality customer support (and possibly get promoted).

Don’t Stick to a Script

Scripts are great tools, but your agents should never have to rely on them completely.

Yes, they can ensure that your agents are delivering a consistent customer service experience for your customers. However, if you’re not careful, old scripts can quickly turn stale, leaving customers feeling like they are just another number in your support queue.

So what’s the alternative?

Instead of rigidly following a script, your agents should focus on mastering the art of active listening. This means paying close attention to whatever a customer says, asking clarifying questions, and responding thoughtfully. 

By responding and reacting to a customer more intently, agents can identify issues more quickly and understand exactly how to provide the best possible assistance. They can also break up the monotony of otherwise routine customer service tasks. 

Similarly, knowing the answers to common support questions is also crucial. Your agents should become adept at using your call center’s knowledge base during calls. This allows agents to access the necessary information without wasting time transferring calls to another department or searching through your help documentation while leaving the customer on hold.

Pronounce Names Correctly Every Time

If you’re running a high-volume call center, it can be easy for your agents to come across names that are difficult to pronounce—and the last thing you want them to do is mess up someone’s name and make them feel like the experience is impersonal.

No matter what the reason, having to correct an agent can be frustrating for callers because it diminishes their sense of being a valued and respected customer. Therefore, if you want to ensure your agents are delivering top-notch customer support, it’s essential that they make a concerted effort to pronounce every caller’s name correctly, no matter how unique it is. 

If necessary, you should install some practices where agents can note down a phonetic pronunciation for every new name that comes into the customer database or call log. Meanwhile, it should also be standard procedure for any agent who gets a name wrong to apologize, start over, and get the name right. They should then practice saying it correctly throughout the conversation until it becomes natural. 

Remember, getting a customer’s name right might sound like a minor detail, but it’s the small gestures that separate good and great levels of service. 

Follow Up with the People You Help

It’s common for follow-up calls to fall through the cracks at call centers. Whether neglected, forgotten, or simply unprioritized, these oversights can significantly impact the quality of your customer service and ruin the overall perception of your call center.

So how do you incentivize the right kind of behavior from your support agents? For starters, you can make follow-ups a consistent part of your service by letting every caller know that you plan to check in with them to ensure the resolution is effective. 

Of course, this should only be done when it’s reasonable to have a follow-up in the first place. If so, ask for their preferred method of communication—whether email, phone, or text—and make a note of it. 

You can also hold your support agents accountable for making follow-up calls by building dedicated KPIs. As long as you have a method of tracking and monitoring your follow-ups, establishing these KPIs will allow you to see which agents are delivering consistent, quality customer support to your customer base.

Read the Room and Respect It

Respect is the name of the game when it comes to customer service. Some of your customers may be naturally chatty and enjoy a bit of conversation, while others prefer to get straight to the point, focusing solely on resolving their issues.

Regardless of your customers’ attitudes, your support agents should treat them all as individuals deserving of respect.

Many agents make the mistake of trying to pull callers out of their comfort zones, which can lead to negative experiences. Instead of ignoring and persisting, it’s important for your agents to pick up on a caller’s tone and other cues during an interaction. 

In other words, learning to read the room is a crucial skill for good agents. This means observing people and watching out for certain moods and unspoken feelings. For example, if a caller gives short, direct answers, then stick to the business at hand and don’t try to force unnecessary pleasantries. 

Ultimately, respecting the caller’s preferred communication style makes the interaction smoother and shows that you value and respect their time and preferences.

Make Sure Callers Have Your Contact Info

It’s unusual for agents to share their workplace contact information with callers—which is often due to personal concerns about being inundated with direct calls or the simple assumption that callers can dial the generic customer service number once again if they need assistance. 

However, when your agents provide callers with direct contact information, it can significantly enhance their experience and satisfaction. This is because customers appreciate having a specific point of contact they trust and know they’ll have a positive experience with. 

Keep in mind that your agents do not have to give out their personal lines or anything like that. Depending on the VoIP phone system you’re using, you can request a dedicated support number or email address that customers can contact.

The ultimate goal is to ensure that customers get the help they need when they need it. If that means they prefer to talk to the same agent each time because of the excellent service they provided before, then embrace it—even if it means your call volume increases a little bit.

Leverage Call Recording and Monitoring

You want to make sure you and your agents have a way of listening to their completed calls for reference and training purposes.

By regularly reviewing these recorded calls, you can identify strengths and pinpoint areas for improvement in customer interactions. 

This can help you find the answers to many questions, including the following: 

  • Where are customers getting confused? 
  • What support questions come up most often? 
  • When does it make sense for your agents to end the call or transfer a customer to another department if they’re unable to resolve the support issue?

While managers will often get the most out of these tools, you should encourage your agents to self-review their calls and examine their own strengths and weaknesses. If they notice certain emerging issues or patterns independently, it can expedite the improvement process during the next training or review session.

A good practice for motivating your agents to leverage call recording and monitoring for their own training purposes is to implement incentive-based rewards. This encourages agents to take ownership of their development and creates a positive and competitive atmosphere that can improve performance across your call center.

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