A call center agent’s job is one of the most challenging, yet rewarding and most imperative. From taking orders to providing customer support, sticky situations arise. But how you handle it all can make a difference between creating loyal customers and losing business.
Whether the call center is small or large, it has two agents or two hundred plus, it all starts with the right call center training. Every rep who answers a call should be undergoing a training session. It is an ongoing process which should never stop. Customer care agents should be guided on how to manage both inbound and outbound calls. The situation varies in both cases; former is providing information and handling complaints, whereas latter involves in selling business.
Here is the list of what call center agents should and should not do during a call interaction.
Do’s for Call Center Agents
1) Have in-depth knowledge about the company’s products and services
When agents are thorough with the features and specifications of the product, they have to make least efforts to solve the query or sell the product. This results in establishing credibility, trust and leaves an impression on the prospect’s mind. Moreover, it boosts the confidence of the agent and helps them to cross their line of ability to sell more.
2) Give importance to customer’ s identity
Asking customers details during every call bugs them. To avoid this, train the reps to use CRM solutions. This tool works in improving company’s customer service practices by helping employees respond to client’s queries quickly and effectively. This saves the customer's time and improves agent productivity and efficiency. It even works in providing speedy book keeping and accurate financial reportings of the clients.
According to the Crimson Consulting Group, 50% of call center agents have been using CRM for over a year, and they tend to have a high level of CRM expertise. Two-thirds of survey respondents stated that they are “self-sufficient” or “support others with CRM.”
3) Follow two-way communication process
The agent’s main job is to communicate; first of all they should allow the customers to speak without any interruption. The agent should actively listen and speak only after they finish. Secondly, they must possess the quality of excellent communication skills.
4) Focus on customer, rather than selling
An agent’s entire attention should be on customer’s interest and what they require, rather than pushing them to buy the company’s product. They should focus more on understanding the requirements of the prospects and empathize their situation. This develops customer’s faith in you and they tend to build a relationship. This way, when they will have an issue, they will surely search for you.
5) End-to-End Visibility
Even if the call center agent’s job does not dictate to go beyond the first call resolution, yet still they should be keen to resolve the issue proactively. They must find out the root of the problem to ensure that customers do not call for the same issue again. And even avoid transferring their call from person to person, it plays an important role in shaping the customer’s experience.
6) Take tips and pointers from a successful call center agent
One of the best ways to improve your own performance is to get tips from someone who is doing well. Sit in on calls with a successful call center agent and listen to how they manage their calls and handle customer interactions. Then, incorporate their techniques into your own dealings with customers. By following others footsteps you can add extra efficiency in your work.
Don’ts for Call Center Agents
1) Don’t lose patience
The calmer the agents manage to keep themselves, the more successful they become. Coming across people with different temperaments happens in their day to day schedule. While making outbound calls, few prospects give annoying responses; they become rude and slam the phone at times. Even during inbound calls customers take out their frustration because of their complaints. This demoralizes the rep’s spirit because they cannot respond in the same manner, but if the client abuses - then the caller has a duty to report it to the seniors.
Whatever the reason, do not upset a client because they might not need anything today but they might require it later in the future. If they have a bad experience with you, they will never make a purchase.
2) Don’t rely only on the Script
A script is must for every call center agent. Value proportions, product information, FAQs, unless changed, should be jotted and highlighted on their papers. The reps should be giving exact data to the prospects because they don’t forgive later for false information. But at the same time, avoid narrating every bit from the script, it sounds robotic on the agent’s end. Keeping the sheet for reference is advisable.
3) Do not keep the client’s call on hold for a long time
Keeping customers on hold irritates them. They do not like hearing the background record which says: “Your call is on hold. Please wait for the assistance.” . Rather, it is suggested to keep talking to the customer while searching for the information. The priority of the agent is to get favorable feedback from the attendee and it can be only fetched by giving them utmost attention.
4) Don’t keep running to your Supervisors
Sometimes it is inevitable for the agents to ask the customers to take the supervisor’s assistance. It’s tempting to save everyone’s time and offer to pass them straight up the chain of command, but it shouldn’t happen for three reasons:
- Supervisors lose faith and they miss a chance to move up the ladder.
- Customers would think agents are unaware and uninformed and giving invalid reasons so they don’t call again.
- You will never gain the confidence to give final answers.
If the client request for manager’s help, then of course you should entertain. But in a well-run call centre, your answer and your supervisor’s answer should be exactly the same.
5) Never Say “I have No idea, Sir!”
This is another statement which can completely kill a customer’s confidence in you. No one expects you to know all the answers, but you should at least be confident and positive about finding the ones you don’t know. Otherwise the call experience of the client becomes unpleasant.
As per a study done by YouGov, 76% of customers said “just one unpleasant contact center experience was likely to make them take their business elsewhere”. A recent Zendesk survey also revealed that 35% of customers stopped doing business with a company after a poor experience.
Call Center Agents needs to develop the right material in them which pushes them towards success. They need to become the complete package. They work hard, exceed expectations and do more than asked to achieve high-quality consistent results. A little direction can lead them working extremely well with both customers and employees.