It is not always easy to handle customer interactions at a call center. Every conversation is unique since customer requirements vary. However, you can improve all customer interactions by understanding the difference between informing and frustrating your callers.
Several times, well-meaning call executives end up overdoing the informing task, which ends up irritating the customer. On other occasions, they might give incorrect or irrelevant information to a caller in an attempt to pacify them. In both cases, the call center might end up losing a valuable customer. The article lists out ways in which you can offer the right amount of information in the best possible manner to your callers.
- Make sure you have access to information when you attend a call
When attending calls, it is vital to ensure that you have all the information resources handy. You don’t want to hunt for information while the customer is waiting for you to respond on the other end of the line. In case, there is a situation where you need to consult somebody in the office or look for some information, put the caller on hold and avoid cutting the call. Remember, you might frustrate the caller if you put them on hold for more than a minute without providing them the information they need. Try sounding patient throughout the call even if the caller seems angry or irritated.
- Enunciate clearly
What is the difference between a tension-filled conversation and a productive one? It is the ability to comprehend what the customer is saying and the information (s)he is asking for. Call center executives must speak clearly when they are attending calls. When giving information to a customer, make use of simple words. Avoid jargon and complicated phrases that might confuse the caller. Callers might feel inferior if you use complicated vocabulary.
Also, while giving out information; avoid using filler words and slang. You need to sound professional. A casual protocol might take away your credibility and irritate the customer. Callers often feel frustrated when call center agents use words like “yeah”, “dude”, “umm” and so on. These words take away from the value of information being offered to a customer, which could make problem solving even more difficult. In case you are habituated to using filler words, try pausing for a moment instead.
- Don’t over-inform
Customers have reported maximum frustration when call center agents go beyond giving the necessary information and advertise schemes or market random products and services. Instead of rambling on about something, ask your caller about their needs and if they require any assistance with additional things. If they seem satisfied with the information you have provided, do not burden them with extra information. While some might like listening to offers, schemes or product descriptions, others might not appreciate such long conversations. In such situations, it is vital to sense the tone and attitude of your caller so that you can deal with them in the correct manner. However, always remember to keep the information brief and clear.
- Take responsibility to help your customer
Customers can get really frustrated when their call is passed around numerous call executives and none of them is able to resolve the problem efficiently. As a customer service agent, it is your job to attend calls and provide the correct information to the caller. Avoid forwarding your calls to somebody else.
Frequent call transfers can be frustrating for customers. They might require immediate assistance with some information and if you fail to do that, you might end up losing the customer. If at all necessary, inquire from the caller if it is okay to keep them on hold till you search for the information to answer their problem. Alternatively, you can also ask for their number and offer to call them as soon as you can gauge a solution.
- Learn to handle angry callers
Sometimes, your callers might end up getting angry due to some reason. They might not receive the information they are seeking or may become dissatisfied with the service in some other way. Alternatively, they might just be too disturbed with the problem at hand. It is important to learn to deal with frustrated callers patiently. Call center executives must show understanding and sympathy towards the caller. Use phrases such as “I apologize for the misunderstanding”, “I’m sorry to hear about that” and so on. It shows that you are willing to help.
As a rule, it helps when you practice honesty, friendliness, patience, courtesy, promptness and tact while talking to your callers. You are likely to receive a positive feedback from them. Asking the callers about their requirements is a part of quality service. Ask relevant questions and offer precise and correct information to your customers, minimizing the scope for any frustrations.