Search Engine

Friday, December 19, 2014

How to be a better call center agent and improve service – Supervisors take note!

Call Center supervisors and Management need to take their eyes of the reports and look from the eyes of the consumer. Reports do not tell you the mood of the queue or the conversations that occur. The only way is to be an agent for a day to gain insights. Many consumers resort to the call center to resolve issues so let’s start with a better conversation. The most frustrating is billing issues. Take the SVP from billing and have them be an agent for a day. The common billing issues will be resolved quickly.

Now that the SVP has taken his suit off and put on his track pants and a t shirt he can now enjoy a day in the call center and here is what he will not say in order to be a better agent. 

Remember, a bad call center experience means consumers then buy from your competitor.

Here are some gems I have heard from callers:

1.    “Hey Calm Down”
If the caller is shouting because she is angry (especially after waiting 20 minutes in the queue) then you will make things worse by telling them to calm down. It is better to say “Hey, I can solve this problem for you, but only if we can discuss it calmly.”

Sometimes they are shouting because they cant hear the agent properly or they are at the far end of a leased line (with lower volume).We then naturally talk louder.

2    “That’s not my Department”
Telling the customer that it is not your department will anger the customer that was misdirected to you or old calling patterns stuck the call in your queue by mistake. A better response is “It sounds like you need department X and I will transfer you with a priority sequence”. A smart voice menu will have "Press 3 for Billing"

“If you keep yelling at me, I will terminate this call”
If you actually do hang up on an angry customer that person will  call back, and will be even more abusive and demand to speak to management. If you are really unlucky that same person will be presented to you again.

Try this “I am sorry that you are angry, but I can solve this problem for you, but we need to discuss it calmly.”

They are yelling because they cancelled their service 3 months ago and the $39 charge keeps showing up on their credit card. I know I know that you just said "Our billing system takes a few bills to sort itself out" which is why they are yelling now.

      “Would you like to speak to a supervisor?”
Sometimes you just cannot help them so the plan is to throw it up to the supervisor.

• Your immediate superior will not appreciate it and now the caller waits in the queue again to talk to another person to sometimes get the same answer
• You should have the confidence and ability to resolve the problem yourself.
If they ask to speak to a manager, then of course you should pass the call on. Many times your answer and your supervisor’s answer should be exactly the same. Agents should be empowered to resolve issues themselves.

 “What would you suggest for us to solve this problem for you?” would be a better response. Sometimes a $10 credit or free shipping resolves the problem quickly and neatly.

“I don’t know”
No one expects you to know all the answers, but you should at least be positive about finding the ones you don’t. I would respond with “That’s not something I know, but I can certainly find out for you. I will have to put you on hold  or Can I call you back with an answer? ”
Now the agent can jump on their internal instant messaging system and seek an answer from the collective pool.

“How can I help you buddy?” is not the way you should respond and this is better  by stating their name. " Mr X or Mrs X  How may I help you?” However if you are a surf shop in California then this could be the response if that is how your brand works and then its “yo Dude wass up”.

When the agent called me Buddy i reminded him that my dog was sleeping and not talking to him on the telephone...."what?" sorry but Buddy is my dogs name

“I’ll have to put you on hold”
Arrghhh the death phrase to the caller. It is a better approach to indicate to them that you need to get information or approval and they will be put on hold and how long it will be.

Silence or dead air is a no no, but sometimes it is necessary. To avoid the customer yelling “are you still there Hello hello hello?. It is better to respond with “I need to make some calculations or look up the stock level and It will take about 30-40 seconds.

On going agent training is important and some call centers forget that this team is the face of your company. Many times the caller is frustrated and can take out their dissatisfaction on the agent but sometimes the agent makes things worse. Skills training in conflict resolution is mandatory.

A better conversation between the agent and the caller increases CSAT scores and lowers stress levels for all parties.

Do you have any good ones?? Please comment below

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comments