It’s not always an easy feat to keep customers and the public happy. It’s nearly impossible to meet every individual’s expectations. However, it can be very rewarding to satisfy even the most difficult customer call. Taking an angry customer and turning them into a pleasant and satisfied one is certainly one of the top feelings one can have while working at a call center.
Even with a clear plan in place, there’s still a chance you are missing something in terms of customer service. Most call centers, even the best ones, aren’t always aware of the missing puzzle pieces that need to be fulfilled. With these five tips, utilized on a regular basis, you can be sure that even if every customer that calls in isn’t a happy one, every customer that leaves will be.
Show the Customer you Care
It’s pretty easy to tell, even over the phone, when someone doesn’t care about the conversation that’s going on. Positive language can have a dramatic and positive impact on how customers feel throughout the experience. Additionally, positive language can save a bad interaction and leave it on a high note. Phrases such as, “I will keep you updated”, “I will take responsibility”, or “I’d be frustrated too” indicate a level of care and compassion.
Make Changes to Better Serve Customers
Customers today are constantly listening, searching, and most importantly—posting. Call centers and agents should be putting in the time and effort to full research and understand their customer. Small changes like website’s self-service page or adding call back technology can help to positively change and better the overall customer experience.
Test Your Own Experience
Did you know that improving the customer experience could potentially increase customer satisfaction by 20% and lift revenue by another 15%? Did you also know that it can lower costs by as much as 20%? Contacting your own company’s call center and experiencing the customer journey for yourself can help you identify the present strengths and weaknesses happening along the journey.
Keep Your Agents Happy
Just like in any industry, unhappy employees are more inclined to quit abruptly and leave a center high and dry. It’s important to keep employee engagement, improved coaching and training, and motivate employees to keep employee retention levels high. Happy agents make happy customers.
Allow Agents to Go Above and Beyond the Call of Duty
Giving your agents a sense of autonomy by allowing them to make decisions without having to consult higher ups can help improve employee morale. Communicate and encourage your employees and agents to go above and beyond when the time comes. This type of behavior encourages, not only employee loyalty, but customer loyalty as well. As a result, the amount of amazing customer service experiences increases and employee morale increases as well.
Handling plenty of calls, that too from various sorts of customers (happy, annoyed, delighted, and so on) while making use of various complex customer service tools and being leashed to a computer system is certainly not a very pleasing job profile.
Ways to Get Better Customer Feedback
It’s common knowledge that hearing from customers about what they really want and need is major component to the success of any organization. Even with sending out monthly or quarterly customer feedback surveys, it’s simply not enough to totally understand your customers’ needs. If you want to improve your customers’ experience and learn beyond what you can learn in a simple feedback survey, follow these 5 tips.
Train Your Employees To Ask
It’s really that simple. The people who interact with customers on a regular day-to-day basis should be trained to gather information—formally and informally from customers. Encourage your employees to ask questions, observe behaviors and patterns, and have a way for those employees to provide feedback to be used by the rest of the organization.
Observing firsthand how your customers behave while they are interacting with your agents or employees can provide you with a tremendous amount of information. Even if a customer replies on a survey that he or she is satisfied, firsthand observation gives you immediate feedback. Never underestimate the power of watching and learning your customers in the environment you have created. More often than not, observation serves as a better learning tool than customer feedback surveys alone.
Ask Why They Are Leaving
So this is a very common practice, however, it’s also very generic and can help to solidify in a customer’s mind why they are leaving. Instead of just asking for general feedback, call the customer up and ask personally why they are leaving. This makes the customer feel more than just like another cog in the system. It helps to personalize the relationship between customer and brand. Additionally, this can be used as a way to save a customer relationship and repair it.
What are Your Referrals Telling You?
Some customers come in the form of a referral from another customer. When a customer shares with a call center that they were referred by another, ask them questions! Why did they listen to their friend? What did their friend have to say? Finally, follow up with the customer who did the referring. This is a great way for any organization to find out what is working and what is working well. Additionally, this is a great way to find out what needs to come to the forefront of your marketing, sales, and on boarding practices
Let your Customers Hear from You
No matter what level you are in a company, ever employee should feel empowered enough to reach out to customers on a weekly basis. Find out what is going well with the customer and brand relationship and what can you do to strengthen that relationship. Here is a great way to improve already positive practices and gather feedback and build goodwill between brand and customers.
There are a number of different ways call centers and brand can listen to customers. However, the best way is to just have an honest and open conversation with them. Find out what they like, what they don’t like, and who they are not just as they relate to a customer to your brand, but who they are as a person.
Call Center Lead Generation
The focus on almost every call center is lead generation. Excellent communication skills can lure prospects and turn them into loyal customers. The art of answering the telephone requires a gift coupled with a flair of oratory skills. The command of words has to be combined with the appropriate subject knowledge to guide customers in the best possible manner. For business providers it is imperative to have a skilled staff with realistic potential to reap maximum benefits of effective communication skills; aka the gift of gab. So just how can a call center agent help to increase lead generation? Let’s find out.
What is a Lead?
First let’s talk about what a lead actually is. A lead is essentially a person who has shown or is showing interest in gaining your service or products in one way or another. The person is likely to buy your products or services either in bulk or selectively depending on their personal or business needs. It is a kind of open communication between call center and the company, which is indulged into lead generation services and the dealer who want to avail their services.
What is Lead Generation?
This is the process of attracting people who are strangers and want to get involved into some kind of business by availing the call center services on a regular basis. Lead generation is a way of selling your products or services who further follows the same criteria to generate leads. By following the criteria set by both the call center and business, the call center can and will benefit from these leads as well. The process of lead generation is a way of warming up to potential customers to your business and engaging them onto a path of buying a service or product that is being offered.
Why Do You Need Lead Generation?
Gaining and maintaining a reputation in any industry is impossible without lead generation. Lead generation is a process in which you sell your services to some unfamiliar people and after sometime they become leads of your company’s sales team and help you further your objective goals. Leads can help your business become successful in new markets and territories that were not previously thought to be successful.
What is the Call Center’s Role in Lead Generation?
Building a telephonic answering service team in-house requires quite a huge expenditure in terms of hiring professionals, increasing office space to accommodate the new team, distributing salaries every month, etc. A more feasible option that allows you to concentrate more on business core competency is to outsource phone answering service. It proves cost-effective too as it saves on various cost aspects mentioned above. Outsourcing is an ideal option for business of all sizes and is surprisingly affordable; even for small businesses.
A call center can be the face of your business even after business hours. Whatever they say can and will affect your consumer image. This is why its so important to choose a call center who has the same goals when it comes to lead generation. Pick a service that can deliver around the clock customer service and will be able to make up where missed sales opportunities are lost during business hours.
Keep Your Workers As Happy As Your Customers
It’s Fall! Which means the holiday season officially begins! During the holidays, call centers can expect to see a significant increase in call volumes. Frantic customers, last minute requests, and everyone hoping to get everything done before businesses close for the New Year. It’s an extremely stressful time period for call center agents and customers alike.
However, instead of looking to the holiday season as a dreadful time, shift your perspective to see the wonderful opportunities that are present. This is a time in which you can engage with your staff to help keep them motivated. Here are four ways to have cheerful agents throughout this holiday season.
Bring The Holiday Spirit to the Workplace
Designate an area for agents to flex their creativity skills and get a little holiday bonus as a reward. Hallways, cubicles, and office walls are a great place to showcase the holiday spirit. This is such a fun way to get the festive spirit flowing and make the call center environment feel more like home.
Treat Your Team
What is the best part of the holidays? All of the delicious and tasty treats, of course! Setup a station for agents to create fast and simple treats that everyone can enjoy throughout their shift. You can invite agents to bring in their own holiday baked favorites to share with everyone in the office. There’s something about holiday treats that seem to make the day go by much faster. To create a fun and competitive atmosphere try hosting a bake off. At the end of the day, everyone is a winner.
Secret Santa Swap
Who doesn’t love gifts? Whatever your holiday affiliation may be, receiving a thoughtful gift is one of the best feelings in the world. Assign staff members to each other anonymously for a gift swap. You can set a dollar amount limit so no one feels too strapped for cash. A gift exchange is a great way to increase employee morale and build stronger employee to employer relations. It’s also a good way for employees to get to know other agents that they might have not otherwise had time to get to know. Agents who feel like there is a strong sense of family and connection at work are more likely to stay even during the rough patches.
The second best part about the holiday season is all of the holiday themed parties. Since a lot of agents are going to be putting in a serious amount of overtime to manage the heavy call traffic, it’s a great idea to bring the party to work! Showing your agents how much you appreciate them when they are stretched thin can help them feel like their efforts are being noticed. Office parties are a great way for agents to mingle, blow off steam, and have a little bit of fun during, what should be, a cheery season.
Keep your workers and your customers happy all year long!
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