The world of customer service is changing rapidly. From websites, social media and mobile device platforms – there are an increasing number of ways for your clients to get in touch with you.
Even so, there’s still nothing that beats getting to talk to a real person, part of the reason why callcentres are still the most popular choice for customer contact. The research all points towards this too, with 79% of consumers all preferring to speak to a human being, rather than use self-service options. Callcentres, always tend to be the most popular customer service channel, second only to a companies frequently asked questions webpage.
With this in mind, what are the things your agents need to do on every call?
Everyone has suffered at the hands of someone who’s not really invested in a conversation. This is where active vs passive listening; customers being extremely adept at figuring out which type of listening your agents use. In most cases, it’s always best to start with an open ended question, so that customers can give you their side of the conversation first. After this, agents should mix between open and closed questions until they get to the root of the issue and all the information necessary to resolve it.
Another great way to show you’ve listened, is to roundup everything at the end of the call. That way, your customers understand exactly what’s going to happen and can query anything they’re not sure of.
The right questions
Asking questions is the bread and butter of all call centre agent work, yet asking the wrong question can prove disastrous for rapport! Simple mistakes like asking the same thing twice and making assumptions all combine to give your clients the idea you’re just not listening to them.
In a similar way to listening properly, asking a mix of open and closed questions will help your agents get to the point quickly. From here, active listening will ensure your agents resolve issues first time – keeping their average call duration lower too.
This one should be obvious, everyone likes to feel like their issues are important. Simple phrases like “That must be extremely frustrating” can go along way with letting a customer know you understand how an issue looks from their point of view. By adopting this from the outset, you’ll calm phone calls down – helping you get to the heart of the problem. This is a win-win for the client, who gets to be listened to and will likely get a quicker resolution too.
After being empathetic to your clients issue, the next step is to build a rapport with them. Simple things like learning a little of what’s going on in your customers world can lead to a far smoother and happier conversation. By remembering that the customer is a human being, with everything that entails (family, life, work etc etc) can lead to side conversations that build rapport.
Your callcentre agents are by far the most important people when looking to get feedback from your clients. They’ll gain valuable input on the pain points your customers face, plus all the great things your company might be doing at the same time. It’s extremely important to create a system where agents can submit feedback that customers leave – enabling your company to build and improve over time.
Despite the many different customer service channels available to consumers, a direct line to a callcentre agent remains an important avenue for customers. Ensuring that these five key components are a part of every call will contribute to building wonderful relationships with your (very happy) customers.