According to Statista, the global average satisfaction index for call centers in 2020 was 71. How does your company’s call center measure up? Could you do things better? If so, you’re not alone. Many firms wish to improve the service their call centers deliver, but don’t know where to start.
With that in mind, we approached trusted company SupportYourApp for advice on running a customer-centric call center. Read on to learn their actionable strategies.
How to Improve Customer Service in a Call Center
Why Call Center Service is So Important
If you run an online business, your customer call center is your client’s primary contact point. If you have retail stores, the contact center provides clients with a convenient way to solve queries. In both respects, these interactions must be handled correctly to ensure a pleasant customer experience.
How to Improve Customer Service in a Call Center: Top Tips
The client deserves a polite greeting. Thank them for calling in. Apologize for the issue. Being polite instantly shows the client that you value them. If they’re angry, it starts the process of de-escalating the situation.
Be Patient and Respectful
Sometimes a client may misbehave. At other times, they just don’t understand the solution you’re providing. Consultants must treat all clients with patience and respect. They may need to explain things a few times.
Listen Without Interrupting
It’s difficult to listen without interrupting when you’ve got calls waiting. It’s also rude to interrupt someone while they’re speaking. Consultants should be wary of jumping to conclusions on how to solve the client’s problem.
The issue may sound simple at first, but there may be additional complications. Consultants may try to direct the conversation if the client goes off-topic.
Show That You’re Actively Listening
When a client takes a pause, consultants should interject something like, “I see,” so that the customer knows someone’s listening. Team members should get into the habit of paraphrasing what the client said.
Paraphrasing the commentary proves active listening. It’s also an excellent way to ensure that both parties are on the same page.
Steer Clear of Negativity
The client is calling in to find out what you can do, not what you can’t. Where policy prohibits the company from complying, consultants could say something like, “We’re able to …” instead of saying, “We can’t do that because of our policy.”
Empathize With the Client
Consultants must try to see things from the client’s perspective. Clients don’t have the same knowledge of the systems and policies that employees do. Most people will try to solve the problem on their own before they call in. If the solution were obvious to the layperson, they’d have worked it out.
The client may be frustrated and may take this out on the consultant. It’s crucial that the team member not take this personally. Empathizing with the customer helps the team member maintain their objectivity.
Some Quick Ways to Build a Rapport
Successful consultants can quickly connect with clients and build a rapport with them. Simple tips to make this easier include:
- Smiling: The client cannot see the consultant smile, but they’ll notice it in the voice’s timbre. Smiling while speaking removes any harsh tones and makes the person sound friendlier. Don’t smile when dealing with an angry client, however.
- Mirror the Client: Consultants should modulate their voice and tone to match the clients when appropriate. If you have a client that speaks slowly or with a neutral tone, try to match it. This technique highlights that you’re similar to them and establishes an almost instant rapport. Again, don’t do this with angry clients.
- Use their name: There’s nothing quite as sweet to someone as their name. Using the client’s name often gets them to focus on what the consultant says.
Dealing With Angry Clients
Many customers are pleasant. They may be frustrated, but they know that it isn’t the consultant’s fault. There will be some irate clients, and they’re more challenging.
Still, consultants can calm the situation by:
- Never telling them to calm down
- Letting them vent and not interrupting them
- Apologizing once and empathizing
- Rephrasing their query to ensure that it’s properly understood
- Accepting responsibility for finding a solution without assigning blame
- Speaking in a calm tone, without raising their voice
- Explaining the proposed solution and the timelines for solving the query
Now that you know how to improve customer service in a call center, it’s time to spring into action. Perform a complete service audit on your current call center. Are there areas where they’re falling short? Are they making some mistakes highlighted above?
Use your first evaluation to identify areas for improvement. From there, implement a training strategy incorporating the tips in this article. In three months, perform a second audit and note what progress the team has made.
Over time, you’ll build an award-winning call center.