Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Just because your employees work remotely doesn't mean you can't help them with professional development. We’ve compiled five traits of a successful call center agent to help you identify the weaknesses and build on the strengths of your staff.
The ability to listen to customer complaints and clarify the core problem is a real gift. Not everyone has the knack, especially when faced with customers who are not being clear when communicating. They may not fully comprehend the problem themselves, and their frustration at having to make the call in the first place may have a negative impact on their communication. To counter this, call center agents have to double down on their own communication skills, asking open ended questions in order to gather as much information as possible.
For the wrong mindset, taking customer service calls can be demoralizing. This in turn affects their demeanour, and is patently obvious in their speech patterns. If your agents radiate optimism – especially in the face of disgruntled customers – they will lift the mood of the whole conversation. The expression ‘kill them with kindness’ is apposite here. When monitoring your agents’ calls, this (often-subtle) attribute of positivity in the face of negativity is one of the key things to look out for – and reward.
This is as much down to the technology at their disposal as it is the attitude of agents, but an efficient, speedy service is essential to maintaining call flow. Your agents need easy access to all the information pertaining to the customer they’re speaking to, so make sure your processes are streamlined to facilitate this.
Need Anticipation
Effective life-cycle management requires more than simply responding to requests from customers. It’s also about anticipating those needs before the customer contacts you. This is where pro-active engagement comes into play; reaching out to clients via phone or SMS messaging can help you pinpoint what kind of service suits each individual. Take surveys via text message, or your website. The more information you can get on your customer base, the better you’ll be at anticipating future requirements.
Taking the Right Call
Matching the right customer to the right employee is a skill all of its own, and can work wonders for building a positive relationship. Customers like to speak to the same person every time, so build your cloud call center around this assumption as much as possible. Of course, some customers will be perfectly happy using the automated IVR where others want to speak to a person immediately. Learn which is which as quickly as you can!