For many businesses, a call center is the primary means of communication with customers. You cannot shake hands when greeting them or see their facial expressions to understand their mood or temperament.
Your phone operators need to rely on other senses and skills to close a sale or remedy a compliant. From building trust and communication within the office, to using social media as a customer service tool, the following are five tips to help you operate a successful call center.
Tone of Voice
Most importantly, call reps should be aware of your customer’s tone of voice—especially when working in an inbound call center dealing with complaints, tech support, or troubleshooting. Your call representatives should listen to their tone of voice so you know exactly how to respond.
Do they sound confused, angry, or frustrated? If the caller sounds angry, apologize and sympathize with their problem. If they sound confused, let them know other customers have had similar problems. If they sound frustrated, reassure them that you have the situation under control. Read more about effective phone communication skills.
Always let the customer know that you will solve their problem, and always follow through to the end. Even if a rep needs support from another department, be sure they stay in communication with your customer until his or her problem is completely resolved. Building this type of trust and reliance will bring customers back because they know they can count on you for help.
Every successful call center needs a CRM, or Customer Relationship Management system. This technology will let your phone operators leave notes regarding conversations they had with customers so everyone is on the same page. There is nothing more embarrassing than trying to collect a debt that another coworker previously resolved. Customers also find it infuriating when they have to explain their situation to five different phone operators.
Every Problem Is an Emergency
Your business deals with hundreds of customers on a weekly basis—maybe even a daily basis—and some problems may seem feebler than others. However, each customer believes his or her problem is an emergency, and so reps should treat is as such. Address each issue with importance and show your customers that you not only care about them as a person, but you also value their business.
Offer Support Using Different Outlets
Today’s generation relies heavily on more contemporary forms of communication; social networks to be exact. If you do not have them already, create social media profiles. Twitter and Facebook are most popular in terms of using social media for customer support. Monitor your company’s social presence. Find out what people are saying to you and about you, and respond in a professional, timely manner. If the issue requires more than a tweet or a comment, suggest that the customer calls you for more assistance. After all, you are trying to operate a successful call center!
Photo credit: callcentercritique.com
Meghan Faye Wolff is the senior copywriter and marketing specialist at Instabill—an industry-leading provider of credit card processing solutions, including tech support merchant accounts. Meghan writes website content and blog posts as well as manages the company’s social media. For the latest e-commerce industry news, follow Instabill on Twitter @instabill_com.