Businesses lose up to $75 billion each year just from poor customer service. It doesn’t matter if you have the best product in the world. Losing customers, sales, and repeat business just from poor service is a bitter pill to swallow.
So, what can you do to avoid flushing money down the toilet? Start with a world-class call center customer service. Build a strong foundation and support it with customer relationship management software.
Quality training with a progressive knowledge database can prevent that dreaded robotic customer service experience. Also, listening to customer feedback is what will allow you to grow a loyal customer base. Demonstrating that your business cares about what the customer has to say is crucial for loyalty.
There’s a lot of nuance to the call center customer experience. Let’s take a look at what separates the ordinary from the extraordinary.
A Team of Winners
Hiring has to take precedence if you want a call center that is easy to manage and reliable. You have to take equal consideration of both personality and qualifications. There are four main personality types in the customer service industry.
People fall into one or more of the following categories: Artisan, Guardian, Rational, and Idealist. The artisan types are your charismatic talkers who can settle disputes and make deals easily. Guardians are dependable, trustworthy, and consistent.
Rational personalities are very detail-oriented and will ask a lot of questions. Idealists think outside the box, which can be both a strength and a weakness. The ideal customer service agents will have a combination of two or more of these traits.
If you don’t pick up any strong personality vibes during an interview, steer clear. Don’t settle for employees that will potentially grow disinterested with their job. Paycheck chasers are what make customer service experiences so dull and unsatisfactory.
What all of this boils down to is finding the right employees who can maintain empathy with customers. Make them feel like you really care about their happiness. That’s all we want when we call customer service with a problem.
You can’t get that without call center agents who are empathetic, self-motivated and are invested in the company’s success.
There are ways to reduce business expenses and cut costs–this is not one of them. Never sacrifice on customer service departments to reduce staff and overhead costs.
Train Thoroughly and Effectively
Call center customer service training can often make-or-break turnover rates. Training that is too short will leave agents overwhelmed or unprepared for customer demands. Training that is too long is costly and attracts underqualified applicants.
To get the most out of your new hires, you need to challenge them in training. There needs to be a level of mastery to turn them into autonomous agents. Sure, you’ll need supervisors to guide them along the way.
The goal is to reduce the number of errors and produce confidence in each employee to succeed. This level of competence requires rigorous training material and hands-on experience. The key is to reduce that “new hire” smell that customers easily pick up on.
Remember, it’s not how well your employees know everything, it’s how well they do when under pressure. This ability to operate under pressure translates to better call center numbers. Lower handle times, lower wait times, and higher resolution rates mean higher ROI.
Discover more about how these aspects contribute to your brand and it’s growth.
Company culture is the lifeblood of effective training environments. From day one, you need to establish your expectations, policies, and procedures. After all official matters are settled, employees need to understand what your company’s goals are.
Invest in an intuitive CRM, hands-on training tools, and a deep knowledge base. The more tools at your disposal, the faster skills will be learned by your employees. Also, build a good collection of recorded calls to prepare them for the most difficult scenarios/callers.
Books and tests can only do so much in call center training.
Keep a close eye on training progress. Audit your trainers, utilize floor-walkers, and have an open-door policy for supervisors. Communication is key to an agent’s success, from day one to the day they leave.
Delivering Quality Service
Establishing a great team of customer service agents is half the battle. You need to make sure that your customers can easily find and access your support. Bundling sales with complimentary support is a common method of advertising.
This works great with electronic devices, especially in the name of cybersecurity. These days, elements of cybersecurity go hand-in-hand with any smart device purchases. Ensure that all your customers understand your product or service by pointing them to your toll-free hotline.
Incorporating a customer service chat line and a mobile app are worthy investments, too. Customers want a convenient way to access your customer service to get quick support. Sometimes customers only want a quick question answered, but don’t want to wait in line on their phones.
Personally Tailored Support
Ditch the boring call center opening scripts if you want to attract loyal customers. Greet your customers by their name. Reflect your call center interactions with actual real-life convos.
You can authenticate someone’s information without it feeling like a trudge through swampland. Think about how much of a difference the atmosphere is when you step into a business that knows you by name. Take note of how local businesses succeed, even if your business is online-only.
Think about how you can reward your customers for giving valuable input, gradings, and complaints. Yes, even the complaints should get acknowledged. You can do this through shout-outs on social media, coupon codes, or credit on your next blog post.
The VIP Treatment
Customers that consistently do business with you should receive special treatment. That’s just basic economics. These customers should receive exclusive invitations to try products, services, or personal thank-you notes.
Another unexpected surprise you should give your VIP customers is return business. Buy from them if they have their own business. Mention their business on your blog/vlog.
These little things outside of the call center service experience go a long way.
Some of this may sound a little unorthodox, we know. This is what it takes to stand out in the customer service industry, however. Even if you don’t have the budget to hire personal customer service agents, you can still give that VIP treatment.
All of this is held together with comprehensive customer service software that gives agents detailed info. At the very least, every customer shouldn’t have to explain their issues multiple times to multiple agents. That’s bottom-tier call center customer service.
Gamification of Call Center Customer Service
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, gamification is a driving force for productivity. Gamification is basically the evolution of awards and recognition. Call center agents become incentivized to go above and beyond the call through perks and bragging rights.
By making the workplace into one competitive atmosphere where agents get rewarded for their efforts, metrics will surge. You can gamify through the use of a badge system or a simple whiteboard. Gamified training is also extremely effective and increases the level of engagement of new hires.
Some concepts can be too obtuse to understand and strict memorizing can be difficult. By using memory games and interactive games, employees are able to absorb information quicker and easier. This is an investment that may be difficult to see the ROI at first, but it’s well worth it in the long term.
Responsiveness is Key
Providing the best customer service starts and ends with results. If the customer has a great experience over the phone but keeps returning with the same problem, that’s bad customer service. If the customer has to make multiple attempts to resolve their problem, then you should be quick to refund, send care packages, and apologies.
Offer incentives for customers to stick with you after less-than-satisfactory experiences. Eliminate processing and shipping fees, use a reward program to boost loyalty, and offer call-backs during peak hours.
Good Customer Service Gets Good Customers
When you think about it, call center customer service experience is a great source for leads. If word spreads around that you have crappy customer service, it’s probably going to do damage. That is if you aren’t quick to correct your shortcomings.
Many businesses choose to ignore customer complaints until they reach a certain threshold. You have to look past the raw cost of call center operations and realize the long-term value of quality customer service support.
From the interview process, the training materials, company culture, customer loyalty, and all the ways of improving morale. You have to change the way you look at a call center in order to succeed in today’s world. Customers want human interactions, more accessibility, and reliable service.
Keep up-to-date with internet tech to give your employees and customer a 5-star experience. We recommend In News Weekly for the latest tech news. Sure, it costs more up front, but the end result is higher customer satisfaction, a higher likelihood of repeat sales, and healthier ROI.