Today’s consumer has many options when they want to reach out to a company. They can email the company, reach out via social media, engage in an online chat session, or possibly even send texts. However, the old fashioned phone call is still the top choice among most people when they are in need of customer support. That’s because it allows for a quick connection with a live human on the other end of the line. For this reason, call center agents remain invaluable members of any organization and can play a big role in improving the customer experience overall.
Here are 5 ways call center agents can improve the customer experience:
Participate in ongoing training
The capabilities of a call center agent are determined by the level of training they receive. No matter how long an agent has been working in the position, ongoing training is essential to meet customer expectations. Agents must be properly trained in all aspects of the company in order to have a deep understanding of the products, services, policies, processes, etc. in addition to receiving call etiquette training. Most call centers today are omni-channel, which means that agents must be trained across all communication channels to provide the best possible customer experience.
Agents must be armed with modern call center technology today in order to help customers in the quickest, most efficient ways. This technology, including speech analytics and audio mining software, improves agent performance by providing management with essential data that can be used for training purposes. Data including call handle times, call abandon rates, call conversion rates, call transfer rates, call wait times, cost per call, first call resolution rates, script compliance, up-sell rates, and more is right at the fingertips of call center agents and managers. The insights from this data can be used to improve processes.
It seems obvious, but the call center agent really needs to listen to the customer on the other end of the line. Occasionally agents lose focus of what’s important and in an effort to decrease their call handle time, attempt to rush a customer off of the phone. This causes the caller to become frustrated and creates a bad customer experience. The top priority should always be the customer and agents should never talk over or interrupt a customer to try and end the call quickly.
Be polite and show empathy
Oftentimes, when someone calls in to the call center, they are already experiencing confusion or possibly anger. The way the agent handles the call can either make the situation worse, or ideally, help defuse it. Agents should always be polite and embrace the mantra, “Kill them with kindness.” Agents should express empathy and put the caller at ease by ensuring that they can assist them with their issue.
Call center agents are interacting with customers all day, every day. This means that they learn lots of valuable information about the customer experience on a daily basis. Agents shouldn’t be afraid to speak up and bring this information to management and it’s in the best interest of management to encourage this sort of feedback.