How to Inform, Engage Call Center Agents
People, product, and perception are three key things that impact customer experience. And the first of these three is typically the most difficult to control and keep consistent. But with the right training and agent tools, call centers can ensure their people provide customers with the best possible experience.
Hiring people with the skill sets and temperaments that make them ideal candidates for customer service is the first order of business. New hire training should also include instruction about what language to use and not to use. Additionally, agents need guidance on how to use CRM systems and other technologies to do things like access and update customer data, forwarding calls, and interacting with managers.
Part of the onboarding process should include communicating what your brand stands for and your objectives for their role in the organization. For example, explain what call center metrics are most important to you and why.
While it’s important to know who you are and what you’re trying to accomplish, you also need to remain open and flexible. That will help you adapt to your customers’ preferences and the market’s needs over time. One way to ensure you’re doing that is by seeking customer feedback. That way you’ll know, for example, if call center agents are handling calls in a timeline that is acceptible to customers. And you can make the appropriate changes to meet their needs and preferences.
Speaking of change, don’t forget that the call center agent experience changes over time as well. So it’s important to keep the job interesting and engaging for agents, because happy agents tend to make for more satisfied callers. That said, match agent skill sets to the job when possible. Consider implementing gamification to encourage a spirit of fun and engagement. Encourage interactions among the best performing agents and their peers in which they can share best practices. And recall real-life examples and use role-playing to demonstrate various caller scenarios and how to handle them.
Edited by Mandi Nowitz