Does Your Call Center Training Expect Anticipatory Service?
The best companies in the world protect the relationship between the brand and the customer. They understand that every touch point can impact the way the customer feels about the brand, which can then in turn affect the long-term purchase probability, as well as that individual’s motivation to become a brand advocate to others.
These companies accomplish this through proper call center training with a keen focus on anticipatory customer service. It sounds like a tall order, being able to anticipate what a customer needs before they get on the phone with the call center. But in reality, it simply takes the right type of training, combined with the right type of agent, to achieve a higher level of customer satisfaction.
According to a recent Forbes article, anticipatory customer service requires the selection of the right employees with the potential to work empathetically with customers. These employees must then be trained to anticipate the expressed and even unexpressed wishes of customers. This skill must be applied one customer at a time and one situation at a time.
As a result, call center training has to start at the hiring stage. The right employees have to be selected from the beginning and then trained according to the level of quality service they are expected to deliver. It’s also critical that the organization align systems and technology with customer desires, anticipating those desires before they are expressed by the customer.
In some situations, this is difficult to do. The agent in the call center may not know that a customer is calling because she is frustrated with the operation of a new device. But, an agent in another bay may know that all customers that ordered a particular lot of a new component would be calling with a specific question. Anticipating those calls and sincerely guiding the customer through the process produces a quality interaction.
One example shared in the Forbes report hit this topic perfectly. The writer had landed late in Denver and did not make her connecting flight. Assuming he would have to fight all other travelers to get out on a connecting flight somewhere, he stepped off the plane and prepared for battle. Instead, he was met on the tarmac by a Southwest agent asking for his name. When provided, she handed him a ticket with his name already imprinted, booked on the next available flight to his destination.
This is the perfect example of anticipatory customer service. The airline knew it would have a plane full of travelers who had missed connecting flights and they did everything in their power to improve the situation. What would it mean for your bottom line if your call center training could encourage your staff to do the same?
Edited by Blaise McNamee