The Guidelines to Achieving a Fully Optimized Call Center
October 08, 2012
By Allison Boccamazzo
, TMCnet Web Editor
When managing a call center, your first priority should be the customer, but in order to achieve high customer satisfaction, you must first achieve a fully optimized, smoothly operational business. While some consider call centers to be outdated and inconvenient when compared to more modern forms of customer interaction, many forget to consider just how central call centers are for businesses everywhere.
Despite this, the call center industry still struggles with problems, such as the fact that customers can’t physically feel the shake of a comforting hand or the emotions associated with facial expressions or face-to-face conversation. In light of this, call center managers must ensure that they are implementing the very best practices and technology to maintain a top trusted communication source for those who are dependent on them.
A recent Resource Nation article elaborates on this concept by stressing the importance of call center agents relying on other senses and skills to close a sale or ease a customer complaint. Today, there are a multitude of new and exciting strategies to consider when optimizing your call center. Here are five ways to confidently do so to remain competitive and guarantee customer satisfaction and loyalty.
· Tone of Voice
Think about it – one’s tone of voice can instantaneously and completely change the course of a customer call. Did you know that recent research has found that one’s pitch and tone of voice subconsciously influences the perception of the caller? It was actually found that if the person on the receiving end has a lower-pitched voice, they’ll be found more competent and strong, and therefore, more trustworthy. Many may not consider just how important something so simple can be, but when it comes down to it, the main tool being used by someone working in a call center is their voice. Your voice is your vocal facial expression. Resource Nation adds that agents should be especially aware of this if they are working in an inbound call center handling such things as complaints, tech support or troubleshooting. By not only listening to the customer but their own voice as well, call center reps will learn exactly how to respond to unique customer calls.
· Build Trust
Even if you’re not sure you’ll be able to solve the customer’s problem, always assure them that you will. Perhaps it will not be resolved immediately, but letting them know that you’re following through to the end speaks volumes of your commitment. Even when you think your job is over and you’ve transferred them to another department, continue to follow-up even then by staying in communication with your customer until their problem is completely resolved. I can testify to both excellent and horrible call center support, and I think it’s safe to say I’m speaking for us all when saying that when customers dial into a call center, we’re looking for fast and efficient answers. If the answer doesn’t happen as quickly as you hoped, your next hope is that it will be handled efficiently. In other words, don’t sweep their problem under the rug because it doesn’t sound alarming to you. Every problem should be an emergency or urgent to an attentive and detail-oriented call center agent. “Building this type of trust and reliance will bring customers back because they know they can count on you for your help,” adds Resource Nation.
· Make Sure You Have a CRM System
“Every successful call center needs CRM,” Resource Nation simply put its. “This technology will let your phone operators leave notes regarding conversations they had with customers so everyone is on the same page.” In other words, you unfortunately cannot secure a fully optimized call center when you’re not efficiently maintaining every call and every scenario for the future. In other words, nobody wants to have to repeat themselves five different times to five different people – make sure they don’t have to.
· Tap Into Different/Creative 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,” Resource Nation insists. While developing a successful social media presence takes more than just a bit of marketing skill, the rewards are well worth the efforts. Perhaps you’ll want to start a Facebook fan page or set up a Twitter (News - Alert) account of even start a company blog; this only serves as one extra way to easily find out what customers are saying about you and how to respond in a professional and timely manner. Timeliness is the name of the game, and social media is rapidly becoming the fastest way for companies to respond to customer demands and trends.
Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli