1. Have the right service attitude
Attitude is everything in the service industry, especially for call centre agents in B2B and B2C organisations. Individuals with a positive, never-say-never attitude make great sales people. Build a philosophy around putting customers and colleagues first and quality being a habit. This ideology should be contagious amongst agents and this type of attitude is a reason why many companies have been so successful in their operations.
2. Internal Communication
Communication is vital to all organisations, especially those in the call centre industry where employees are directly in contact with clients. Agents must know the company, their product or service, their clients company and their clients’ needs inside out in order to be able to provide a service that can surpass expectations. However, effective internal communication is required to ensure that agents are knowledgeable about all of these factors and kept up to date at all times. Internal communication should be clear, concise, relevant, and should operate on a two way system so that managers are given regular updates and feedback from their subordinates rather than simply giving them instructions. When making a business call, knowledge is power.
3. Know the needs of the end user
All decisions regarding customer service must be made bearing the customer in mind. Knowing customer needs and putting yourself in their shoes will not only help agents relate to their clients but will also help them overcome any objections and increase the quality in the service that is being offered.
4. Look for new ways to add value
The outsourcing industry is fast paced and cut throat, therefore it is essential that you never settle for what you’ve got and instead constantly push yourself to do better. Prides yourself on exceeding the expectations of clients which should be why you always look for new ways to add value to our customers. The hardest thing isn’t reaching the top but maintaining your position there and consistently being the best.
5. Create an Atmosphere of Excellence & Self Belief
Having an atmosphere of excellence within the workplace adds an additional incentive to employees to give their all to ensure that quality is a habit. Creating an atmosphere of excellence and rewarding top performers can help to build self-belief which in itself leads back to tip number 1, having a positive attitude. Creating an atmosphere of excellence and self-belief is vital to call centres, and excellence rewarded at quarterly awards ceremonies and a yearly holiday prize for the company’s top employees.
6. Training, Training, Training.
Good training and good customer service go hand in hand. Call centre agents must never speak to a customer without being fully trained so that they are able to handle any request which they may receive. Established your own quality control team which assists team leaders with training by assessing and marking the quality of agent phone calls so that improvements can be made and weak spots identified.
7. Clarify Customer Complaints
Clarifying customer complaints helps to remove the threat of miscommunication and worsening and existing problem. If a customer is unsure of a problem or inefficient in their communication, it could make it difficult for an agent to resolve it which is why companies must ensure that their own communication is efficient. Open-ended questions should be asked to extract more information. The more precise the detail of the problem, the easier it is to resolve it.
8. Not all customers are the same
A common mistake in customer service is to assume that all customers are the same and therefore should be treated alike. Basic scripts are not the law as some customers may want more in depth information and knowledge as opposed to others who are tolerant of a basic or even an automated service on offer. Having a mind-set that is open to the fact that there are different market segments and different target audiences is important not only to make an agent’s set of skills cover more ground but also is important for a company to be of use and helpful, no matter what the customer.
9. Ensure there are enough agents on the phone
Being put on hold for long periods of time or directed through an automated system is frustrating and time consuming for the client which is why it reflects well on companies who always have able agents to take calls at all times. Rotation of agents with different lunch and break rotas can help ease any chances of being caught understaffed.
10. Play each member of your team to their strengths
Where number 8 stated that not all customers were the same, likewise not all employees are the same which is why it is important to assess individuals and play them to their strengths. Some agents may be better suited to inbound calls where some are better suited to outbound. The same also applies in B2B to B2C. Team meetings and regular conversations with your employees can help identify what their greatest strengths are and if managed well can lead to better results.