While most of your employees are probably fully capable of carrying out a phone conversation, it is important to recognize that there is a difference between talking on the phone, and effectively communicating with callers and helping them solve problems, purchase items, receive medical assistance or many of the other common roles and functions of a call center staff.
The best call center employees go beyond simply answering the phone – they focus on the end goal of helping callers have a satisfying experience, whether it’s assisting in unraveling a problem, answering questions, or contacting someone to help them further. Some busy centers also focus on quantity as well as quality -- they don’t necessarily race through the calls without helping them, but they do strive to be efficient in keeping things moving.
Call centers place high emphasis on regular training and encourage everyone to continually strive for customer service efficiency in all areas. Here are a few secrets of how to enhance the customer service efficiency of your call center.
1. Make Sure Customer Service Reps Understand What They’re Talking About
It’s vital that the call center staff have more than a passing familiarity with the products or services a client offers. This helps call center representatives to answer questions about those items more accurately and thoroughly when they come up. Having this background knowledge and access to FAQs will make it easier for them to emphasize with concerned customers and find rapport when they call. Plus, it gives the agent the ability to solve the problem on their own.. Understanding more about your business helps improve the overall experience for the customer and the agent.
2. Create Templatized Responses for Popular Questions
Some call centers offer scripts of basic phrases or responses but this approach can sometimes be limiting and may even have a negative outcome. It’s certainly easy to follow along until something changes, such as a customer asking or saying something unexpected. Rather than confusing the agent or forcing them to pause and regroup, a template of common topics and responses might be more useful. Instead of forcing the representative not to veer from what is stated on the particular script, they can instead learn the frequently asked questions and common solutions. This also allows them to show more creativity and initiative in adapting the conversation as needed.
3. Consider an Automated Answering Service
A goal of most call centers – and most callers – is to connect with a human when possible, since most problems need further explanation and context to try and solve. You can streamline your customer service, improve your efficiency and ensure your customers get connected with the right person by utilizing an automated answering service. An automated answering service can help callers reach the right point of contact by creating a phone tree for your company. That way, when they do connect to a live agent, they are speaking with the appropriate person, and they can jump right into finding a solution. This helps overall efficiency in terms of less time spent with each caller. It also makes sure customers are sent to the right group instead of being transferred time and time again until being connected to the right department. This strategy streamlines your customer service efforts by helping the agent be more prepared to interact with a customer. An automated answering service can also provide more than just a phone tree solution; they can send out appointment reminders, announcements, and surveys too.
Interestingly, an automated answering service combined with a live answering service can dramatically improve your customer service efficiency.
4. Try a Virtual Answering Service
A virtual answering service puts the “human” interaction right at the front line/initial point of contact. This type of service can be used for busy places that have a high call volume and need help answering callers’ questions, or for a company that wants every caller to be initially greeted by a friendly voice and then transferred to the appropriate contact. Using a virtual answering service can also make sense financially. Rather than hiring several receptionists or other administrative staff to handle all the calls, a customer call center can handle the load. Every employee on this team will be trained in proper greetings and common questions, and it will be so seamless that callers won’t be able to tell that the person greeting them and directing their call isn’t actually in the same building, or even the same state. This option can save your organization a good deal of time and money.
The previous four solutions barely scratch the service of ways that a customer call center such as AnswerNow can aid your business. Utilizing the service of a regularly trained team which specializes in customer service and helping to take care of customer concerns as efficiently as possible is definitely a win-win for your organization.
What makes an AnswerNow team special? In addition to high standards of quality, our organization also focuses on other attributes, such as making sure to fulfill any promises given or made, and getting back to someone with answers as quickly as possible.
Interested in learning how you can enhance your company’s customer service efficiency, then come explore our free e-book: 10 Commandments of Customer Service.