You’ve managed to answer your callers’ questions, yet the call still ended with them getting even more agitated because of your answers. Would you say that you were successful in handling the call?
How about if you ended the call without being able to answer their questions, but you managed to pacify your caller’s anger? Would you still be able to consider that as a successful inbound call?
I know that we all have varying opinions on what a successful inbound call is. Others are keen on the calls ending within a call handling time threshold, while others don’t care about the numbers (that much), for as long as the callers are happy when the calls end.
If you’re looking to determine what a successful inbound call is for your business, then allow me to share with you some points that you can consider:
1. Call opening and caller verification.
Caller verification is an important phase that you should never overlook. This is especially true if you are handling financial accounts, or any type of accounts where your agents will divulge personal or sensitive information to the callers.
2. Successful probing.
You need to equip your agents with effective questioning techniques so they can probe the callers accordingly.
The thing is, it isn’t uncommon for callers to not have a solid grasp of what their problems really are. They often cannot articulate their problems clearly so it is up to you uncover their problems through asking questions effectively.
The last thing you want to happen is to seemingly address their concerns, only to have them call back with another problem.
Remember that there are times where even your callers aren’t aware that their problems have been totally addressed (the operative word is “totally”). You need to make sure that as the call ends, you’ve given them a complete solution to their problem – at least to the best of your capabilities.
3. Call resolution.
It goes without saying that your customers are calling you because they have a question, or a problem that they want solved.
You need to be able to help them with that.
Thinking that you’re in the clear since you’ve already apologized for whatever inconvenience they’ve experienced is a terrible mindset to have. You need to be always thinking about solutions.
Sure, you also have limits to work with. And there are times when you simply cannot accommodate what your customers are asking for. In cases like these, you can transfer them to the right person who can help them with their needs.
If you know for a fact that what they are asking for just isn’t doable, then you can offer alternatives.
Simply saying, “Sorry. I can’t help you” isn’t good enough. Be sure to offer alternatives.
4. Your callers should feel important.
A successful inbound call isn’t all about solving your caller’s problems – though it’s certainly a huge part of it.
Another element that’s of equal importance is how your caller’s feel.
You need to make them feel like they are valued. You need to make them feel that they are important to you, and that you don’t view them as just another account.
Imagine listening to a phone call like this:
Caller: I need help with my credit card account. I still haven’t received the reversal that the previous agent promised me 2 months ago. This is getting really frustrating! I’m getting all sorts of penalties because of the money not being…
Customer service agent: I have just put another refund request and the refund should take effect in 7 – 10 business days.
Is there anything else I can help you with?
It’s cringe-worthy, isn’t it?
How would you feel if you were the caller?
Sure. The customer service agent may have “solved” the caller’s problem. However, he blatantly ignored the frustration of the caller. He didn’t even empathize.
With that kind of call handling, you’ll surely lose a lot of customers.
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