Multiple studies have proven with little room for doubt that great customer service is the key differentiator in managing a successful business.
One such study was made by Dimensional Research in 2013, showing that 62 percent of B2B customers made more purchases when they receive excellent customer service.
This only goes to show that having a great product doesn’t count for much if customer relationships are not being well-managed.
So it only makes perfect business sense to ensure that your contact center department has on hand dedicated and skilled call center agents.
Here are some great suggestions to bring out the best customer service from your call center agents.
1. Hone your call center agents’ soft skills
“Soft skills” can be difficult to quantify, but they can spell the difference between a happy customer and one who leaves for a competitor.
To put it simply, “soft skills” play a crucial role in ensuring that customer interactions are always positive.
According to SurveyMonkey, the following are essential traits call center agents should have to keep clients satisfied and happy with the service.
- Empathy, patience, and consistency. Agents should communicate with a sense of urgency and maintain a good temperament at all times even if the client is making it difficult for them.
- Adaptability. The ability to handle any situation or issue, however unforeseen or unique, is a valuable attribute ensuring that customer satisfaction is met and exceeded.
- Clear communication. Unclear or incoherent communication makes it difficult for both the agent and the client to work out a timely resolution.
- Product knowledge. Customers look to customer service professionals for answers. If they’re not getting the information they seek, customer satisfaction drops drastically.
- Can handle criticism. An agent can’t allow himself to feel slighted if an irate client is blowing steam over the phone. The happiness of the customer is always the goal.
2. All communication channels are operating at peak efficiency
These days customers are more comfortable doing business with companies that offer multiple channels for communication. We are, after all, living in the age of omnichannel retailing.
These channels include email, phone, social media accounts, and the “Contact Us” function on your official website.
By doing periodic checks to ensure that all dedicated channels are working at the optimal level, customers who need help are not left out in the cold and are therefore happier for it.
Moreover, the burden on your call center is vastly reduced, resulting in productive and pleasant customer interactions.
2. Implement a vigorous feedback system
Great companies treat customer service as a continuous learning process.
Every industry is susceptible to change, and companies who don’t update their customer service processes accordingly run the risk of becoming stagnant in the long run.
Before you know it, common issues go unnoticed and bad habits fester.
The solution? Set up a robust feedback system to gather quality feedback from your customers.
Options for gathering customer feedback include:
- Phone survey (usually at the end of every call)
- Email survey
- “Contact Us” page from company website
Gathering feedback from customers creates opportunities in determining the strengths and weaknesses of your call center operations, providing key insights on how to maintain and improve customer service.
4. Improve employee engagement
Many companies are providing their employees with a supportive environment and a positive work culture to become successful.
The reason for this is simple: happy and highly-engaged customer service reps are more likely to give customers a positive experience in every interaction.
So, how exactly can you increase engagement among employees?
For starters, you have to take steps to ensure that working conditions, compensation structure, career advancement opportunities, etc. are meeting or exceeding industry standards.
Your customer service representatives probably know more about your customers than anyone else, so it only makes perfect business sense to invest in them.
A fierce commitment to bringing out the best in them can go a long way into pushing your business and brand forward.