Although a lot of customers prefer to interact with businesses online through email, live chat, and social media, the call center is still a very important part of your customer service department. There are plenty of people out there, especially those in the older generation, that would prefer to speak to somebody on the phone, and if customers have more complex issues, they cannot always be resolved over email or live chat.
The problem is, call centers can be incredibly frustrating for customers. If people have to wait on hold for a long time, only to be transferred around lots of different departments, they will quickly become annoyed. If they have a poor experience with your call center, customers are not likely to come back, so it’s vital that you improve the experience for them in any way that you can. If you are getting a lot of complaints about customer service in your call center, these are some of the best ways to fix it.
Know Your Customers
Understanding who your customers are will give you a much better idea of how you should interact with them on the phone. For example, if you cater mainly to older people, they respond well to a more formal interaction, and in some cases, they may need things to be explained to them in more detail. However, if you are catering to a younger audience, overly formal interactions can come off as being a bit false and they would prefer a more relaxed tone.
It’s important to consider the kind of lifestyle that your customers lead as well. For example, if you deal with mainly 25-30 year old working professionals, they don’t have time to spend ages on the phone talking through the issues. They want a quick resolution without much input on their part, so it’s important that your call center operatives note down the problem, take action, and then call them back with a resolution. People with more time on their hands, however, may prefer to stay on the phone so you can talk them through the process as it happens.
If you want to improve your call center customer service, you need to build a clear picture of who your average customer is. How old are they? What gender are they? What kind of job do they have? What does their schedule look like? By answering these questions, you can create a customer service process that works for them.
Document the Customer Journey
One of the most frustrating things for customers is when they call back for a second time, get through to somebody different, and have to explain their issue all over again. It feels like they are not getting anywhere and it makes you look disorganized, which is why it’s important that you document the customer journey and create a customer journey map.
If you have a system in place that gives each customer their own account and allows your customer service operatives to make notes, you can streamline the whole process. When a customer first calls, everything that was discussed will be noted down and any actions that were taken to resolve their issue will be recorded as well. Then, when they call again, the next customer service representative can bring up the details, and let them know exactly what has been done so far and how long it will be before they can expect a resolution. The customer will be happy because they don’t have to explain everything for a second time and they can get a quick update.
In some cases, you may also want to consider separate extensions for each customer service operative, which will be given to specific customers. That way, they always get through to the same person and they can start to build a relationship. However, if you are going to use this strategy, you may need to hire more customer service employees so you can avoid long wait times.
Cater to Different Languages
If English is not your first language, dealing with customer service can be very difficult. If your business does not cater to different languages, you are alienating a lot of potential customers and if people have to navigate the language barrier when talking to your customer service staff, it will take a long time to come to a resolution and they are not very likely to buy products from you again in the future.
However, if you use a bilingual answering service to handle those calls, you will have access to bilingual agents that can communicate with people in their native language. This not only makes life easier for the customer, but it also shows them that you care about all of your customers and you are willing to go out of the way to improve their experience.
A large call center requires a lot of different technology to run effectively, and if you are using outdated tech, it will have a big impact on the customer experience. Call handling systems are one of the best pieces of tech to improve customer service, and they help to make sure that customers reach the right people, without having to wait for too long. If you invest in upgrading your call handling systems, you will improve the customer experience in a big way.
Invest in Training
Often, the quality of the customer experience hinges on the customer service representative and how they communicate with the customer. If they are polite but efficient, and they don’t mess the customer around, the customer will come away feeling positive. It’s also important that they know how to deal with customers that are upset and angry in the right way so they do not cause further distress. It’s important that you invest in training and teach your employees professional phone manner and conflict resolution skills, so they are prepared to deal with customers in the right way.
Outsource Your Customer Service
If this all seems like a little too much for you, then you may want to consider outsourcing your customer service completely with a telephone answering service. This type of service handles everything from tracking the leads, adding them to the appropriate CRM and reporting results. There are many such providers out there and even many based in the USA, so you don’t have to worry about a poor experience for your customers, check out the review of the cheapest answering services here.
Improving the customer experience in your call center is vital if you want customers to come back in the future. Follow these steps and you can make sure that every call ends with a happy customer.