Customer impressions of a company typically are based on their interactions with call center agents. These interactions tend to be the main source of firsthand experience with a business.
As a result, your call center agents require the proper tools and training to handle customer calls. Showing your customers they’re valued and respected encourages them to remain loyal to your brand. This increases your company’s bottom line.
Follow these guidelines to help your call center agents deliver a positive customer experience.
Provide Technical Onboarding
Train your agents to thoroughly understand and use your call center software and technology. These tools help organize and manage customer calls. They also help your agents provide a positive customer experience. Be sure to provide guidance in the following areas:
- Answering calls: Your agents may be used to using phones instead of software to handle customer calls.
- Transferring calls: Show your agents how to use the hold and transfer functions to route customer calls to other agents or departments.
- Muting and unmuting the speaker: Muting may be a better option than holding when an agent needs to ask a teammate for help with a customer’s question. The agent can complete the task while still hearing the customer.
- Adding other professionals to the call: For instance, the agent may need to include their manager on a call for help with a ticket. Or, the customer may ask to speak with a manager.
Offer Knowledge Management Tools
Internal knowledge management tools such as help center software help your agents quickly find answers to common support questions. This makes it easier for your agents to answer questions without putting the customers on hold. Your agents can increase their knowledge to provide informed and helpful customer service.
- The comprehensive, searchable database should include guides and how-to articles for your product or service.
- Your agents can look up the answers to customer inquiries rather than ask a teammate for information.
- Your seasoned agents may add additional resources to help newer agents with specific tasks or processes.
- Product or service managers can share product or service releases and updates to help your agents answer customer questions about the new offerings.
Let your agents know what their goals are for the day, week, or month. This shows what they are working toward and when the objectives should be achieved. Also, offer ongoing training and coaching to reach these targets. This elevates agent engagement, performance, and retention. Consider setting attainable goals involving the following metrics:
- Average wait time: Aim for 5 minutes or less.
- Resolution time: Minimize the time it takes for an agent to solve an open ticket.
- Calls missed: Improve your agents’ multitasking and organizational skills.
Train on Call Center Etiquette
Teach your agents how to display proper call center phone etiquette. They need to treat customers in a friendly, respectful manner. This helps customers feel valued, respected, and safe. Examples include the following:
- Communicate wait times: When putting a customer on hold, the agent should let them know how long the wait may be. Otherwise, the customer may get frustrated and hang up.
- Mention call recording: Customers prefer to know whether their conversation may be recorded for training purposes.
- Discuss the call recording pause: The agent should let the customer know whether the call recording will be paused while the agent takes credit card information. This shows your call center prioritizes the security of customer information. It also builds trust and confidence in the business.
Implement Job Shadowing
One effective method of training is pairing newer agents with seasoned agents to see how they handle customer calls. This helps the newer agents acquire the skills required to address customer issues. You may want to implement a job shadowing program using one of the following methods:
- Invite newer agents to listen in on live customer calls with seasoned agents. Your newer agents can observe how your seasoned agents adapt to the customer and situation. They also can see how your call center tools and software are used to elevate the efficiency and quality of their support.
- Ask newer agents to listen to past call records that provided a positive customer experience. Include calls that provide resolutions for a variety of circumstances and problems. This lets you target your training to focus on any areas your team needs to improve.
Provide Constructive Feedback
Let your agents know what they’re doing well and what they can improve on. Include specific examples and steps to do better. This helps your agents improve their performance and attain their goals. It also elevates agent engagement and retention. The following suggestions may help:
- Observe an agent’s calls and provide real-time feedback.
- Ask an agent to review their call recordings with you to assess the agent’s etiquette, strengths, and weaknesses.
- Use Q&A scorecards to formally evaluate an agent’s calls.
- Share relevant articles and educational resources to help your agents develop their skills.