Customers are the lifeforce of a business. Without them, it will be impossible for you to reach your goals and achieve the success you seek. Therefore, you must show them how you value their efforts by providing exceptional customer service.
Customer service, as you know, can do many wonders for your business as long as you know how to implement and execute it properly. When done well, it encourages word-of-mouth advertising, brand loyalty, reputation building, positive and relevant customer experiences, etc.
These days, providing excellent customer service is usually done and executed through phone, live chat, and email communications. Either way, one of the most effective and quickest ways to achieve quality customer experiences is through call centers.
If your company relies on call centers to implement customer service through making phone calls, make sure your agents always provide high-quality calls. However, it’s not easy to do, especially when other factors, such as motivation, training, tools, and more, are in play.
Fortunately, you’re on the right page. In this article, you’ll discover the best practices you can immediately implement to keep your customer happy, pleased, and satisfied.
1. Use An Auto-Dialer
An auto-dialer is a software solution that eliminates the tedious tasks of manually dialing multiple sets of phone numbers in every call through dial automation. With this, your agents will have shorter breaks in between calls, increasing your productivity and work efficiency. As a result, they’ll make more calls than before, boosting your chances of making sales.
An auto-dialer comes in three types: preview, power, and predictive dialer. Each has different purposes and functions, so choose what’s best suited for your business.
If that’s the case, here’s an in-depth comparison of the three types to help you choose the right auto-dialer software for your call center operations:
A preview dialer is the most basic type of auto-dialer. It provides a brief glimpse of information about the contact before dialing. This way, you’ll know who you’ll call and prepare a proper conversation.
It’s also highly effective when addressing customer issues and concerns. It lets you know crucial information about the client so you can attend to their pain points effectively.
However, agents may experience unsuccessful connections due to disconnected lines, busy calls, and voicemails. This may affect their motivation to make another call and their overall performance.
A power dialer is a type of auto-dialer offered by many companies, such as Power Dialer, that plays different functions. It automatically dials and redirects answered calls to the next available agent. Then, once a call is completed, it will instantly dial the next contact on your list. If the number is busy or unattended, the software will proceed to the next contact instead.
On top of that, power dialers prevent unwanted calls from being distributed among your sales agents. This ensures no second is wasted on unnecessary calls, busy lines, invalid numbers, voicemails, and disconnected calls.
Besides, a power dialer is ideal for businesses trying to call more people each day. The quality of the call can be compromised, though, because it’s focused on quantity and has less time for agents to prepare for the next call. So, if you’re concerned about the quality of your calls, this may not be the best solution for you.
A predictive dialer is the most advanced form of auto-dialer. It uses computer algorithms to assess and predict the average time and number of dials required for clients to answer the call.
For example, if a call usually lasts for 55 seconds and the average time required for the customer to answer the call is 10 seconds, then the software will begin dialing at 45 seconds. Thus, your agents will have a continuous series of calls in their hands.
This way, there will be much shorter idle time and dial breaks between every call because it ensures that an agent will have the next conversion once a call is finished. Your business will be more productive and have more opportunities to generate sales.
Yet using a predictive dialer may increase dropped calls. This is because there may be no agent available to answer an incoming call from a customer.
2. Get Obsessed With Customer Experience
You probably know how critical customer experience is when running a business. It can indicate how customers build trust with your brand and their likelihood of making repeat orders.
If you beat your customers’ expectations, they’ll surely come back to you and be your business’s source of income for many years.
However, remember that customers’ demands grow and evolve. These days, buyers are more selective and harder to please. They look for product research, find product reviews, and expect instant service.
So, your business should always aim to deliver an exceptional customer experience from start to finish. Make sure to attend to and provide for their needs from the moment they enter your site until they acquire your product. This will make them feel valued throughout the purchasing process, which is one of the most essential factors they consider before repeating orders.
3. Use Multichannel Support
Today, an average person uses a minimum of three devices to stay in touch with the world, so a call center should allow customers to reach them easily using any gadget.
For example, your customers should communicate with you using their mobile phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, telephones, and other devices.
You’ll provide better service and an excellent customer experience with multichannel support.
Additionally, implementing unified communication solutions will help you increase customer satisfaction and engagement. With these tools, it will be easy for your agents to respond and communicate with clients through emails, text, phone, and social media.
4. Use VoIP System
As you know, scalability is crucial when running a business. It refers to the ability of an organization to adapt to the growing and evolving environment. Without scaling, your growth may be hindered and compromised.
Hence, look for a solution that can be scaled over time. For this reason, you may consider using a voice over internet protocol phone (VoIP) system.
VoIP helps businesses effectively scale their call center operations. It runs on the cloud, allowing agents to perform tasks and provide customer service anywhere as long as they’re connected to the internet. Otherwise, it won’t work.
So, ditch that expensive PBX and switch to VoIP instead. It’s a cost-effective solution that offers valuable results and improvements to your call center operations. It also provides agents with a software application they can install on their smartphones.
On top of that, most VoIP service providers offer an unlimited number of calls at a fixed monthly rate and have no additional or hidden costs when making international calls.
5. Deliver A One-Of-A-Kind First Impression
First impressions may only happen once, but they surely last a lifetime. So, ensure that your first connections with your future customers are unique and memorable.
Impress them the moment you begin to answer by being patient while listening to their concerns. Then, ask for more details before you offer your solutions. This will show how you’re invested in helping them.
Likewise, note that customers usually judge agents in just seconds. That’s a short period to provide an exceptional impression, so there should be no room for mistakes.
To carry out the tasks within a tight time frame, show them that you’re after their success. This is not about being nice and a smooth talker but taking the call seriously.
Moreover, addressing pain points on the first call is what customers like. It encourages customers to trust you and create deeper connections that may lead to loyalty. With this, they’ll surely recommend you to other people they know.
6. Resolve Issues Right Away
When customers raise their concerns, they want their problems to be addressed as soon as possible. Aside from the short resolution time, providing timely updates may also improve customer satisfaction ratings.
Here are some tips to help you reduce the time to address your customers’ concerns:
- Streamline the process by automating repetitive tasks.
- Be honest. State the correct timeline for resolving their issues.
- Update your customers frequently regarding the status of their concerns.
- Make sure your agents can access your customer relationship management platform.
- Develop a process that will enable your agents to address all concerns as much as possible. This will help you prevent a dumpsite of customer issues.
7. Train Your Agents Frequently
Customers expect businesses to provide knowledgeable and immediate support. This is made possible by training your call center agents regularly. The more equipped they are, the better the solutions they’ll provide. As a result, no customers will be on hold.
With regular training, your agents will improve their current skills and acquire new ones to upgrade their skillsets. It also eliminates the ill manners that push customers away from your business, resulting in good customer feedback and higher returns.
The training program should cover the following topics:
- Product knowledge (focusing on benefits instead of features)
- Soft skills, such as clear communication, empathy, listening skills, optimism, sense of humor, and conflict resolution
- Proper documentation processes
- Furthermore, don’t forget to reinforce some articles, training manuals and guides, and reference videos so your agents can understand the topics better.
8. Use The Screen Pop Feature Of Your Call Center Software
Personalization is one of the most critical factors customers consider when making decisions. Configure your call center software’s screen pop feature to enable personalized customer service.
Screen pop is a helpful feature that organizes customer data and saves time. When there’s an incoming call, a window containing valuable customer information will pop out of your call center software in seconds. With this information, you’ll provide a personalized call and improve your customer experience.
9. Track Your Performance
It’s important to track your performance to determine and address potential issues immediately. This way, you’ll provide excellent customer service and prevent issues that may damage your reputation.
Some call center metrics you need to keep an eye on to boost customer satisfaction scores are as follows:
- Customer Satisfaction Score: This indicates how happy customers are when calling your company. It’s usually based on four sentiments: very satisfied, satisfied, not satisfied, and very unsatisfied.
- First Response Time: This refers to the average time it takes for a customer to reach an agent. A longer response time means your agents keep customers waiting in line.
- First Contact Resolution Rate: This metric refers to successful resolutions within a customer’s first call. It shows how effectively your agents deal with client issues and concerns.
- Customer Retention Rate: It measures how many customers remain loyal to your brand within a specific time frame.
- Customer Churn Rate: It measures how many customers have stopped using your brand within a specific time frame.
- Agent Utilization Rate: It’s the average time your agent spends making calls concerning their total work hours per day. This is another way to check the performance of your team.
10. Reward Your Team For Their Hard Work
Employees are an essential asset for every company. Without them, there will be no one to accomplish such tedious and challenging tasks.
So, make them feel valuable by giving your employees the rewards they deserve based on the hard work they put into your business. This will keep them motivated and help them strive harder and do better for the company.
To determine the deserving agents, go back to your metrics and evaluate their performance objectively. This ensures that each is treated just and fairly.
In addition, be generous when giving rewards and ensure everyone understands the rules of the incentivization process. Here are some reward ideas your employees would love:
- A three-day trip abroad
- A wellness package, such as fitness memberships, salon makeover, spa relaxation, and many more
- Fully paid days off (which should not count as official leaves)
- Certification and cash incentives
- Sudden promotion or salary increase
A call center is a place where you can provide exceptional customer service, boost customer experience, and increase customer satisfaction.
Indeed, there are no one-size-fits-all solutions that can boost and improve the performance of your call center operations. What you can do instead is to determine which practices work best for your business and organizations.
The call center discussed here are only a few ways to help you motivate and encourage your agents to improve themselves to provide an exceptional customer experience.