3 Expectations Every Customer Requires From a Call Center

What do customers require from call centers?  It’s a simple enough question and one with an obvious answer, correct?  Well, hold on there, Cowboy, you might be surprised.

Whether you like it or not, there is a code to crack in the call center universe toward satisfying the wants of your customers.  Distill it how you may, but there is no getting around the marriage between metrics and service.  It is the “nature versus nurture” scenario.  You know the one.  It’s tastes like peanut butter and jelly.  They go together, hand in hand.  You might think of it as task and relationship orientations.

Finding a balance between getting the job done and relishing the call center life is priority one.  As a call center supervisor or manager, it is vital to your success to address both aspects of your center’s business as you supply the deliverables to your customers.

[step_graphics style=”2″ color=”#b91313″][step style=”2″ text=”1″ headline=”Top-Shelf%20Service”]%3Cp%3EWith%20the%20ease%20of%20a%20keystroke%2C%20your%20customers%20have%20access%20to%20billions%20of%20bytes%20of%20information%2C%20some%20of%20which%20represents%20your%20competition.%20%20Even%20easier%2C%20your%20customers%20can%20find%20your%20competition%20after%20they%20have%20miserable%20experiences%20with%20your%20agents.%20%20Why%3F%20%20Because%20they%20are%20fueled%20by%20poor%20service%2C%20still%20need%20help%2C%20and%20don%E2%80%99t%20have%20to%20hunt%20down%20a%20Yellow%20Page%20directory!%20%20Your%20competitors%20are%20at%20your%20customer%E2%80%99s%20keypad%20fingertips.%20In%20short%2C%20it%20is%20crucial%20that%20you%20insist%20from%20yourself%2C%20your%20management%20team%20and%20your%20agents%20that%20they%20treat%20customers%20as%20if%20their%20very%20lives%20depend%20on%20excellent%20customer%20service.%20%20Because%2C%20guess%20what%3F%20%20Their%20call%20center%20careers%20depend%20on%20it%2C%20and%20so%20does%20yours.%20%3C%2Fp%3E%0A[/step][step style=”2″ text=”2″ headline=”Competence”]%3Cp%3EPerhaps%20one%20of%20the%20most%20significant%2C%20understated%20core%20competencies%20desired%20by%20customers%20is%20each%20agent%E2%80%99s%20ability%20to%20do%20the%20job%20or%20competency.%20%20Efficiency%20and%20effectiveness%20is%20the%20name%20of%20the%20game%20today.%20%20Agents%20on%20your%20floor%20can%20represent%20your%20company%20in%20many%20ways%2C%20but%20one%20way%20they%20must%20represent%20well%20is%20through%20a%20high%20level%20of%20competency.%20%20Each%20call%20center%20agent%20must%20have%20a%20developed%20acumen%20of%20knowledge%2C%20skills%20and%20talent%20that%20are%20honed%20to%20provide%20the%20very%20best%20customer%20service%20experience%20for%20the%20customer.%20%20Again%2C%20this%20idea%20starts%20from%20the%20top%20of%20the%20management%20team.%20%20A%20competent%20management%20team%20provides%20steady%2C%20reliable%20leadership%20through%20proper%20staff%20management%2C%20workforce%20planning%20and%20management%2C%20performance%20management%20and%20technology%20management.%20%20Setting%20this%20pace%20at%20the%20highest%20level%20demonstrates%20a%20standard%20of%20best%20practices%20that%20is%20effective%20for%20requiring%20managers%20to%20coach%20agents%20in%20the%20value%20of%20customers%E2%80%99%20perceptions%20of%20agent%20competencies.%20%20In%20other%20words%2C%20make%20sure%20your%20call%20center%20agents%20are%20positioned%20to%20handle%20calls%20efficiently%20and%20effectively.%20%20%3C%2Fp%3E%0A[/step][step style=”2″ text=”3″ headline=”PMA%20%E2%80%93%20Positive%20Mental%20Attitude”]%3Cp%3EA%20few%20posts%20ago%2C%20positive%20mental%20attitude%20(PMA)%20was%20highlighted%20as%20a%20way%20to%20improve%20agent%20performance.%20%20It%20holds%20true%20and%20finds%20itself%20in%20this%20group%20of%20three%2C%20customer%20expectations.%20%20Think%20about%20it.%20%20Every%20time%20you%20get%20on%20a%20call%20as%20a%20customer%2C%20you%20know%20in%20the%20first%2C%20five%20seconds%20how%20the%20call%20will%20be%20resolved.%20%20Why%3F%20%20First%20of%20all%2C%20if%20you%E2%80%99ve%20been%20in%20the%20call%20center%20business%20for%20any%20length%20of%20time%2C%20you%20learn%20how%20to%20listen.%20%20It%E2%80%99s%20inevitable.%20%20Secondly%2C%20you%20can%20tell%20by%20the%20tone%20of%20the%20agent%E2%80%99s%20voice%20if%20the%20agent%20is%20interested%20in%20being%20helpful%20to%20you%20or%20is%20more%20interested%20in%20replying%20to%20his%20internal%20chat%20line.%20%20And%2C%20what%20about%20his%20attitude%3F%20%20That%E2%80%99s%20why%20PMA%20is%20so%20important.%20%20It%E2%80%99s%20where%20it%20all%20begins.%20%20%20A%20positive%20mindset%20is%20optimistic%2C%20useful%2C%20beneficial%20and%20fun!%20%20A%20call%20center%20agent%20that%20is%20positive%20will%20gravitate%20toward%20being%20solution%20oriented%2C%20especially%20for%20a%20customer.%20%20An%20agent%20with%20a%20high%20PMA%20is%20one%20that%20can%20create%20a%20buzz%20in%20the%20center%20that%20is%20infectious.%20%20So%2C%20during%20this%20holiday%20season%2C%20if%20your%20supervisors%2C%20managers%20or%20agents%20are%20going%20to%20catch%20anything%2C%20make%20sure%20they%20are%20catching%20a%20high%20PMA.%3C%2Fp%3E%0A[/step][/step_graphics]

Every customer that calls your call center has basic requirements.  He or she wants the best, competent service available, preferably with a smile.  It’s no secret.  In this holiday season, make sure that your management team is receiving from you what every customer requires from your call center:  top-shelf service, competence and PMA.

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To your success,

Greg Meares

 

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About the Author: Greg Meares

As a Sr. Consultant for Performance Connections, Inc., Greg's primary objective is to provide value to organizations that are focused on raising brand awareness. Additionally Greg works on improving the customer experience, through business process re-engineering, and call center best practices. Greg is an industry expert and is often called upon to provide his analysis and solution oriented approach to improving performance in the BPO and Call Center industry.

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