Enjoying a helpful, customer service experience is our goal, both as call center, customer service providers and as customers ourselves. As customers, we have customer service needs from time to time. Various companies are servicing our accounts. Many of these companies use call center agents to field their customer service support.
Have you called an agent lately to have a problem resolved?
Were you pleased with the service you received?
If you weren’t pleased with the experience, what about the call was so displeasing?
Because you’re in the call center business, you already know what to expect as a customer dialing-in. You can anticipate how you will be serviced and can respond accordingly. Your time is limited, but you made the call even though you do your best to avoid dialing-in to customer service of any company that has you as their customer.
You know why. You know that you know too much about how customers are to be served. You know that if you don’t receive the very least of what any great, customer service agent should offer, your short fuse of expectation would be lit quickly. You get frustrated right away because you think, “If this call center were MY call center, this call would be much better. This agent would be better trained. He ought to be reading my mind by now!” It’s funny to write in this post, but it’s not funny when you’re living it, is it? Thus, your experience is at a disadvantage from the start, all because you know too much inside information.
Let’s take this thought process a step further.
Let’s assume that most customers are like you, and have many accounts, some of which are being served by call center agents in customer service support. Let’s also say that these customers are your customers. Will they have a similar experience?
In many cases, our call center agents are pleasant, aren’t they? We have trained them well and they know what to do. In fact, IVR (Interactive Voice Response) can do the job just as well, being pleasant, that is. But, what can’t IVR do?
You see, IVR can be more knowledgeable than the customer service agent. But, where IVR is limited is in its ability to offer a warm, helpful service experience. The customer ultimately wants the problem solved. So, simply being warm and cooperative is not the answer. It is important to build rapport and empathy quickly, but it must be combined with knowledge and helpfulness.
To drill down deeper into this idea of offering a personalized, warm, helpful customer service experience, agents must understand how to approach the complaint of the customer. To being, in many cases, the customer is unhappy when making the call. The agent is wise to articulate empathy, allowing the customer to vent feelings while describing the problem. The agent should reflect or repeat back to the customer what was understood about the problem that prompted the customer to call. The agent might also ask a question or two so that the problem is understood as completely as possible. Therefore, having the necessary knowledge to solve the problem is key for the agent to be truly helpful.
The bottom-line for the customer is problem resolution with a smile. If the agent is warm and empathetic, but offers no solution, the customer might come back. After a while, though, if the customer service support cannot solve the problem, the customer will move onto your competitor. The customer might also move onto your competitor if the service solves the problem, but the experience is bitter. When matching a personalized, warm personality and comprehensive product knowledge, an agent is well equipped to provide a helpful, customer service experience in your call center.
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All The Best,