Treat The Customer As A Person, Not A Process

 “This call may be monitored for quality assurance.” Believe it or not, all this information does go somewhere. Information such as how many times an individual has to call to solve their problem, the average handle time, and even the effectiveness of customer service representatives. From this data, a few trends stand out. At the average call center, 52% of the time customer service representatives cannot resolve problems on the first call. Just a 1% FCR improvement would save the average company $250,000 annually, not to mention reducing customers at risk, which would create a considerable opportunity for savings in itself. There is great potential for improvements and savings just by making a few simple changes. 


1. Have a positive connection with the customer. Positive connections begin with the desire to develop rapport. This means not only treating them with respect, but also being able to see to the fundamental problem, making the solution correct and efficient.
2. Listen. If you ask a customer what is the key to excellent service, generally they will tell you it is demonstrating interest and concern by listening intently. Make sure you understand what they have said. Paraphrase the customer’s questions back to them. This will increase clarity and focus, making for accurate solutions.
3. Meet them where they are. CSRs and customers can often feel like they are speaking a different language. Say things in a way or in a context that they will understand.
4. Go the extra mile. Anticipate other problems they may be having or may encounter based on their initial question. This will reduce the need for callbacks.
5. Empathize with the customer and show it with a calm, soothing tone of voice. Increased genuine listening will help here. Showing a sincere desire to solve the problem can make all the difference.
6. Respect the customer’s time by communicating with the customer about the live hold. Be efficient and accountable to your customers.
7. Playback the film. Listen to a call with a manager, critique and drop the defensiveness. This is no place for prima donna’s. Becoming aware of behaviors is a powerful tool for improvement. See the good and make note of what was less than effective and make changes accordingly.
8. At all costs avoid losing your patience. The more patience exhibited, the more positive and effective the call will be.
9. Give positive, supportive statements. This will reduce the amount of negativity and make the customer feel that finding the solution to their problem was important and, in turn, will reduce negative feedback about the company at large.
10. No more excuses. Work on yourself and set a goal to improve a little with each day. You don’t have to be perfect to succeed, but keep looking for ways to improve skills and make positive changes.

Remember, we want to hear “I was very satisfied with the customer service. The agent answered all my questions and was very patient and knowledgeable. This was the best service I have ever had with a customer service agent!”
A dedication to positive and effective solutions and a genuine concern and desire to see each customer succeed will only create positive changes in a call center. Respect and a positive attitude will improve both the CSR’s and the customer’s experience and lead to an overall better view of the company. Keep smiling!


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