Customer expectations towards service continuously increase. Running a call center can be stressful. Fortunately, we have prepared a few tips that you can implement in your team today.
Global Microsoft’s survey showed that 54% of all customers admit they have higher customer service expectations than they did just one year ago. In a dynamically developing business world, it is crucial to find key aspects to focus on and win over customers’ hearts. Nowadays, providing an exceptional customer journey, including outstanding support, is a standard, not a luxury. Keep reading to find out how to manage a call center more effectively.
Hire the right people
Being a call center team member is a challenge. It seems like a job that does not require unique qualifications. Nevertheless, being a consultant and communicating with customers, requires advanced social skills. Consultants must be patient and understanding as they deal with customers’ problems. They can also very often be exposed to callers’ anger and frustration - find people who are willing to patiently solve issues.
As mentioned above, call center employees do not have to have a specific education or experience. The most important thing is to identify people with potential and those who are willing to learn how to support customers in the best way. A good memory and listening skills are in high demand in such a job as well as paying attention to details and multitasking.
You might also consider hiring remote workers. For that, you need a cloud phone system so that your employees can work wherever they want, preferably also via mobile app. New technologies change our world and your company has to change as well.
Provide solid onboarding
A complete helpful introduction is crucial for new employees. Set of rules and scripts that can be easily implemented in conversation is a must-have. Scripts are templates of sales or support calls that have main points which must be included during a conversation. Scripts should be intuitive and clear. Keep them simple and easy to skim - a good idea can be to use color-coding to enhance productivity. Nevertheless, your team needs to be familiar with the scripts so that a conversation with a customer can be smooth. While designing scripts consult with your agents. You should also base them on recorded calls. That way scripts can be more useful in the future because they are inspired by real conversations.
Additionally, operators need to gain knowledge about your products and company so that they can best serve your customers.
For the training purposes, you can use recordings of the most effective calls. That way you can show in practice what kind of attitude you require.
When it comes to onboarding one of the best ideas is to let new employees gain some experience on their own. Firstly, you can do the role play and try out exemplary situations. Secondly, whether it seems risky, it is good to let a new team member solve issues of real customers. With the help of more experienced colleagues or a supervisor, new employees can test their skills in practice.
Find out more about factors that influence service quality in a call center.
There is always room for improvement. Be present in the office and do side-by-side observations. You can analyze the effectiveness of calls, based on closed deals and resolved issues. Listen to the call recordings. If you want to criticize someone’s work you have to point out precisely what aspects you do not approve. Moreover, show your support and give practical tips on how to improve work performance.
Additionally, it is warmly welcome to acknowledge team effort, appreciate someone’s improvement. Do not hesitate to publicly praise your employees.
While managing a call center team you should control your proteges but you also stick to rules. That way new employees can easily adapt in your company and appreciate your management style.
Organize monthly meetings to sum up the recent improvements, evaluate your strategy, analyze the performance, but also to cooperate with other teams. Customer service can help other divisions understand clients’ needs. Such collaboration can also help your team in minimizing calls if some problems will be solved by other departments. For example, confusions regarding your website. Some of the issues can also appear in your company’s FAQ section.
Focus on the bigger picture
Use online tools that will take the repetitive tasks off your team’s hands. Thanks to such solutions you can:
- create customized call queues,
- automatically call back if you missed a call from a customer,
- set up personalized initial greetings,
- apply customized tags to your contacts,
- use automated call distribution,
- create Interactive Voice Response menu,
- use smart routing of inbound calls based on the caller’s phone number with your custom criteria,
- set a preferred agent for each client,
- see real-time customer card.
If you automate processes your team can focus on providing the best possible customer service. That way you can decrease the costs per call and number of calls that are needed to solve an issue. When a right agent deals with a certain type of problem and knows their specifics, he has a bigger chance to help customers immediately.
Using a cloud phone system also enhances call center management. You can easily add new agents, track performance thanks to call statistics and monitor your call center activities thanks to the real-time dashboard.
Integrate online tools
To expect the best performance from your team you have to provide effective technology in your company. Once you integrate many online tools your team use, operators will have access to all the essential information about your clients in one place. It can save a lot of time when it comes to customer service.
Choose a cloud phone system that can be integrated with ecommerce platforms, as well as CRM systems and helpdesk tools. Once your team has significant data at their fingertips, they can help your customers or sale being armed with more information and, therefore, understanding callers better.
We hope that now you are inspired to improve your call center team so that you can provide better customer support. Boosting effectiveness can be powered both by a team and a system. Smart management and data-driven decision making is the key.