Call centers are the backbone of today’s market. Every business has a call center to deal with the clients’ issues. A well-managed and efficient call center can help a long way in making the business get more clients and retain the existing ones. They are directly responsible for maintaining the company’s image in the eyes of the target clientele and thus can make or break the business.
Call centers deal with clients directly. There are no communication intermediaries. On one side, there is the customer and on the other is the calling agent. This is why in the customer’s eyes the agent represents everything about the company. Because of this, the agent should make sure that the service he is delivering is of the best quality.
Making sure that the customer is satisfied at the end of the call is no easy task. Humans are highly unpredictable creatures and thus, each interaction is unique. The same strategies that worked with one customer might end up negatively affecting another. While there are no sure shot algorithms or formulas to deliver the best customer experience, there are a few tried and tested methods that can make sure that the interaction is a positive one, both for the customer as well as the agent.
Here are 5 easy steps for improving the experience of the customers interacting with a call center:
1. Minimum On-Hold Times during Calls
Nobody likes being put on hold during calls. While it is mildly annoying when an acquaintance or a family member does it, it becomes downright infuriating when a call center agent does it. The customers wouldn’t care if their issues actually need time to be resolved and the agent can’t help but make them wait. Most customers feel that a call center should be a one-stop solution for all their problems. They don’t see the company as an organization having different sections. They see it is a single monolithic structure and thus, can’t help but feel angry when an agent puts them on hold because he needs to contact the support team immediately.
While eliminating waiting time is an impossibility, at least in the current time, there are many practices that companies can employ that the on-hold time becomes as less as possible. Shorter waiting time keeps the customers happy and ends up making them a lot more satisfied with the services.
2. Efficient Call Flow Management
Call centers get a lot of calls. That’s what they are there to do, handle and make calls. However, if there is no proper system to manage all the calls everything will go to bust. A single hour of overflow might end up tearing the reputation of your company to shreds. It is necessary that there are measures in place that can manage the call traffic and redirect the calls to the necessary extensions.
It is very common that the customer has an issue which the agent cannot resolve by his lonesome. Different agents have different jobs and one should not expect a single agent to know everything. Proper call center software should be installed in order to make sure that the correct calls are forwarded to the agents who are equipped to handle them. This makes the interaction more fulfilling for both the caller as well as the agent.
3. Happy Calling Agents
Nobody can be expected to work at their best if they aren’t happy with the work. The same applies to calling agents as well. However unlike other jobs, an unhappy agent can directly influence the customer’s view of the company. A frustrated agent might answer calls in a rough or impolite way that can create a very negative impact for the company. Even if he is doing everything the customer wants him to and doing it quickly too, a bad attitude may end up making all his efforts futile.
Companies should ensure that their agents are happy with their work as well as the working environment. There should be measures put in place that keep the workers happy and satisfied. If anybody has any problems or difficulties there should be proper channels in place to help them talk to their seniors in order to rectify them. A happy agent is a productive agent.
4. Proper CEM integration
CEM (Customer Experience Management) is a set of tools that helps in monitoring and analyzing customer interaction. While many companies prefer not giving much attention on analytics, most successful companies have a well-established CEM program up and running. There are a lot of factors involved in customer interactions that have to be taken into account before making an efficient business strategy.
With a proper CEM integration in the call center software, a company can easily find out the needs of its customers, the more frequent problems they are facing and the best ways of how to deal with them. The monitoring and analysis of their calls are essential in driving business to provide the best customer satisfaction.
5. Listening to the Customers
The easiest solutions are always the most ignored ones. Most businesses opt to listen to market analysis, professional reports, and other official-sounding data when making campaign plans. What they fail to realize is that the simplest way to make customers happy is to give them what they are asking for. And who knows what the customers want? The customers themselves, obviously.
Call centers should ensure that they give due attention to customers’ demand. They should listen to their needs and value their feedbacks. By streamlining business plans according to the wants of the customers, a company can ensure not only positive growth but maximized customer satisfaction as well.
Customer satisfaction is not something that should be taken lightly by any company. As everybody knows the best advertisement is the one from the mouths of the customer and that can’t be achieved unless the customer is completely satisfied with the experience he or she had whilst interacting with the company. With a proper plan and detailed protocols, making customers happy and satisfied is not much of a problem; the only thing to focus on is that it should be given the priority it deserves. Happy and satisfied customers are the difference between success and failure of any business.
Deepanshu Gahlaut is a digital marketer and technical writer for Call Center Hosting, a leading provider of call center solutions and predictive dialer services. He is passionate about technology including cloud computing, VoIP, accounting, and startups. His writings display the knowledge and challenges that he collects with his day-to-day experiences.