Customer satisfaction is so important to a call center (as is for any organization) to retain clientele and have them keep coming back to the business. Fostering a lasting relationship with customers is key and so training agents in the basics of phone etiquette is necessary.
While working in a call center environment—i.e., a centralized office used for the purpose of receiving or transmitting a large volume of requests by telephone—an agent ought to have the customer-service skills needed to interact with callers appropriately (such as to engage in active listening) and serve them professionally. Lately, there has been an increased push for better CRM integration to promote company growth. That may mean to go beyond just assisting clientele to a service they may be entitled to and be adamant to manage the interaction with those calling.
Establishing a customer-centric enterprise that values the people who support it, using the latest technology, and considering tools like key performance indicators (KPIs), which are a great way to evaluate the relationship with clients, is likely going to overcome what are thought to be the biggest challenges revealed in customer-service.
An ITWeb post reported Tuesday on the importance of contact centers recruiting and investing in the right people to ensure that customers are served in the best possible way. According to Tamsin Bradford, operations manager at Sage Pastel, who oversees a team of 105 agents who handle more than 50,000 customer calls and over 7,000 Web chat and email interactions each month, call centers’ “agents must be good problem solvers, adaptable learners, and empathetic listeners.” She also believes that they must “be technically adept and have excellent interpersonal skills,” be detail-oriented, have excellent attendance, be motivated and enthusiastic. In short, professional customer service centers must employee knowledgeable workers that can proactively assess consumers’ needs.
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Bradford also sees technology as a critical tool, including automatic call distribution (ACD) software and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) applications, to support operational efficiency and drive value for customers. Therefore, a continuous investment in call center technologies is essential, she explains, in improving each customer’s experience.
Bradford believes the customer frontline is the helpdesk; therefore, it is very important to make sure the best agents are in those positions to provide the best possible service to needing clients. It is where Sage Pastel’s support center sends its strongest soldiers, she says; Bradford attributes to this practice part of the team's success in customer relations. In this way, the company manages to keep people loyal and satisfied, while also creating a happy workforce with fewer problems to deal with, she adds.
Further, Bradford notes that front-line workers are in the most demanding positions dealing with customers who are often stressed, so it is also important in a successful call center, and ultimately a successful business, to take on board feedback from agents so to improve staff morale.
Overall, according to Bradford, it takes the right set of tools and processes to help agents do their jobs more efficiently, but it also takes good call center management to ensure the right people are in the right seats at the right time.
Edited by Maurice Nagle