Call center agents are often referred to as the ‘face of the company’ because they are the first and may be the company’s only point of contact with their customers. A customer’s loyalty is often established on each positive interaction that they have with an agent. Thus, observing telephone etiquette in call centers can help increase customer experience and brand awareness.
Working in a call center is quite challenging; as an agent, you are bound to face ‘sticky situations’ and it is your responsibility to provide quality customer service. Being well-versed about telephone etiquette may help you become a more effective customer support specialist. Below is a list that can guide you in interacting with customers.
Always Be Professional
As the ‘face of the company’, it’s an agent’s responsibility to maintain professionalism all throughout his or her conversation with a customer. Completing adequate training can help an agent keep his or her customer interactions in line with the company’s goals and values. As the owner of a call center, you should ensure that your agents’ calls are closely monitored for quality and adherence.
Courteousness is a Key Telephone Etiquette
Treat each of your callers with courtesy by asking how they prefer to be addressed and using their name periodically throughout the conversation. Additionally, customers appreciate if you can pronounce their names properly and say it with a smile. If you do not know how to pronounce their name, ask and they will happily teach you. Make sure to make your customers finish before you speak; interrupting them in mid-sentence will come across as disrespectful and what what they have to say is not important to you. Speaking in a clear and calm manner will make your customer feel more positive about you.
Be Honest and Keep the Customers Informed
Agents should never make up an answer; if a customer’s situation is beyond an agent or the agent simply does not know the answer, he or she should escalate the call to an employee who can properly address it. Business owners should make sure that their agents are properly trained on keeping the customers informed. For example, agents should inform the customer on what they are going to do and how long it will take to address any issues. It is highly advised that an agent gives a longer timeframe than necessary because if a customer’s issues are fixed in less time, he or she will feel valued and appreciated. Taking a longer time than promised to fix a customer’s issues will make them upset and maybe even terminate their business with you.
To have a successful interaction with customers, an agent should exert confidence when handling a call. Being knowledgeable about the products and services that your company offers makes your agents well-equipped to handle most situations; instilling confidence among your agents will help make them more effective when communicating with customers.
Show Interest in Your Customers
An effective agent shows genuine interest to his or her customer’s needs. Showing interest when speaking with customers also promotes a smooth interaction with them. Working as a call center agent for a long period of time may get a bit ‘monotonous, but if you keep it fresh by showing genuine interest in each of your callers it wouldn’t feel that way. Try to make a quick connection with your customers whenever possible.