Making the Most of Your Call Center Agents

Making the Most of Your Call Center Agents

Your call center is a pool of unused talent that can help your growing company with more than just the basics.  While it certainly helps to have a staff on hand to answer calls for your business, call center agents can do a lot more for you if you give them the right training and opportunities.

From basic online marketing to scheduling, you can make better use of these valuable employees, which can save money and bring in new business for your company.

Get Creative

Your call center representatives often have been trained in a variety of tasks beyond their current job duties, including scheduling, marketing, and lead generation.  This makes it easy to use your agents in creative ways around your company.

  • Lead generation: Having your phone representatives generate leads with new customers or upsell current customers can ease the strain on your sales team while maintaining the same amount of sales.  Phone reps can make quick sales themselves in the course of their work or forward customers to your sales team.  If your sales team software is integrated with your call center software, your reps can make better use of leads by inputting them directly into the system.
  • Live Chat: Internet shoppers are more likely to make a purchase from your website if it employs live chat.  Live chat extends your business hours beyond a typical 8-hour day and makes it available to customers in other time zones.  Extending your hours with live chat or having chat live 24 hours a day can help bring in new customers for your business.

Ditch the Script

A great way to improve your call center customer service is to give your agents the freedom to use their own words with your customers.  Customers dislike hearing an obvious script that may not answer their specific questions or needs.

  • Having a script is good for dealing with new or heated customers but can be limiting in other situations.  Give your reps the freedom to use their intuition and knowledge of your company to confidently take their customer service to the next level.
  • Train your reps with a loose script to get them familiar with what you’re looking for in a customer service interaction.  Over time, encourage them to back away from the script and use their own words and knowledge when handling calls.
  • Give your reps guidelines for ways to handle common situations.  If they know their goals for the conversation, they can use the right attitude, verbiage, and objection responses while successfully avoiding a generic script.

Call center agents can bring an impressive array of skills to your business.  Taking advantage of those skills can help you avoid hiring new employees, support your sales team, and greatly expand the flexibility and responsiveness of your customer service.

The preceding blog entry is a guest post by Megan Webb-Morgan, who is a web content writer for Resource Nation.  She writes about small business, focusing on topics such as call center software.  Find Resource Nation on Facebook, too!

The Importance of Tone of Voice for Call Center Agents

“It’s not only what you say, but how you say it.”

Ever heard that expression?

It’s true.  Tone of voice is a powerful thing.  Sometimes, even if your words are crystal clear, the message you are trying to get across can be dramatically different depending on your tone of voice.  According to Dr. Albert Mehrabian of UCLA, tone of voice can account for up to 38% of how a spoken message is comprehended.

Although tone of voice is a critical element in any type of real-life communication, in a call center environment it becomes even more important.  The voices of call center agents are often the only thing linking them with their customers.  Even if the agent means well, a misunderstanding because of the way something is said can leave a bad taste in a customer’s mouth, and in extreme cases could even lead to a cancellation of service, or worse.  Therefore, call center agents must always be mindful of their tone of voice, and work on making themselves sound interested and active even during times when they might really feel otherwise.

Customers want to feel that their customer service representative really cares about their issue.  Agents should remember that, although they may have dealt with hundreds of similar calls throughout a particular day, for each individual caller the issue is brand new.  A bored or rushed tone of voice will make the caller feel like he/she is just another number.  On the other hand, a friendly and enthusiastic tone of voice conveys a sense of caring, making the caller feel special.

Some tips to improve tone of voice for call center agents include:

  • Picture yourself as the customer.  By putting yourself in their shoes, their issue becomes yours.  Therefore, your tone of voice is more likely to seem interested and engaging.
  • Be aware of your breathing.  The way a person breathes can have a huge effect on how a person sounds on the phone.  Breathing shallowly can cause people to speak too quickly or mumble.  Breathing more deeply results in increased vocal energy, which is necessary to complete a lengthy script or deliver an important message on the phone.
  • Maintain good posture.  Bad posture can negatively affect breathing and tone of voice.  Therefore, it is important for call center agents to maintain good ergonomic form by sitting up straight in their chairs and not slouching.  Your spine will thank you for this!
  • Insert inflections into your speech.  Consciously altering the pitch of your voice by placing emphasis on certain words, rather than speaking in a continuous monotone, makes you seem more interesting, engaging, and alive.  A spoken sentence with many natural inflections is much more pleasant to listen to than an unbroken, unvaried tone of voice.

A lively, engaging tone of voice is one of the key qualities of a successful customer service call center agent.

Tacamor is known for its interesting, energetic and expert customer service agents.  Put Tacamor to work for your company today by getting in touch to request a quote.

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