Diversity is a great thing. Just think of how boring life would be if each and every person out there thought and acted in exactly the same way. Actually, I think there was an old episode of The Twilight Zone about exactly that, and it wasn’t pretty.
Needless to say, life would not be very fun. However, it sure would make customer service easier! Knowing unquestionably how someone is going to react to any particular statement would be a huge advantage for any customer service call center. With this knowledge, they could create the perfect script to deal with any sort of problem, without any risk of the customer becoming annoyed or offended.
However, thankfully, the world is not like that, and just like snowflakes, each and every person out there is different. For example, some people really enjoy it when call center agents inject a bit of humor or personality into their customer service. To them, this conveys that they are talking to a real, interesting person rather than a robotic automaton that is simply following a script or series of steps. For many people, offering some level of personal interaction may make the call tremendously more enjoyable. And, as we know, keeping customers happy makes life easier for everyone.
However, some level of caution is necessary because not every customer will react positively to this type of thing. Many people out there simply do not appreciate the “extra” intangible things that a customer service agent can provide, such as a witty remark or a flash of personality, instead preferring to keep things straightforward and to the point. This could be due to a number of reasons. Perhaps the caller is in a hurry and needs to resolve the issue ASAP. Or, maybe he or she is not a native English speaker and does not feel comfortable with unrelated banter. Maybe, for whatever reason, the caller simply does not desire a buddy-buddy relationship with the customer service agent and would prefer to maintain some level of distance.
That’s why call center agents need to be chameleons. Now, this doesn’t mean that they should suddenly start growing scales or develop a taste for houseflies. Rather, customer service agents must be able to listen for and properly interpret any vocal or tonal cues, and then successfully adapt their communication style to satisfy the individual preferences of the caller. Just like a chameleon can change its color to adapt to its surroundings, call center agents must be able to adjust their customer service problem solving style to the circumstances of each particular call.
Does the customer sound like he or she is in a good mood? Did he or she begin the call by asking some personal question? Does the customer use terms of endearment like “my dear” or “buddy” throughout the call? If so, he or she may appreciate some degree of banter or personal interaction with the agent.
On the other hand, does the caller sound rushed? Did he or she immediately bring up the issue without any sort of formality? Did he or she emphasize how important it was to resolve the issue right away? If this was the case, it is probably best to focus solely on solving the problem as quickly as possible, without any of the extra personal touches that other customers might enjoy.
There is also the issue of balancing average handle time (AHT) against other key performance metrics. Some clients might want their agents to focus on resolving all calls as quickly as possible, at the expense of anything else. In that case, all non-related banter and playful chat should be kept to a bare minimum.
By having a flexible approach to communication, call center agents can adapt to any type of customer service call, and are therefore more likely to resolve issues successfully while keeping customers happy.
Tacamor call center agents have the expertise and communication skills to deal with any sort of customer service situation. Put our camouflaged chameleons to work for you and get in touch today!