By job definition, a call center agent is the person who takes and does incoming or outgoing customer calls for a business. A call center agent might handle account inquiries, support issues or customer complaints.
Gone are the good old days of my usual slumber at night; now has embraced the nocturnal life of being a full-fledged call center associate. Though, for almost a year now of heartily building a career different from what I imagined to take, it somehow remains my dilemma on how to be a lot affective in this new field of endeavor, thus making a key factor to eventually step up to the top. Taking from almost a year of experience and some generous research, I'd like to share a few written thoughts of how to effectively function on this job. These are just a few of the so-called best practices I have been following and I gather too, an agent should perhaps consider in order to deliver world class customer service over the phone:
1. Identify Yourself And The Company You Represent.
--Saying something like "Hi, welcome to *your account/company*. My name is *your name*, how may I be of help?" sends a positive first impression from you and the kind of company you are with which is friendly and professional. Incorporating this with a lively and accommodating tone of voice is a big plus factor.
2. Express Willingness Of Help.
--Start the call in a positive note. Using words of assurance like "I'd be glad to assist you" or "Sure, not a problem. I'm here to help you" can give a customer a level of confidence on you and would also help the customer feel at eased. This can either way help eliminate future tensions as you may not really know what call is all about not until you progress with it.
3. Ask For Pertinent Basic Information From The Caller Like Their Complete Name and Issue.
-As obviously this will help you address customers appropriately as you go on with the call and the conversation. And since it will somehow make the call a bit relaxed, placing not too much tension at the course of it eventually helps you let take control of the call but not pushing the caller out the scene, Saying something like, "Before we proceed, may I please have your full name so I can address you appropriately?" is good enough to say.
4. Record, Confirm and Repeat Question As Necessary.--At all times an agent needs to accurately get what the caller really wants simply by repeating or confirming to him/her the reasons of the calling in. It is sometimes important to restate the question being raised in order to let the caller know you correctly grasp all the concerns, because the only worse thing than silence and assumption is answering a question that is not asked in the first place. Saying something like "I believe you are calling in because you want to know about the services we cater to, is that correct?'' is more than good enough to start with.
5. Answer Every Questions or Inquiries The Best Possible Way You Can.
--Give your best possible respond to every questions raised by a caller. This time you need to know exactly what you're saying and where you're coming from as this stage is critical to some vital information needed to be understood by a customer. Never attempt to use "I think" or "maybe" as an answer when you are at wit's end because it can definitely push you to the ledge, much more the company you work for. If you are having a terrible time of answering the question or if you are completely clueless of the matter being raised, it's okay to ask permission and place the customer on hold so you can double check on it. Saying something like "To best provide you with the answer, I need to look in to my resources and confirm everything. Will it be okay for you to stay on hold for a minute or two?" will be a wise segway on this regard. For all you'll know, your customer will be much better served and will appreciate your help more if you allow such polite and reasonable act to happen, worse comes to worst. If it would really require you to clear up a question in 60 seconds or so, it is acceptable to place the customer on hold provided your request is granted beforehand. Remember to do everything of this procedure is an efficient, friendly and prompt manner.
6. Conclude The Call.
--As you end the call conversation, ask the customer if you have provided all the necessary information he/she needed. Don't forget to leave a customer with a warm and friendly closing statement. Reiterate your availability to help should he/she needs to call you back. An "If there's nothing else I can assist you, thank you for calling *your account/company*. Have a good day." will more than suffice as your complementary closing spiel.
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