Posts Tagged ‘call center life’

Strategies to Turn Customers Into Brand Advocates

Posted on: September 5th, 2019 by dorarapcsak No Comments

Acquiring customers is important but retaining them is what makes a business grow in the long term. Still, 44% of companies rather focus on customer acquisition than customer retention.

But did you know that it costs five times as much to acquire a customer than to keep an existing one? So, instead of focusing only on customer acquisition, make sure you put just as much energy into retaining your customers, and even turning them into brand advocates. Here’s how!

Offer next-level customer service

This might be obvious but, if you thrive to turn your customers into brand advocates, start by providing each of them with exceptional customer service because you never know who may later turn into your most loyal brand advocates.

Providing an overall good customer experience is a good first step, but chances are it won’t be enough for turning customers into advocates. Instead, you’ll need to take things further and know what your customers want, before they even know it, for example, by exceeding their expectations with proactive customer service.

Seeing your company is willing to go the extra mile to solve problems before they even occur will definitely make your customers feel that they are valued and respected, encouraging them to turn into loyal brand advocates.

Know your customers

What better way to show customers you value them than remembering their name? It makes customers feel like an individual and it also demonstrates that you actually care about them as a person.

In fact, thanks to today’s advanced technology, you can do a lot more than just greeting customers by their names. It’s no secret that customer service departments store a huge amount of customer data. And by leveraging data analytics instead of only storing your data, you can actually make good use of it. Proper analysis of customer data is the first step in understanding your customers. In fact, data analytics will allow you to better understand your customers’ behaviors and needs, and thus add personalization to your customer service.

By showing your customers that you know them, you’ll be able to make them feel treated as special customers and thus encourage them to commit to your business.

Ask for Feedback

Customer feedback is one of, if not the most valuable resource for your business. It is also an excellent way to gain insights into your company’s processes. After all, it is customers who use your products or services, so you better take their opinion seriously.

Customer feedback is giving you the opportunity to realize what you’re doing wrong and how you can improve your services. This allows you to better serve your customers by taking their feedback on board.

Furthermore, by asking for feedback, you can show your customers that you care about what they think and consider changing your product or services based on their thoughts. As a result, chances are better they will stick to your business and become brand advocates.

Create a community

Another great strategy to turn customers into brand advocates is by providing them with a platform (such as a forum) where they can interact with each other. As already mentioned in a previous article, one major benefit of creating a community around your brand is that it can significantly increase customer retention and engagement.

In order to create an online community, consider building as many social media platforms as you can manage, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Quora to serve as communication hubs where your customers can interact. You might want to consider creating a forum, as well, which is typically an ideal platform to create a community.

Giving your customers platforms where they can talk about your product will give you the opportunity not only to join the conversation and create a relationship with them but also listen to their feedback and deal with their complaints. 

5 Pro Tips to Retain Your Best Call Center Agents

Posted on: July 5th, 2019 by dorarapcsak No Comments

These days, businesses need to provide their employees with reasons to stay at the company. Offering an outstanding working environment and conditions is essential, but it is increasingly not enough in a business world where most industries face labor shortages. 

From the very beginning, call centers have had a bad reputation for being stressful places to work at. As such, it’s no surprise that agent retention is of utmost importance to most call centers.

In this article, we’ll give you five pro tips that will help you keep your agents in your team in the long run. Read on!

Empower them with the right tools

Technology is advancing at lighting speed, and it’s no different in the call center business. Therefore, instead of pushing your agents too much, make sure to rely on up-to-date technology to help them in their everyday work.

Making agents’ jobs easier by empowering them with smart call center features, such as a predictive dialer, CRM integration or call blending, will definitely encourage them to plan for the long term in your call center. In addition, system integrations will allow your agents to rely on a single all-in-one platform, instead of having to navigate around several systems.

In an ever-changing technological business environment, you need to keep up with technology advancements anyway, don’t you?

Offer valuable feedback

One thing is for sure: in a fast-paced work environment such as a call center, the majority of agents will undoubtedly appreciate feedback in order to able to excel at their job.

Valuable feedback can not only have a great impact on your agents’ performance but also provide them with the professional guidance any employee needs in order for them to plan for the long term in the workplace.

As such, always make sure to allocate enough time for one-to-one sessions with your agents and offer specific and crystal-clear feedback to them. If you need more help with this, check out our article on how to give feedback to your call center agents.  

Provide Systematic Training

When you allow your agents to talk to your customers, you are basically putting your company’s reputation in their hands. In other words, as it is your agents who can keep your customers happy in the long run, make sure to provide them with systematic training sessions so that they can treat customers in a way that is worthy of your company. 

When it comes to training call center agents, there are quite a few best practices. Reviewing recorded calls together with your agents, for example, will allow you to provide them with a crystal-clear example of what is and what is not acceptable during a customer call. 

Also, when training your agents, set your creativity free. You can, for example, create a common knowledge base, and encourage your agents to contribute to it with their own knowledge.

Career Development Opportunities

Call center agents have to work hard to hit their (often unrealistic) target KPIs. Of course, in such a competitive environment, agents crave recognition from management.

Appreciating your agents is a great first step, however, if you really want to retain your agents, make sure to create a workplace environment in which they are encouraged to plan for the long term.

Younger generations put a great emphasis on career opportunities. And as the call center industry is constantly growing, so do the opportunities to fulfill a career at a call center. As such, try and offer internal job promotion opportunities when your best agents reached their maximum potential in their agent team.

Add some fun to work

If you want to retain your best agents, then creating a collaborative atmosphere and better work culture should be high on your list of priorities.

Anyway, who says call center life can’t be enjoyable? There are plenty of ways to make your agents’ everyday work just a little bit more interesting.

For example, you can leverage call center gamification and introduce games into agents’ daily activities, including offering prizes to agents in order to encourage growth in both their engagement and performance.

Another great way to keep agents stay is by allowing them to contribute to social causes. Supporting a charity or organizing fundraising events as part of corporate social responsibility will definitely encourage your agents to feel connected to a larger cause, while also helping your business boost team morale.

The Power of Positive Attitude in Customer Service

Posted on: April 3rd, 2019 by dorarapcsak No Comments

“Customer Service is an attitude, not a department.” This quote may be old, but it’s so true, even today.

Let’s be honest, customer service departments are not known as particularly positive places, often being associated with irritation and frustration by both customers and agents.

For agents in particular, talking to a large number of customers every day who only contact you when they experience a problem, can be exhausting.

However, customer service is about helping customers, so a positive attitude is, whether you like it or not, vital for any agent in order to provide effective help.

And, from an agent’s personal point of view, a positive attitude in customer service can make even your worst day a lot better.

So, let’s take a quick look at why a positive attitude is of the utmost importance in a call center agent job. Make sure to read on!

Healthier work environment

A healthy work environment is equally important for both employers and employees. In fact, a healthy work environment helps improve agent well-being and productivity as well as drive business success.

If you think about it, you spend 1/3 of your life at work, so you might want spend it doing something you actually like. Also, as a call center agent you probably work in a team, and so a negative approach to work may affect not only you but everyone in the team.

With these points in mind, focusing on having a positive attitude in customer service will help maintain positive vibes in the office and prevent negativity from bringing the whole team down. And in the long run, a positive attitude will greatly help you and your colleagues contribute to a healthy work environment at the call center.

Improved performance – and career opportunities

Career opportunities at a call center are far more common than you might think. Although most people still think it’s not possible to move up in a call center, the truth is that call center employees have the opportunity to explore a wide variety of career opportunities.

These days, customer service jobs are so much more than simply repeating the same answer to customer after customer. In our tech-dominated world, call center agents need to have a deep understanding of both their customers as well as the products and services they are working with.

Check out our article on how to ladder up in a call center, and one thing will become clear to you: the first step is to master the ins and outs of your agent job. And handling customers with a positive attitude is definitely one important aspect when it comes to mastering these ins and outs.

Increased customer satisfaction

Ask any agent what’s the first thing their managers want and you can be sure that they’ll tell you: satisfied customers.

As a call center agent, satisfied customers is the number one KPI you need to be hitting. And a positive attitude in customer service will help you give your managers the results they are looking for.

Of course, since you’re talking to people who want their problems solved in the first place, annoyance and irritation is part of the deal, but a positive attitude will definitely help you find common ground with your customers, and thus increase overall customer satisfaction.

Negativity can affect not only your overall job performance but also the life of your colleagues around you. So, even when you are having a bad day, try to prevent negative thoughts from bringing you down, and maintain a positive attitude in customer service at all times, if possible. You’ll see it will make all the difference!

Top Benefits of Virtual Call Centers

Posted on: February 15th, 2019 by dorarapcsak No Comments

The call center industry is experiencing major changes, driven by changing customer behavior and ever-increasing customer demands.

Businesses are moving everything to the cloud from customer data to call center software, paving the way for the virtual call center business model.

The virtual call center is no longer a physical location but a cloud-based process that allows call center agents to work from any place in the world and companies to rely on more flexible and cost-effective call center operations.

Without further ado, here are the top benefits of virtual call centers – both for agents and companies.

Agent benefits

Employees are the most important asset to any organization. And for call centers, often struggling with high turnover rates, agent retention needs to be a major priority. Luckily, call center agents can enjoy a number of advantages of virtual call centers, while also helping businesses keep turnover rates lower.

No commute

Did you know that the majority of workers spend 30 minutes on average on commuting? There’s no question, no one likes sitting in traffic on their way to work when they can spend this time at home. In addition, the possibility to work from home also allows agents to save on expenses, such as gas prices and cost of public transportation.

Flexible hours

These days, employees increasingly prefer flexibility at work, therefore the idea of working from home is appealing for most call center agents. And virtual call centers are just ideal for accommodating these changing employee needs. In fact, inflexible working environment can easily scare potential talents away, especially younger generations, who often struggle with spending their day in a cubicle at the call center. With a virtual call center, however, you can let your agents enjoy some flexibility in their job while also allowing them to get off the hamster wheel.

Reduced stress levels

As already mentioned, agent retention has always been a major challenge for call centers. However, by running a virtual call center and allowing your agents to work from home, you’ll be able to significantly reduce stress levels in your call center. Indeed, home office creates a more relaxing workplace than ever-more popular open plan offices. Amongst other things, your agents will not only be able to shut out office noises and minimize work stress but also set up their ideal work environment.

Company benefits

Similarly to agents, companies too can greatly benefit from leveraging a virtual call center. Since virtual call centers can be run from any place in the world, companies can save on costs, easily scale up their business and gain access to a global pool of talents.

Cost savings

One thing is for sure: running a (physical) call center is extremely expensive. If your business leverages a virtual call center, however, you’ll be able to save on housing expenses, utility costs, IT facilities and employee catering. Furthermore, a virtual call center will allow you to easily scale up your business by adding additional remote agents to your team only during peak times. This, of course, means additional costs savings!

Agent satisfaction

There’s no doubt, constantly looking for and hiring new agents is a real pain in the back. Therefore, you better try and keep the morale high in your agent team before they leave you. Luckily, a virtual call center can be the ideal solution for that. With the above-mentioned advantages of virtual call centers, chances are your agents won’t lose their motivation so easily, and you finally won’t need to worry about agent turnover rate. It’s a win-win!

No geographical limits

Finding the best talent has always been a challenge for call centers, especially for those, who provide multilingual services for a great number of countries. Another major advantage of virtual call centers is that they allow you to access a global pool of high-quality talent and hire agents without geographical limits. For example, you can hire remote native workforce instead of struggling to find multilingual local agents while paying the extra cost for their language skills.

Workplace trends are rapidly changing and it really does seem that both agents and companies can greatly benefit from adopting the virtual call center business model.

Fighting Call Center Turnover: How to Boost Morale in Your Agent Team

Posted on: December 13th, 2018 by dorarapcsak No Comments

Working as a call center agent is not easy. Agents spend most of their time on the phone talking to customers, resolving complex issues with often angry customers. Considering the resulting high levels of stress commonly experienced, it’s no surprise that call center turnover rates are usually in the sky.

As with customer retention, though, agent retention needs to be at the heart of any business that wants to strive in the long term. However, finding new talent is becoming increasingly challenging due to the global labor shortage, while constantly hiring new staff results in significant onboarding and training costs.

So, you better make sure your call center agents enjoy coming to work each day. Luckily, we have a few tips ready to share with you on how you can boost morale in your agent team…

Social events

Social events can be a great opportunity for agents to get to know each other and let off steam after a hard workday. Such events will also help you create a better atmosphere in the company, one of the keys to reducing call center turnover.

Luckily, the options for social events are endless, so let your imagination run free and come up with ideas that will engage your agents. How about, for example, a breakfast gathering or an office sports day!

Another idea is to let your agents, rather than supervisors or management, organize work events. If you have ever seen the TV series ‘The Office’ you are probably familiar with the Party Planning Community, who organize work events at the company, such as the annual Christmas party. By letting your agents do the same, you can be pretty sure that they’ll become more enthusiastic about work events.

Social responsibility programs

Businesses need to give staff a reason to stay at the company. Of course, providing an outstanding working environment and conditions is essential, but it is increasingly not enough in a business world where most industries face labor shortages.

One great way to reduce call center turnover is by allowing your team to contribute to social causes and charities. Initiating social responsibility programs is a great opportunity for your business to build up a culture of giving.

Corporate social responsibility, such as supporting a charity or organizing fundraising events, encourages agents to feel connected to a larger cause, while also helping your business boost team morale.

Run competitions and give away prizes

Call center agents have to work hard to hit their (often unrealistic) target KPIs. Of course, in such a competitive environment, agents crave recognition from management.

As such, appreciating your agents for their hard work is probably the best morale booster at any call center, and it will also motivate agents to keep up their good work. So why not add some fun to your call center and run competitions among your agents?

There are a number of ways this could be done. For example, you can create a coupon book and give out coupons for 15 minutes of time off or work-from-home day. Whatever you do, always make sure to award prizes that make the winners feel special. You can be sure your agents will totally go for it!

Listen to your agents

We have already talked in a previous article about the importance of giving feedback to your call center agents (in case you missed it, make sure to check it out)! And, to reiterate what was said in that article, as a conversation always has two participants, taking feedback is equally important.

One thing is for sure: listening to your call center agents is your golden ticket to good team morale. Therefore, make sure you often ask your agents in your team how they feel, both inside and outside the workplace. And once you receive feedback from them, make sure to take action on it. This contributes to a healthy and open workplace your agents will want to stay at for the long term.

Also, make sure to listen when your agents share personal details and use this information for some random act of kindness. For example, surprise a colleague with their favorite chocolate after a stressful day.  

Organize celebrations

Your agents are probably aware that working in a large team of call center agents makes it difficult to get noticed. Therefore, one great way to fight call center turnover and boost morale in your team is by showing your agents you value each and every one of them.

You could, for example, throw birthday parties to make them feel special on their big day. Alternatively, organizing an occasion to celebrate the announcement of a forthcoming baby, a colleague returning from maternity leave or an agent embarking on new adventures will allow your team to have a little fun while getting off the hamster wheel for a bit.

People appreciate it if they’re valued by the company they work for. So make sure to follow our tips to keep the morale in your call center high!

 

How to Prepare for a Call Center Agent Interview

Posted on: November 9th, 2018 by dorarapcsak No Comments

You may not think so but working as a call center professional has great potential: if you perform well in your job there’s no doubt you will thrive – and so will your career.

Although call centers have a bad rep, the industry has changed a lot in recent years. One significant change is that the demand for call center professionals is definitely on the rise. According to a survey carried out by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, call center agent jobs are expected to grow 5% between 2016 to 2026, and 39% between 2014 to 2024.

Furthermore, working as a call center agent now requires a lot more than carrying out the same repetitive tasks. As customers these days can rely on self-service options to resolve their own issues, they only contact customer service teams when they have complicated issues. So, instead of handling simple tasks, agents need to rely on their solid industry knowledge and problem-solving skills in order to best serve customers.

If you’re thinking about starting a career in the call center industry, then the first challenge you’ll need to overcome is to nail a call center agent interview. In this article, we’ll show you how you can prepare for and get the most out of your interview. Read on and go get that job!

Research, research, research…

Needless to say, never go to an interview unprepared. If you want to make a good impression (and we trust you do), make sure to allocate enough time to research the company and the position you apply for.

Call center agent interviews usually start with some opening questions. There’s no doubt you’ll be asked questions regarding the position, so make sure you have detailed information on what call center agents do on a daily basis. There are tons of articles out there (for example our articles on the most important call center agent skills and useful agent life hacks), or you can even turn to a friend who is already working in the industry.

In addition, many interviewers ask candidates questions about the company’s history, and it’s definitely a plus if you can answer these questions. In fact, being well-informed will make you more confident, while demonstrating that you’re serious about working for the company in question. 

Language competence

In today’s globalized world, businesses are constantly expanding into new markets, while also focusing on creating a solid online presence. And as multilingual customer service departments are on the rise, call center agents often find themselves interacting with customers who speak a different language. You will also talk to a bunch of customers with a strong accent, so it’s vital that you have advanced language skills.  

There’s no doubt, most call centers are constantly on the lookout for agents with excellent language proficiency, so your language skills will probably be tested during any call center agent interview.  

It’s definitely a good idea to refresh your grammar knowledge as interviewers may ask you to fill out a language test. Plus, you can be sure that you’ll be required to use your language skills in an everyday conversation as well.

Situational questions

Call center agents interact with hundreds of customers on an average day, and have to resolve all kinds of customer issues. As you’ll be the face of the company, it is of utmost importance how you’ll handle difficult situations.

Therefore, you can be pretty sure that you’ll be asked to participate in situational exercises. During a situational exercise, you’ll be put in a problematic situation where you’ll need to come up with the best solution.

These exercises are used by interviewers to review the candidate’s capability to react to a situation when faced with conflict. Our best advice here is to try and remain calm while relying on your problem-solving skills. Also, putting yourself in the customer’s shoes will definitely help you come up with a customer-centric solution.

Typical call center agent interview questions

Last but not least, let’s look at some classic questions you can expect during a call center agent interview.

Why do you want to work as a call center agent?

It’s no secret that agent turnover is extremely high in call centers. Therefore, motivation is one of the most important traits interviewers look for in candidates. Make sure to think over why you applied for the position in the first place and prepare with an honest but persuasive answer. Whether you have ambitions to climb the call center ladder or simply enjoy interacting with customers, make sure to express it during the call center agent interview.  

Are you technologically savvy?

These days most call centers utilize several technology solutions, and agents are required to use them on a daily basis, so don’t be surprised if the interviewer asks about your computer proficiency, such as your familiarity with certain systems.

As call centers use different systems, don’t worry if you’re not familiar with all of them. Once you get the job you’ll be trained on how to use them. Just make sure to demonstrate your willingness to learn.

Are you a good multitasker?

Call center agents work on several campaigns and deal with a great number of customers. And these days customers expect answers quickly, meaning you’ll already need to think about a possible solution as you listen to the customer. As a result, the ability to multitask is of utmost importance for any call center who wants to thrive in their job.

Can you perform well under pressure?

If you want to work as a call center agent, what you can be sure about is that you’ll face plenty of unexpected issues. In addition, you’ll get into situations where you simply cannot find the solution at first. In such cases, you’ll need to try and remain calm in order to sort out the issue in the shortest time possible.

As working under pressure is highly characteristic of any call center agent job, you’ll need to convince the interviewers about your ability to perform well in a stressful environment. Start by remaining calm during the call center agent interview, then share some examples from your previous jobs where you managed to successfully resolve a stressful situation.

 

Interviewing for a new job is never easy. But if you follow our tips to prepare for your call center agent interview, you’ll definitely have better chances to get hired. May the odds be in your favor! 

How to Overcome Language Barriers in the Call Center

Posted on: July 27th, 2018 by dorarapcsak No Comments

“Excuse me, do you speak English?” – is a typical opening sentence customer service agents often start their conversations with.

In today’s globalized world, businesses are constantly expanding into new geographies, while focusing on creating a solid online presence. As a result, call center operations have changed considerably in the last decade, with call centers now operating 24/7, and providing customer service to customers all around the world.

As multilingual customer service departments are on the rise, call center agents often find themselves experiencing language barriers with customers during phone conversations. Language barriers may be based on agents and customers speaking different languages, and can also result from differences in regional dialects and accents, and bad phone connections.

Experiencing language barriers can easily cause frustration on both the agents’ and customers’ side, while preventing call centers from providing accurate and efficient customer service to your clients. You may not think so but even one unhappy customer can harm your business’ reputation. In fact, a recent study has shown that 95% of customers tell at least one other person about bad customer experiences with a company.

So, if you’re lost in translation, make sure to check out our article and find out how you can efficiently overcome language barriers at the call center.  

Excuse me, it’s Greek to me!

First things first: the call center is not the place to dazzle customers with your “Shakespearean” vocabulary. Instead, always be clear about what you are trying to communicate and avoid using slang or culturally specific idioms.

Furthermore, during any conversation with customers with limited language skills, our best and safest advice is to keep your message clear and simple. If you want to quickly overcome language barriers, then try and choose simple words, phrases, as well as short sentences.  

In fact, whenever you sense there is a language barrier during a conversation, just simplify your message in order to make the communication more convenient to the customer. You’ll see it will make all the difference.

Talk slower, not louder!

Always bear in mind that speaking louder won’t help you deliver your message. People of a different language can just hear fine, so make sure not to raise your voice as it may give customers the impression that you are annoyed.

Instead, when it comes to communicating with a customer who has difficulties to speak your language, always make sure to slow down your speech. The key to overcoming language barriers lies in your attitude as well, so you’ll really need to try your best to accommodate your customers’ needs.

Another common mistake call center agents often commit when experiencing language barriers with customers is that they over-articulate their words. Your goal here, however, is to convey your message as clearly as possible, and not to act like an elementary school teacher.

Use omnichannel communication to overcome language barriers

Amongst other things, one major advantage of multichannel communication is that customers can now select from a number of channels – including phone, online forms, email, SMS and chat – to communicate with companies.

By offering multichannel communication, multilingual customer service departments allow their customers to contact their support teams on various channels. As a result, customers who have difficulties using phone-based support options due to language barriers are able to contact customer service via other channels, such as email or chat. In fact, this is a great opportunity to reduce the number of occasions when customers and agents face language barrier.

Don’t fall, however, into the mistake of transferring your customers between your channels. As we already mentioned in a previous article, customers easily get frustrated when they are transferred through several customer service channels while having to repeat information over and over again – especially if they are already experiencing language barriers with your customer service.

Instead, try and focus on channels your customers actually want to use. Always make sure that agents provide the same quality of customer service on each of your channels. 

Language barriers may result in awkward – and even negative – customer experiences, however, it’s definitely not impossible to overcome them. Follow our tips and allow your customers to finish customer service conversations happy and satisfied.

How to Teach Customer Service Empathy to Your Agent Team

Posted on: July 10th, 2018 by dorarapcsak No Comments

We’ve all been there – waiting on a customer service line after having been passed around several people, still desperately needing your problem to be sorted out. In such a situation, the least you expect is some empathy when you finally get through to someone who can help…

In the call center industry, empathy is the soft skill that stands out from all others. It is, in fact, an absolute must-have skill for any call center star.

In terms of customer service, empathy improves individual call quality as well as overall customer experience. By demonstrating empathy, agents can calm down angry customers more easily, and resolve issues to everyone’s mutual satisfaction. And having a reputation for empathy enhances your call center’s reputation in general, especially in today’s connected world, where stories of positive customer service stories often go viral online and can make all the difference.  

In this article, we’ll outline some techniques for creating empathy at your call center. Read on, and find out how to make sure your team is putting your customers first.

 

Start with yourself

When it comes to improving customer service empathy at a call center, always start by assessing the current level of empathy in your team. And as their manager, you, of course, are also an essential part of the team. So start by asking yourself the following question: Am I showing my agents enough support?

Rule number one: if you want to create a culture of empathy at your call center, then you too have to show empathy towards your team. Don’t assume that you know everything that your agents are thinking and feeling – you probably don’t.

Rule number two: make sure to listen to them and find out more about them. Ask them questions about their hobbies, their challenges and their aspirations. Furthermore, pay attention to what they do, and make sure to give them genuine recognition when they get things right.

 

Forget about empty phrases – instead, act

Increasing empathy is more than just encouraging your call center agents to adopt “we apologize for the inconvenience”-type phrases. Empathy is more than just words, and only works if it’s genuinely offered.

So, instead of just letting your call center agents use standard phrases, try and make empathy part of your call center’s culture. Encouraging your agents to put themselves in customers’ shoes is one great way of conveying meaningful empathy.  For instance, if an angry customer calls your customer service line, it’s a great first step if your agents start by reassuring the customer that they know what they’re going through.

Another way of showing empathy to a customer is to show a willingness to act immediately and make commitments to them. Recognizing the urgency of the customer’s issue, and successfully communicating this urgency to them, will make customers feel that the company is really putting them first.

 

Empathy has to be inspired

Is it possible to train call center agents to become more empathetic? As mentioned above, forced empathy will probably not work, as your customers will sense that it’s not being honestly given.

So, instead of paying for expensive empathy training sessions, why not inspire your agent team from the top down?  When agents see you handle an escalated call, turning an angry customer into a happy customer by showing empathy towards them, they too will want to act just like you.

By showing them how empathy helps you deal with problematic customers, you’ll encourage them to handle such situations using the same approach. After all, no one likes to have to deal with an angry customer.

 

Reward customer service empathy

No two call center agents are the same. Always bear in mind that your team is made up of individuals, so it’s unlikely that each of them will naturally demonstrate the same level of empathy to your customers.

However, if you want customer service empathy to grow throughout your call center team, then make sure to reward those who have both successfully mastered it and regularly demonstrate it towards your customers.

You could, say, introduce an “agent of the month” award, and praise the winner for the empathy they use to provide help to customers. Bonuses and incentives can also be used as a reward for agents’ outstanding and empathetic performance. Positive feedback fuels agents’ motivation, while financial compensation helps make agents feel that their hard work is generating profit for the organization.

Turing these kinds of activities into regular practice will make all the difference, and you’ll soon see that all your agents will want to be part of the game.

 

Utilize technology

As with almost everything else, technology can also be invaluable here. If you want your call center agents to handle your customers with empathy, then you better empower them with the right tools.

Remember, for example, that customers easily lose their temper when they have to repeat the same information over and over again. But with call center software that allows your agents to immediately look up any customer information they need during a call, this never has to be the case.

Furthermore, one of the most important goals for customer service teams today is to make customer experience as personal as possible. The use of data analytics in call center software can definitely make things easier (for more info, check out our previous article on data analytics).

In fact, comprehensive analysis of customer data is the first step to understanding your customers. Data analytics will allow you to better understand your customers’ behaviors and needs, and thus make your customer service more personalized. For instance, by identifying which questions your customers commonly ask, your agents can better prepare for customer calls, and thus resolve upcoming issues more easily.

 

Sum up

Customer service empathy cannot be created solely by training. Instead, it should be demonstrated from the top down, and rewarded through recognition. And don’t forget to utilize comprehensive tools that support it. Bear these points in mind, and you will definitely be on the right path.