Being in the call center industry for several years now, I have people telling me that my job is really easy. “You just take the call, ask for the information needed and relay the message”. I would say YES it is easy but there is more to it than just taking the information from the customer and relaying the message.
Callers do not just hear you talk over the phone; they expect excellent customer service for an item they bought or a service you have initially provided them prior to their call. How you handle calls says a lot about how your company can provide them with good service that they are expecting.
I have listed below a few important points that for me are vital in delivering excellent customer service. They may sound familiar already but I believe that these are some of the keys in giving customers the service they deserve.
PROFESSIONALISM - In every call, transaction or dealing with the callers, I believe that being polite is very important. It makes us sound professional and makes them feel that they made the right decision in choosing your company. Taking ownership of the call is another form of professionalism. No matter how rude the customer maybe, disconnecting the call will just trigger a more unpleasant situation.
ACTIVE LISTENING – Listening is different from just hearing. When you listen, you try and understand what the concern is, rather than just taking note of every word that the customer is saying.
EMPATHY – Not every customer who calls in is a happy customer. There are times when we will encounter customers that are having a bad day. Either because of poor service your company has provided them or just personal issues. Sympathy and empathy are different. When you sympathize you share the same feelings with them and that is it. When you empathize, you not only apologize but you also give them assurance that their issue will be dealt with in the timeliest manner possible.
RAPPORT – This is something that I believe not everybody has. It is more of an ice breaker if you will ask me. You do not necessarily have to be too chatty as it may annoy your customers. A few lines like “How’s the weather there?”, “How is your day doing so far?”, or for frequent callers, remembering the details of your last conversation with them. Ex: “How was your holiday?” or “Did you win your tournament?” etc. Just make sure that you do not open conversations that can be sensitive like sexual issues, religion etc.
CONSISTENCY – We need to try as much as we can on every call to apply all the above-mentioned points to maintain excellent customer service.