Much of the discussion about dos and don'ts in the call center industry centers on customer service. It's with good reason; your call center makes or breaks upon its customer satisfaction ratings. However, the dos and don'ts of the modern call center hinge upon other considerations. Read on to discover nine dos and nine don'ts for your call center agency or department.
9 Dos for the Modern Call Center
Update infrastructure. Many cloud-based call center solutions overlay legacy applications and architecture, but you should consider infrastructure needs. You'll eventually want to make the investment anyway, particularly if employing multi-channel or omni-channel communication efforts. The increased network load due to agent activity and incoming data will require a more robust infrastructure.
Use speech analytics and call quality monitoring. If you want to improve agent and call center performance, look for cloud-based solutions that feature speech analytics and call quality monitoring. The two tools gather data that can be used to improve customer service and agent efficiency.
Employ a callback solution. On a related note, also focus on solutions with a callback feature. This item keeps agents productive and customers happy.
Develop a single customer record. To avoid getting bogged down in data, prioritize the single customer record. Seek out cloud-based call center solutions that integrate with third-party applications. It'll help corral the data, as well as ensure agents have the right information at the right time and place.
Gather, monitor, and share call center data. Call center improvement comes from measurement and continuous improvement. Measure everything, then share the results so that agents and managers can act upon them.
Safeguard sensitive customer data. If you followed the second step, you're well on your way to protecting customer information. Speech analytics and call quality monitoring can identify when customers share personally identifying information (PII), allowing you to pause the live recording and take other necessary steps.
Adhere to security and compliance standards. Call center agencies that miss the compliance and security marks pay the price. Don't join them. Instead, champion a new cause, one dedicated to following best security standards and compliance regulations.
Focus on the right communication channels. No one ever said you have to be on all the communication channels. You only need to be on the right ones. Survey existing customers to find out which channels serve them best and focus attention there.
Listen to the customer. A proverb says that a man who holds his tongue is wise. Often, listening to the customer and letting him or her explain the situation gets your agents to a place where they can empathize and resolve the problem.
9 Don'ts for the Modern Call Center
View cloud-based call center technology as a silver bullet. Technology complements. It doesn't replace. You should view technology as another tool in making your call center better, not a one-and-done solution.
Go it alone to implement a cloud-based call center platform. Cloud-based call center platforms are easy to set up, but that doesn't mean you should go it alone. Work with providers like TCN to give your call center the greatest chance of success.
Use the same metrics across all communication channels. Different communication channels require differing metrics. People don't use email or online chat the same way they do a telephone call. The metrics should fit the channel to be effective.
Ignore data security. If you use any technology at your call center, data security is a must. It protects personal and business data from leaks and breaches. And, if you conduct business overseas, you'll want to prioritize data security going forward. The EU's GDPR won't view noncompliance lightly.
Share unnecessary personally identifying information (PII). You should only share the information critical to getting the job done. Sharing any data beyond that puts you and the customer at risk.
Forget about body language. If your agents work from home or outside the office, coach them on body language and attire. What they wear and how they sit often affects how they interact with customers. Settling into the couch, for instance, could result in a bored, dismissive tone—a definite "don't" when trying to appease a customer.
Interrupt the customer. Your agents should never, ever interrupt the customer. It only makes a bad situation worse.
Say "calm down" or "I don't know." The worst thing your call center agents could say to a frustrated customer is "calm down." Train agents on ways to defuse the situation without saying the two words that will cause it to blow up. The second worst thing could be "I don't know." It lowers the customer's confidence in the agent and your company. Again, train your staff so that they know how to ask questions and get the answers needed to resolve the customer's pain point.
Rely entirely on the script. Scripts work wonders in the call center industry. But agents who rely solely upon them will flounder when the customer goes "off script." To manage this scenario, teach your agents communication strategies to keep the customer-agent interaction focused on resolution.
Curious about how the cloud could change your call center operations? Request a demo. We'd be glad to give you a tour and talk through more dos and don'ts.