How your customers view you as a company, often dictates the success or failure of your business. No matter how accomplished you are in your core process, if your customer-facing team is not up to the scratch, then you risk losing all the goodwill that you have generated through your product/services. This is the primary reason why inculcating call center etiquette in agents has become so important for businesses. In case, you are unable to do this by yourself, you should resort to call center outsourcing.
5 Must-Follow Call Center Etiquettes
Whether you have a small business or big business, the behavior of your call center agents is crucial. A bad word from a customer travels at lightning speed, which is why; you cannot afford any laxity in call center tasks. Instilling the right attitude by promoting the right etiquettes in Voice & Accent sessions is the ideal way to improve customers’ behavior and ensure customer satisfaction across all channels. Below are 5 of the most essential call center etiquettes:
- Hold protocol and use of mute – If hold and mute buttons are frequently utilized injudiciously, then you should realize that there is something very wrong with your call center operation. It is seen in many call center processes that agents use these buttons for their personal convenience. Also, such agents do not follow proper hold protocol, which leaves the caller in a state of a lurch. This situation can be easily averted by telling the customer that you will be gone for the ‘estimated’ length of time. Agents should provide this information as part of the hold protocol taught to them in their V&A training. Also, when it comes to mute, the agents should only use it when there is a crisis-like situation e.g. a sudden alarm. Putting a call on mute is like saying to the agent that you do not actually care.
- Ownership of the call – Some agents talk as if they are forced to talk that way by the company they are working for. Statements like “They are doing their very best to resolve the issue.” Or “They will get back to you whenever they have time” are totally out of place in a call center operation. The moment an agent picks up the call, he should realize that he is representing the company and take ownership of the call. Using words like ‘I’, We and ‘Our’ conveys to the customer that you represent the company. This instills trust in customers and they are able to talk more openly about the issue. Whether you are running an in-house operation or are a call center outsourcing vendor, your agents should be capable of taking ownership of the call to ensure that your services are effective.
- Not interrupting the customer – ‘Customer is god’ is a well-known proverb in the business world. However, some agents not even treat the customers as human let alone god. Some agents, especially the experienced ones who think they know it all, frequently cut short customers whenever they are in the middle of a sentence. In their mind, they might believe that they are helping their own company by reducing Average Handling Time (AHT), but they are actually doing a major disservice. Such a practice undermines the customer and he feels dominated. This kind of behavior can completely alienate the customer from the conversation and at the same time enrage him. Although there are instances where it becomes essential to stop the customer from indulging in a monologue, such occasions are rare. On a regular basis, such malpractice can adversely impact the performance of a call center.
- Using the words ‘company policy’ as an excuse to get out of an argument – While it sometimes does become mandatory for a call center agent to use the words ‘company policy’ to tell the customers they are bound by it, but using it ever so often when there are other ways to solve the issue is a major turn off for the customers. An agent should always try his very best to fulfill customers’ expectation. In case, he is unable to do so, he should use another way to convey the information instead of using the word ‘company policy’.
- Not avoiding calls by using VoIP phone malpractices – This is a lesser-known call center problem but it can have major repercussions. Some agents use illegitimate ways to avoid calls, which involve fiddling with the VoIP phone settings or playing with the call center software. While it does not appear to hamper customers’ experience on the surface, it actually does. When an agent makes himself unavailable by using such illegitimate practices, the number of calls in the queue increases. Hence, other agents get pressured into finishing the calls they are taking, which negatively impacts customers’ experience.
For a call center to be successful, it requires all the agents to follow basic etiquettes that are deemed essential for call handling. Amongst the many, the above-mentioned 5 etiquettes are the most important.
We, at Noidaexim, are a call center outsourcing company with rich experience in handling all types of businesses. We always ensure that our agents follow the best practices and adhere to the basic etiquettes for the success of your business.