Running a call center can seem quite difficult at first, but it’s not! We just overcomplicated it. Running a call center is actually pretty simple if you know how to do it right.
If you run your own call center or take calls from clients, these five steps are all you need to know.
Answer the Phone Fast
When running a call center, it’s vital that your team answers the phone fast. This means that there should be a maximum of 4-5 rings before someone picks up the phone or the customer is transferred to hold. Any more is very unprofessional and needs to be avoided.
If your call center gets really busy, make sure you have an answering system that organizes and delegates calls. Rather than all the calls going to one area, first, get a messaging system that sorts the topic of the calls between various sections of your call centers. For example, you could set it up so a customer will be told to press 1 for purchases, 2 for complaints, 3 for questions, etc.
Wow the Customer
It may just seem like a phone call, but just like you would in person, you always need to “wow’ your customer. Don’t just meet their expectations, blow them away!
This requires your employees to be well trained to resolve conflict and satisfy a customer. This can be difficult as call center jobs are tough. People can be very mean over the phone when no one needs to see their faces. Your employees need to be trained to deal with this so that they can do their best to “wow’ the customer.
“In today’s busy world, each customer wants to resolve their problem(s) fast and efficiently without having to consistently follow up. Therefore, it is very important that the contact center have a strong training session for any given campaign so that agents are aware of all aspects and can offer a one-call resolution for each client that they are in contact with.” – CallMiner
Ask Them What They Want
Ask your customers what they want, twice if you have to. Fairly often, people are going to call you because they want to make a purchase, subconsciously not. You’ve got to sell them on your product or service quickly and efficiently. No one likes being on the phone forever.
In a way, a call center employee takes on the role of a salesperson more often than not. In that case, they also need to possess the skills of one.
“Good salespeople persuade others with their confidence. They know their products inside and out and have a sincere desire to address client pain points.” – COO Alliance
You need to know to expect objections so that everyone in the call center knows exactly how to handle them in an effective and professional manner. Allow people to take all the time they need to do this. You want the customer to be happy in the end and your employees to be relaxed and feel capable. Pressuring them to fix objections immediately is only going to cause more problems.
“Call centers need people with a natural ability for customer service, good listening skills, effective communication skills, an excellent memory, and an enthusiastic attitude. It’s the intangibles like enthusiasm and ability to listen that often make the best employees.” – Sling
Finish With a Hug
Obviously, this is a call center, so you can’t actually finish with a hug, but you can make sure the customer knows that you really appreciate them.
If your call center team is not doing those five things really well on every call, then you need to spend the time to fix that. And, if they are doing all those things on every call, then you’re killing the competition!
What do you appreciate in a call center as a customer? Let us know in the comments below!
If you have questions or would like more information, I’d be happy to help. Please send us an email, and someone from my team will get in touch with you!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2018 and has been edited for accuracy and comprehensiveness.