In a competitive market, the ability of a company to be customer-centric and develop strong relationships with its customers through its customer service channels becomes a prime differentiator that favors success. It is therefore essential that companies wishing to stay competitive and gain customer loyalty must stay focused on the customer. Being customer-centric begins at the highest levels of management and is often exemplified through its mission statement and executive actions.
Here is a list of 10 Best Practices that foster a customer-centric call center:
- Mission statement – review the mission statements for your organization and your call center to assure that they clearly define an interest in meeting and exceeding customer expectations.
- Customer relationship – Manage the relationship you have with your customers, not just the numbers.
- Agent training and resources – make sure that agents have the necessary and required training and resources that will enable them to create an optimal customer experience for each caller/customer interaction. Agent errors account for 65% of all repeat calls and detract from the centers abilities to provide higher levels of first call resolution and increasing ROI to the organization.
- Listen to what’s being said
- Acknowledge what you heard: “Okay, so if I understand correctly you are having trouble with…”, or “I’m sorry to hear that you are having difficulties with… but I can help you…”
- Respond accordingly
- Close (with sincerity): “thank you again for calling in today, and is there anything else I can do for you?”
- Empowerment – empower agents to meet customer expectations, but do not discipline them for going above and beyond when trying to salvage the customer relationship. One way to make agents more customer-centric is to make the call center more agent-centric.
Maintaining the balance between call quantity and call quality is the challenge all managers face; however, the extra effort taken to develop a customer-centric call center will become well appreciated as the burden of unnecessary repeat calls decrease, customer satisfaction, loyalty, and retention increase, and the organization enjoys a positive financial return on its call center initiative.
Tip of the Week: Hire for attitude, teach aptitude.
CallTalk™ Caramels: Sweet Snippets from BenchmarkPortal’s Best CallTalk Episodes
This CallTalk Caramel was compiled and edited by Bruce Belfiore and Kamál Webb. It was drawn from a CallTalk episode with Dr. RosanneD’Ausilio entitled “Developing Agents Who Are More Customer-Centric”. To listen to the entire episode click play below:
CallTalk is a monthly internet radio program featuring innovative managers and thought leaders in the customer contact field, interviewed by BenchmarkPortal CEO, Bruce Belfiore. “Caramels” distills key points from these interviews into practical, bite-sized nuggets to inform and assist you as a contact center professional.