“Anyone can work in a call center. All you have to do is answer the phones when they ring…. Right?” Jilly scoffed, rolling her eyes at her friend Sammy.
“Well that’s not true Jilly,” cautioned Sammy, “If you want to be operating at a gold standard level, you can’t just answer the phones like how you would do at home”
“Really?” Jilly looked puzzled.
“Think about it. When you contact an agent at a call center, you want to speak to someone who knows how to quickly resolve your issue while providing you with a quality experience. I mean you have to know how to keep the customer satisfied without them having to come to your office in person to create a stink.” Sammy laughed.
“Thanks, Sammy, I never thought that a simple call could have such an impact on someone from a business perspective....”
Call Center Customer Service Tips
The fact of the matter remains that your selected B2B call agency is going to do most of the interactions with your customers. They serve as the face of your product or service. Bearing this in mind, we’ve compiled a short list of call center customer service tips which have been proven to achieve amazing results.
Neutrality is Key
Indeed, you may have an opinion about an item which a customer may show interest in, However having an opinion is not an invitation to share it, especially without being asked to do so. Likewise, when resolving a customer’s issue, demonstrate empathy but maintain a neutral stance. Doing so will allow you to find a quick solution for the customer with a clear thought process, unclouded by your personal bias.
Demonstrate Interest and Competence
Take a genuine interest in the customer’s concerns and requests and the experience will be pleasurable for both parties. This way you are able to connect with the customer and keep your spirits vibrant. However, if the customer needs to be referred to someone else who can be of greater assistance, do so. The faster the customers can get the solutions they seek, the happier they shall be.
Deliver Professionalism, Honesty, and Respect
Every customer deserves to feel like your most valuable asset as each one contributes to the success of your product or service. As such, the customer should always be treated with respect. To do so, you simply have to be mindful of their request and provide a compassionate response which resolves their inquiry. Always maintain your calm and professional demeanor. Do not attempt to engage in verbal warfare with the customer. If you can’t help them, allow them to know why you are unable to help and who you are transferring them to for assistance.
Make Useful Notations
It’s a good practice to have a notepad to jot down useful bits of information provided by the caller. Customers experience great frustration when they are asked to repeat the same information several times. Be an active listener and take notes to ensure you are not missing out any useful information. Perhaps having a predesigned spreadsheet to capture your information can further assist your organization process. You must be organized to deliver what the customer requires in a timely manner.
The reality is, by the time the customers gets through to a call agent, they are frustrated and seeking satisfaction. Translation - they are angry, shouting and possibly disrespectful. Remember you are not representing yourself but serve as the link joining the customer to the company’s product or service. Therefore you are to remain calm and handle the customer’s concern with patience.
3 Key Ways To Improve Call Center Customer Service
Practicing our suggested tips for effective call center customer service will surely improve your agents’ performance when dealing with customers. Here is a short list of methods which be can be utilized to further improve upon the customer service experience which your partner B2B call center agency provides.
Provide Multichannel Support
Offering outstanding support is reliant on interacting with customers on their preferred channels. Be willing to focus on getting customers the tools and answers they desire through whatever means, whenever they want it. Therefore companies are encouraged to provide multichannel support which is available regardless of the device used for the inquiry. Your company would then be sufficiently prepared to meet the changing expectations and requirements of your growing customer base.
Improve With Feedback
Time must be spent to analyze the feedback provided by customers who interact with your products and services. Their feedback is meant to be used as an opportunity to find methods to improve so that customers feel that:
What they say matters. A personal response to their concern or a gesture to resolve their negative experience makes a major difference in keeping and gaining new customers. A potential customer can be easily lost with bad reviews or feedback from previous customers who did business with your company.
Your company not only listens but acts promptly upon the recommendations made. Customers who make time to participate in a survey do so in the hopes that there can be visible improvements in the not to distant future due to their well-intended feedback. Responding to the feedback by providing discounts, exchanges or waving various fees are but some of the ways your company can improve output.
Hire Dedicated Teams
If the heart is not in it, it won’t work. Many companies make the tragic mistake of hiring call center agents who do not possess what it takes to provide the A+ service that customers require. Meaning, such call center agents aren’t willing to or don’t possess the following values and are not:
It is the duty of your call center agents to meet the needs of the customers by doing whatever it takes, such as troubleshooting an issue on site. Day or night your chosen agency’s agents must be there to provide superb support which adds value to your company.
Companies That Need Call Center Services
Wondering if your company could benefit from partnering with a call center agency? If you have a large customer base to keep satisfied, hiring a call center agency will significantly reduce the workload to allow your company time to focus on improving quality outputs with feedback received. Here is a short list of some of the companies who have benefited from outsourcing to call center agencies:
Digital Marketing and PR Firms
Publishing and Media
Medical Suppliers & Health Care Providers
Medical / Health Technology
The Fortune 500
Connect with us so that we can determine which customer service tips best suits the needs of your business. CONTACT US TODAY!
Have you come to a dead end with lead generation?
We’ve all been there.
Prospects aren’t interested in your product or service or even taking your calls. It’s hard enough to be on the phones every day making phone calls – and harder having every person turn you down.
Well, there’s good news: Generating leads doesn’t have to be that difficult. With the right team and strategy at your disposal, you could easily be following up on leads and engaging with interested prospects.
We’ll walk you through different ways that you can generate leads for your team. When we’re done you’ll know exactly how to convert qualified generated leads in your pipeline. Ready? Let’s dive in.
6 Ways to Generate New Leads for Your Sales Team
Before you start diving into generating leads, you need to understand how the process works. Just like you would outline a blog post before writing, you want to establish the three or four main takeaways of your lead generation campaign, and make sure you have a team to help you. Then, you can start talking about how you are going to generate your leads.
Now, let’s talk about the 6 different ways that you can generate new leads for your team!
1. Social Media
Social media is a great way to generate new leads. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are just a couple platforms that businesses use for lead generation.
Twitter and Instagram allow for direct messages, which makes it easy to reach out to people in specific industries.
To use Facebook for lead generation, you may have to invest in advertising. The good news is that there are experts who do Facebook advertising for a living.
Social media platforms are an amazing way to generate leads but you have to be willing to reach out to people and be social – hence social media.
2. Optimizing Content
When you use content that is relevant and appealing you will capture the correct audience. No matter what industry you are in, you are the expert!
Highlight what you do best and share inside knowledge to show the information you’re sharing is reliable.
Yes, LinkedIn is a social media platform. It’s just so important for lead generation that we gave it its own number.
Publishing posts and articles on LinkedIn is a great way to get noticed by other companies. LinkedIn also makes it easy to establish yourself as an industry leader.
Add people on LinkedIn who you want to be in your network. Be sure to add a note so that when they see your invite, they will know why you want to be connected with them.
If you’re looking to take LinkedIn lead generation extremely seriously be sure to:
- Participate in discussions
- Publish posts and articles
- Comment on other posts
- Stay active
- Use it as a social network – be social!
4. Email Marketing
Do you have an email list?
If not, you may want to start working towards developing one.
And no, buying email lists is not the answer to your problem.
Get people who are interested in your business to sign up for your email list. How? By distributing amazing content that people can’t say no to and want to be notified when you’ve published something new.
Email marketing is never going to go out of style.
5. Public Relations
Joining a podcast, live video, radio show, or video chat in your industry is a great way to generate new leads. This will help people get to know you on a different platform, and not just as your usual business self.
It also helps you become more relatable which will encourage people to reach out and talk to about what you do.
6. The telephone
Start a campaign with a telemarketing company and develop a lead generation campaign.
Are you trying to set appointments for your sales team or up-sell / cross-sell services?
A telemarketing campaign is a great way to increase sales and profits, the number of qualified leads, and the number of appointments.
There actually are a lot more benefits than those, check them out here.
We’ve covered 6 different ways that you can develop leads.
If you want more information on this subject feel free to call us at 888.229.7046.
We’re the people who make and take the calls. Lead generation is just one of our many specialties.
Written by: Amy Schiller
Please raise your hand if you’ve ever lost a customer due to a lousy customer retention strategy.
When you get on the phone with your customer, you’re hit with complaints and backlash. The conversation ends with, “Please discontinue my membership, this magazine is no longer providing value to me.”
Except it might sound a lot nastier than that.
Sometimes, your employees are too busy doing other work that this isn’t top priority.
Well, there’s good news: retaining customers doesn’t have to be daunting. With the right strategy and tools at your disposal, you could easily be putting a new customer retention strategy in place by the end of the month.
It’s time to get serious about customer retention. Let’s discuss the 5 steps you can take in order to retain more customers.
5 Steps to Improve Customer Retention
1) Make sure that your audience is listening
Before you even think about developing a new customer retention strategy or improving your old one, you should be sure that you are currently engaging with your audience.
This could be on social media, through email marketing or on the phone.
Just like you would make sure you have a list of phone numbers before calling them, you want to be sure that you have an audience that is listening and engaged.
Then, you can feel free to continue reaching out to current customers. Make sure that you are talking to a relevant audience. If you don’t have the phone numbers and email addresses of current customers, this is something that you NEED to get as soon as possible.
2) Distribute content that they care about
After you’ve established that you have an audience that is listening, figure out if the content you’re using is relevant to them.
In the first step, you should’ve asked yourself, “Do I have an audience that is listening?”
Now, for this step you need to ask yourself if your audience cares.
Is the content that you are sending out creating a demand for your customers?
This way, you won’t have to figure this out with each additional piece of content that you are planning on sending out. Always make your content relevant.
3) Make it nothing short of an experience
Now that you are engaging with customers and using relevant content, you need to be sure that you are delivering an experience.
Both companies are much more than cars and amusement parks. They’re about delivering an unforgettable experience that the customer keeps coming back for.
4) ABC – Always Be Communicating
When it comes to customer retention, communication is extremely important.
If you don’t talk to your customers for years, what will they think? Either that you’re no longer in business or that you just don’t care.
Pick up the phone and call your customers. Ask them about how you can improve their experience, tell them about a new promotion or product, or develop a strategy that will keep you at the top of their mind.
Think of this step as a way to nurture your relationships with your consumers so that the next time they think about purchasing, they know who to call.
5) Deliver exceptional customer service
If you are listening to your audience, distributing content they care about, putting together an experience, and communicating with your customers then you’re almost there.
The very last step of this process is to deliver exceptional customer service. To be quite honest, without this last step, nothing else matters.
Your customers and clients are your most important asset to your company. So, put a smile on your face and treat them like it.
Now, you’re ready to improve your customer retention strategy and start nurturing those relationships with your consumers. And you know what the best part is? Next time, putting together a new customer retention strategy won’t feel quite as daunting.
Written by: Amy Schiller
Who enjoys sitting on the phone for five hours just to be disconnected before reaching a live person?
If “Top 10 Complaints of 2017” was a real thing, we know that this would be in the top 5. (Although, it does fall as number 5 on this top 10 consumer complaints list)
We personally know somebody who hasn’t had their cable service working properly for almost a month. Sitting on the phone for even an hour isn’t an option, let alone five.
1. Most people work full time and by the time they get home from work the LAST thing they want to do is sit on the phone for hours hoping to talk to a live customer service representative.
2. Spending quality time with family and friends becomes a priority over sitting on the phone waiting for someone to answer.
3. Nobody wants to sit on the phone for that long, especially if they don’t even think their problem will be resolved by the end of the phone call.
The list can go on... but, what’s the solution?
1. Sit on the phone and hope for the best
2. Cancel the service and find a new provider
Moral of the story?
Consumers want to be able to reach your company anywhere, anytime, at their convenience and FAST.
Technology, innovation and an amazing customer service team that will allow your consumers to reach you at all times.
Here are 5 ways that your consumers should be able to contact you in 2018:
This should be a given.
Sometimes customers have simple questions that can be answered via email. The issue could be anything from forgetting a username and password in order to access account information to answering frequently asked questions.
It’s a solution that can leave the tough customer service issues to frontline agents in a call center.
2. Social Media
If you’re looking to increase the speed of response to customers, this will be your holy grail. It’s a bit quicker than email which makes it even more convenient for consumers.
- Facebook makes it extremely easy for consumers to book appointments and ask questions about your company.
- Twitter is largely used for FAQ and customer service issues.
- LinkedIn and Instagram are also sites that can help with this but aren’t as customer service centric as the other two networks.
P.S. Be ready for any and all questions. People reach out to us on our Facebook page to set up introduction phone calls or just to acknowledge our witty and engaging content. Be ready to have a response to everything.
3. Phone Number
The beloved phone, a great customer service tool that will never go out of style.
No consumer is ever going to use email or social media to take care of an emergency. So, for all of those saying that the telephone is dying, you couldn’t be more wrong.
Upselling, cross-selling, customer engagement, platform support, and lead capturing are all going to work the best over the phone.
4. Live Chat
Some companies use a live chat as an extension on their website. This can be useful because it can pop up the second that someone enters your webpage. It can also sit at the bottom of your webpage as an option for consumers.
Facebook has this as an option too. It’s useful, cost-effective and improves customer satisfaction.
5. Contact form
You can never go wrong with a good contact form. This should be somewhere on your website, easily accessible and straightforward.
A name, phone number, email address, with a place to leave their message should be sufficient if you are a business-to-consumer company.
If you are working with other business, we recommend adding a place for the company name and the person’s title along with the information mentioned above.
You can offer the best cable packages in the entire world, but that won’t matter unless you integrate the highest quality customer service. Whether it’s online, customer forums, in person or on the phone, your consumers want to talk to you. Serve your customers, provide reliable and consistent service, and exceed their expectations.
You’ll never have a product or price advantage again. They can be easily duplicated, but a strong customer service culture can’t be copied.
- Jerry Fritz -
Written by: Amy Schiller
Active listening is essential for effective communication, especially when all conversations are happening over the phone. Active listening helps you understand the customers’ needs and shows that you are willing to help them sole any problems.
Always allow the person on the other end of the phone to talk without interruption so that you don’t come off as rude. Also, you should ask clarifying questions when necessary.
Before beginning the problem-solving process, summarize the main point of the conversation. This will tell the customer that you were actively listening to what they were saying. Another reason that you should summarize the main point of the conversation to the customer or client is because if you missed something, they will be able to correct you.
Record Phone Calls
Recording every call, inbound and outbound, is the flip side of all that training. Most top call centers routinely record their calls—along with daily live agent monitoring—for training and quality control purposes.
Your representatives aren’t going to get any better if you aren’t recording their calls. If there is a bad conversation that takes place, review the call with them and discuss how things can be improved. If there is a good phone call that takes place, you can use this to review with them everything they did to make the conversation go so well. Have them take notes when going over recordings so that they can use it as a future reference.
Recording phone calls and playing them back is how you can learn too. You can find things that your employees are doing well and use that as a guide. When you find things that employees aren’t doing well and pain points, you can relay the message to them and find a way to fix the situation.
Train Representatives Appropriately
Customer service representatives should be rigorously trained and tested on scripts, prompts, company products and services in order to ensure that they professionally represent your company in front of clients and customers. You should want everyone involved to have the most professional experience and to better serve your customers during the process.
Most training is going to be done with the call script. Some people don’t think that a call script is necessary. It is necessary and it better be a strong one too.
Your team needs to practice your customer service process until it becomes second nature. Your scripts should be customized to engage the people on the other end of the call, with detailed answers to Frequently Asked Questions and prompts for overcoming likely objections.
Customer service representatives are the face of your company. This means that there always has to be a level of professionalism throughout the entire conversation.
It’s important to remain professional not only for the company, but for your customers too.
If there is an issue with the customer, you should put them on hold and call a manager over. Managers have a lot of experience in the field and should be able to fix almost any situation.
This means that you should have amazing managers on the floor that you trust. All employees should trust the managers. This means that people working below, above or with managers should trust them.
Leave the Customer Satisfied
At the end of the conversation, make sure that the customer knows what was accomplished on the phone call. If you are going to pass along information, help them understand what you are passing along. If you need to contact them again, let them know when they should expect to hear from you.
Always make sure that the customer knows what the call accomplished before they hang up the phone.
If the customer needs to call you back or call a different line, be ready to transfer them or give them the correct number to call.
If transferring somebody, get the person you are transferring on the phone and then connect them with the customer. Introduce them to one another and then let them know that you are going to hang up.
Finish the conversation with, “have a nice day” or “it was nice talking to you today.” Happily ending the conversation will leave them with a positive experience.
Leaving the customer satisfied can transform a negative experience into a positive one.
All phone conversations should be sincere. When you greet the person on the phone, say hello and be genuine. Try to avoid greetings that are scripted because they sound very inauthentic. A great idea would be to practice your own greeting and having a couple of them.
If there is a script that you have to follow, try to add your own touch to it. This will help the person on the other end connect to you better which is what you want, especially if you are trying to land an appointment or sell a product.
When in conversation be sure to state the name of the company that you are working for, your name, and your assistance. This will ease the customer into the conversation and let them know that you are ready to help them.