CALLCENTERLINK

The First Filipino Online Call Center Magazine

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Hi CallCenterLink,

I’m now on my 5th month as a call center agent, however, I still find myself panicking whenever I encounter a difficult customer. As a result, I’m oftentimes pushed to the wall and made to give in to their requests even though I know it would add to my rejects. I really need to work on my confidence level, or at least make my customer think that I am. Please help me.

–   Panic attack

Hi Panic Attack,

There are actually customers who take advantage of reps that they know are just new and tend to be insistent with their requests. They can sense your panic or fear and they use this to pressure you in giving in. In order to sound more confident on your next call, you have to avoid excessive use of speech crutches such as ‘um’ or ‘ah. These will make you sound unsure. It also delays the message that you’re trying to convey thus making it hard to understand. Be mindful of your rising intonation. Constantly raising your intonation at the end of your sentences can be confusing to your subscribers. It makes us sound like we’re asking questions all the time and it does not make us sound as assertive as we would like to be. In some cases it can even sound childlike. Speak naturally and avoid sounding like you’re reading from a script.

If you have any suggestions you want to share, leave a message in the comment box.

Hi CallCenterLink,

I am from a different industry and adjusting to the work in a call center is really starting to stress me out. Everyone is all about the metrics. I’m used to dealing with people but I’m kinda pressured with my AHT. Can you give me tips on how to manage it without compromising my other metrics?

–         Sarah, TSR

Hi Sarah,

One common dilemma for agents is how to balance AHT and customer satisfaction. Some agents think that if they spend more time with their customer, the more satisfied they will be. This may apply to some, but not all, since our customers also have their own business to take care of. They key to balancing both is to have good call control. Here are some tips how you can properly handle your call. First is to listen to our customers. Some agents tend to pre-empt the customer’s concern after the first statement. This does not only confuse your customer, but yourself as well. Don’t forget that you must confirm that you got their concern accurately before proposing any steps to resolve the problem. Next is to keep your responses short and go directly to your point. Sounding comfortable and confident would also help a lot. Beating around the bush is the first sign that gives the customer the feeling that he is being given the run-around (or that you are just making things up). After giving your first statement, pause before giving needed details. This would also give them time to react and help you avoid verbal collisions. It would also help to minimize or eliminate holds by doing small talks. Hope this helps!

If you have any suggestions you want to share, leave a message in the comment box.

Hi CallCenterLink,

My TL always says that my attitude greatly affects my call control. I try to sound as professional as I can on the phone; however, I find it a challenge to keep my cool whenever I encounter irate customers. How does my attitude affect my handle time anyway?

– Gary, CSR

Hi Gary,

Your attitude does not only affect your call control but your company’s customer satisfaction as well. Based on research, 68% of customers leave due to the attitude on the part of ONE employee. Your attitude is the beginning of a great call control. First of all, having a good attitude will help you remain in control of the call. It builds customer trust and loyalty. A great attitude means you have enthusiasm and a nice tone of voice when talking to the customer.

Here are some characteristics of a great Attitude:

Friendly                                

Upbeat                                 

Eager to Please

Optimistic                

Solution Oriented  

Attentive

Empathetic              

Nice Tone of voice

Smile in the voice

Remember, attitude is what you say and how you say it and it determines how well you serve the customer. Good attitudes will produce great calls, even when the customer’s attitude is bad.

If you have any suggestions you want to share, leave a message in the comment box. 

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