In an environment when one bad customer service call can be recorded and go viral, damaging a company's reputation overnight, it's more important than ever to give top priority to your customer service calls. By establishing positive policies and putting technology to work for you, you can improve your customer satisfaction dramatically. Here are five tips to improve your customer service calls.
Reduce Wait Times
Both technology and training can help to cut down on customer wait times. Nothing is more frustrating and depersonalizing to a customer than the sense that he has been routed into an endless loop of hold music. Examine your tech options and procedures to get customers to the right department as quickly as possible. Place some calls to your own customer service call center to see how long it takes to get to the right department, and note at what point you start to feel frustrated yourself.
Let Customers Talk to a Person
Determine what customer service questions can be handled without customer service support, such as providing directions and hours, delivering account balances and making on-time payments. For all other questions, make sure your customers have an easy-to-understand procedure available to reach an actual person. Add live chat options to your website to allow customers to reach you without waiting on hold.
Use Smart Routing and Tracking
Upgrade your technology to allow customer service calls to be routed to the correct person as quickly as possible. Make sure your customer service reps can track calls by account number; this prevents customers from becoming frustrated or angry at having to repeat the same information over and over. Remember, even if you're routing a call between call centers in different parts of the country, to the customer, it's all the same phone call.
Empower Customer Service Reps
Give your customer service representatives the ability and freedom to leave the script in order to solve customers' problems. Train them to put the customer's priorities first and give them the power to offer free shipping or other incentives. Reward customer service reps who find innovative and cost-effective ways to solve customers' issues.
Review Customer Service Calls
Hold regular team meetings to review customer service calls, and let your customer service reps work as a team to provide answers to new problems that arise. Review a sampling of recorded conversations yourself to anticipate issues with new products or services and to keep tabs on how your reps are doing. Reward customer service reps who come up with new procedures to shorten call times and streamline the process.
When you're able to improve customer satisfaction by expediting solutions to their problems, you help boost customer loyalty as well as the morale of your own team. Focus on customer-oriented solutions to improving customer service calls, burnish the company's reputation, and keep your own customer service reps happy.
Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net