Source: The Statista Research Department: Number of contact center employees in the United States from 2014 to 2020
There's a problem. Contact center managers constantly experience a lack of time on digging into the books on practical management and psychology. Even the brief research on the most successful call centers and their ways of operating is a chore beyond endurance.
But, we'll tell you what. We've done special research and discovered the truth on how exactly successful managers make effective decisions towards each call center agent. Specifically, in this guide, you'll discover the gist from books on practical psychology, management, and even mathematics.
Of course, managers, who reap the lion's share of the revenue at the call center's market, know these secrets and constantly try to conceal them leaving the competitors behind the curve.
Hint: these tips are simple for applying as 1-2-3 and require zero money from your side.
Customers give a damn about the level of product knowledge your call center agent has
The case: Of course, there’s an ordinary situation when you’re hiring employees and hit the ground running with the practice of calling the current customer instead of theories, training, etc. And we'll tell you exactly why they must never pronounce specific words to make customers happy.
For instance, pronouncing words such as: “Sorry, I’m just new here and… blah, blah, blah” nearly in 100% of cases triggers the customer's skepticism. In this case, customers are likely to respond with something like: “Well, then give me someone who is qualified enough".
The solution: Please pay attention to these call center tips for beginners because they anticipate either success or failure. Instead of such a weak appeal, and when your call center agent starts to be nervous about the situation, you can change and make a great impression.
Naturally, the agent's winning tactic sounds like this: "Ok Mr. Wayne, I need a few seconds or a minute to process your request, would you mind if I'll put you on hold and return to you in a minute, please?" This one works too: "Because this matter can take some time, can I give you a callback please?".
The result: In nearly every situation, you'll achieve a happy customer and fewer customer complaints. And there are zero chances they'll find out that the agent is experienced or a new one.
Plus, by putting them on hold or calling back, you achieve the necessary time at your disposal without losing: the company's reputation, agent's morale, customer satisfaction, or whatever.
Here are winning call center tips and tricks that stem from the right questions
The case: Your call center agent achieved little or none of the useful information from the customer during the conversation because of background noise, low voice, unidentifiable speech, internet latency, etc.
The solution: Here’s call center tips and tricks that are workable in this situation. Your agent can say: "Could you speak a little bit louder, please?" Or: "Could you speak a little bit slower, please?".
Another example: “Mr. Ostin, excuse me for interrupting, I barely hear what you are saying. There is some background noise on your side. Could you have a room or quite a place so we can talk, please?"
The result: You slash the uncertainty from the conversation. And increase customer satisfaction by fulfilling customer expectations.
Hint: These tips are absolutely polite, easy, and legal to ask customers to make the conversation clear and comfortable, both for you and them.
Focus your imagination on building the relationships
The case: You need call center tips and tricks or even better - the blueprint on how to quickly and effectively build strong relationships and customer satisfaction fast and easy.
The solution: Instead of discovering the wheel over and over again, apply the proven blueprint that will work in 80% of cases. All other creativity steps will be possible on the basis of this foundation. Here’s how to do it.
First, to use positive language and raise success by an order of magnitude, your agents have to focus their imagination on creating relationships. As a result, even your body language will send positive impulses.
Train your imagination and focus on the thoughts like “I’m here to build strong and proficient relationships”, “to be useful and successful”, and likewise thoughts and images. Wait, are we talking about the imagination instead of the technical tricks and methods? Yes, we are. And here's why.
There’s already the scientifically approved fact that the focus of the human being on success in any area, drastically increases the chances of success. The reason why it’s happening? Because the person mobilizes the subconscious, which is the most powerful weapon an agent can have in the arsenal.
The imagination directly impacts the positive language your call center agent transmits from the subconscious.
Prospective customers will feel your positive attitude, willingness to build strong relationships, and desire to help. So even if you commit mistakes in one way or another, there will be minimum cases of escalations or resistance to the solution.
Hint: The morale of these kinds of tips works as follows: The internal-positive attitude never works from the beginning, especially if the person previously had negative attitudes toward building a good mood with customers.It requires at least 3 weeks of constant practice, then your self-image towards the positive language and building strong relationships becomes your brand new mechanism and works automatically.
For those who are interested in the concrete explanation of the value of the imagination on the subconscious and consciousness of people, read the book: Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz, the plastic surgeon from the US that concludes the numerous experiences and finds a lot of scientific evidence of the facts listed above.
The result: The focus and imaging of success are one of the secret weapons many successful managers and call center employees use today. It guarantees a 5-star customer experience and builds strong relationships. Plus, it will make their work much easier and faster because of the consistent positive attitude. Employees, which previously struggled or even suffered from their working routine will be much happier and more productive.
Contact us to discuss your needs and see Voiptime Contact Center in action!
Make the call personal to steer the mood of trust
The case: Want to know more about the top customer service tips for a call center? Here you are. There are frequent causes of the lack of empathy and low customer experience. Why? The scientific approved fact looks as follows: all people around the globe, unconsciously, already want human-like care. Even if they're emotional-free, scientific-type, and introverted individuals, they still want the appreciation from your side and never feel like another guy.
The solution: One of the proven ways to build trust is to ask for their second name as soon as possible. Then, once you know it, you need to frequently use it to build a human-like conversation by making a call personal. You start to frequently mention their second names, such as Mr. James or Mrs. James.
Now, your call center software's customer relationship management (CRM) system already identifies the phone number of your customer, so you greet the customer as follows: “Good day Mr. Smith, how can I help you today?” See how it sounds both friendly and professional? That's why it's always positive to know the customer's second name and use it frequently.
Take a look at the Voiptime Cloud software for calling if you need the software for calling today.
The result: By making calls personal and treating customers positively, you achieve a happy customer.
Stop guessing about the real situation and insist on achieving the full picture
The case: You need to achieve the full picture of what exactly customers want from your company and whether the request is possible to bring into fruition or not. So here are professional customer service tips for a call center in every niche.
The solution: Agents ask accurate questions on the subject to slash the uncertainty. It's easy, ask in this way: "So Mrs. James, you want to change your account phone number (account number) to another phone number, which is (+1...) correct?".
Then you need to decide whether it's possible for the company to do it or if there are some additional confirmations and actions required.
Hint: Ask your colleagues about the case if you're not sure. Take these tips for the betterment and don't forget to notify customers that certain changes will take some time.
If you’re in the internet support, you ask accurate questions such as: “Please tell me, what kind of trouble with the internet? Is it the trouble with the connection, or your internet is low?” If you’ve discovered that there’s no internet connection, you could ask as follows: “Please check the internet plug on your router (PC, notebook)".
Be patient and follow customer service tips for the call center below and your response will soar. Now, if you’re in the real-estate business, you need to quickly identify the customer’s intentions to purchase the real estate. For example, you ask a question such as: “Mrs. James, we can offer you the real estate in this district, or we can offer you (A, B, C districts). “Mrs. James, you want to buy the real estate now?”
The purpose is to adequately catch the nature of the situation and find the quickest solution, beneficial for both customers and you.
Hint: The psychologists claim that the person who asks questions achieves control over the conversation, even in a stressful environment. Yet wisely use these tips in conversation to not overdo.
The result: Clarifying the situation by asking the questions regarding the inquiry, you'll always be sure what exactly customers want and whether it's real for the company to accomplish.
The small fraction of waiting is helpful
The case: Additional ways of coming out like winners nearly in any situation by asking for waiting or even a callback. Naturally, the challenging inquiries consume some time and effort.
The solution: It’s polite and necessary to put customers on hold and ask for a callback when you need to spend a lot of time. Here’s how we suggest you do it properly: “Mrs. Smith, could I put you on hold for a 1 minute to tackle your issue?”.
And here's what you need to say when you need to request a callback: “Mr. or Mrs. Ostin, could I call you back, please. Because it'll take some time to accomplish your inquiry.”
The result: Agents will have enough time to solve the issue by putting the stress out of their work, reducing the stress, and finally by making fewer mistakes.
Hint: These are tips regarding issues that every customer and agent feel relief with when the solution is on the go without their attendance.
Brief and short notes assist in the workflow
The case: Each sale and customer service agent carry challenging calls, inquiries, proposals, etc. And there’s a way to make the solutions simple.
The solution: To tackle even the challenging cases make short notes on a Word document or piece of paper. The process may look like sketching for a future solution. It’s true that while you write down key moments of the inquiry, such as: "troubles with the vehicle, engine, loud sound. Or "slow internet, payment confirmation, blah, blah, blah".
The result: By making brief notes during the conversation, you are catching the full picture of the case and sometimes achieve the ready-to-go solution while you're making those notes.
Challenging questions or issues are now easy to address
The case: The sun was shining and birds were flying until the moment you received a phone call from the customer with a challenging issue.
Additionally, it seems that these kinds of incoming calls promise a boatload of cash as well as problems for the company. Even experienced, from time to time struggling with these kinds of calls. And here's the blueprint for the solution.
The solution: First of all, challenging incoming calls are either solved or failed before the actual conversation. Why is that? The success regarding challenging questions and issues in nearly 80% of cases depends on the level of the employee’s preparation and product knowledge.
One of our top call center customer service tips for customer service agent sounds as follows. Achieve the knowledge about the subject, product, solution, terms, and conditions, corporate policy, etc., the more successfully they can respond, day in and day out.
As a result, it’s the responsibility of the call center's managers to ensure a good-enough level of the staff's knowledge.
Naturally, if your agents lack experience in the subject, you'll face the declining curve of the conversation's success rate. To solve it, remember that the homework of each customer service agent is critically important. Insist on reading the technical papers, specs, promotion materials, ads, and everything in between regarding the agent's activity.
The result: Sales or customer service team, will stand out from the me-too competitor's teams because of the productive customer interactions.
Free up your natural customer service experiences and sales results
The case: You need to disarm the customer’s skepticism from the beginning if you're in sales. And quickly find the solution if you're in the customer support team.
The solution: Call center customer service tips regarding this issue is pretty simple though. The natural speech of every sales or customer service representative stems from two key aspects. And here they are. First, the sales rep must know everything about the product and its benefits, yet not only that.
He or she must know for the fact in what way the product is useful to the customer, what it exactly does, and how customers usually use it to improve their lives. The huge advantage is when the sales rep knows the market and competitors, and they're already winning sales pitches generated to win more sales.
If you're a salesperson pretend yourself as a customer and ask three main questions:
- Why is this solution superior to all others?
- Why should I believe you?
- Why should I act now?
Likewise, the customer support team always provides a top-notch service if they know the cases for inquiries, malfunctions, etc.
To sum up everything, the sales reps persuade customers based on the concrete values that improve customers’ lives. While the customer support team knows all occasional and unique cases when customers can have a bad time and proven ways to solve them. It’s really that simple!
The result: When a customer service representative or sales agent has good-enough knowledge, they have the highest success rates and constantly win the customer’s love.
How to make the script your best friend and sound natural?
The case: You need customer service tips for building naturally-sound scripts that will assist agents.
The solution: The scripts are useful only when your agents have a minimum viable level of knowledge about the subject. So, when your agents have done their homework by studying materials, specs, technical requirements, cases, products, etc., scripts will work.
It's clear that when the knowledge of agents consists of scripts and a vague knowledge base, this will hurt their ability to persuade and deliver the perceived value to the customers.
The result: Scripts are effective when agents have a good knowledge base.
How to easily forget about the hard customer and reduce the stress?
The case: The inevitable part of the customer support team is talking with the difficult customer that hash, abuse or even treat. What should your agents do to turn every angry person into a loyal customer?
The solution: The first thing that agents need to understand is that the difficult customer will inevitably show up from time to time, yet always have a positive attitude, no matter what. So, the best way to tackle them is to be professional until the end of the conversation. Be in the frames of your job, everything else has zero importance.
Thus think: "This person has nothing against me personally. Maybe the customer had a bad day: the car is broken, the contract failed, the husband is harsh, etc. I'm here to help, not to take the situation personally". Believe, this kind of thought will drastically reduce your stress and perception of the unhappy customer or difficult customers.
If you're a manager, give your agents an extra 5-10 minutes after the hard customer and perhaps make a breathing technique listed below.
The result: Staying professional you'll never drop your image and dignity yet always have the highest chances of achieving a loyal customer.
Breathing techniques for an easy recovery before or after stressful situations and conversations
The case: Agents are distressed after a conversation or stressful situation and you need a proven way to rapid recovery of both the emotional and physical state of call center employees.
The solution: This breathing technique has many names, so here’s how it works. When you breathe out longer than you breathe in, you build up carbonic acid in your body. The manager or employees have to do is breathe in for 5 seconds (slowly, not deeply), hold the breath for 5 seconds, and breath out for more than 5 seconds (for 6, 8 seconds, and more).
Basically, the breath out must be longer than the breath in. Your body collects the natural carbon dioxide when the lungs and the entire respiratory apparatus are involved.
The outcome: Carbonic acid is the basis of the redox process in the body. It triggers the restorative process in the body, which optimizes all body systems in a positive way and reduces stress.
In particular, organs such as the heart and brain start working in their natural rhythm. As a result, the stress, which is in fact the increased heartbeat and blood flow to the brain, to which the organism reacts with its protective mechanisms, ceases to have its effect and disappears very quickly.
The amazing thing about this type of breathing is that it starts working after 30 seconds. After this breathing exercise, you or your agents will be fresh and calm. It's as if nothing bad ever happened. Moreover, scientists advise that such exercises should be performed for 2 hours a day.
This way enough carbonic acid will be accumulated to saturate all vital organs and even prevent diseases or speed up recovery from them. Plus, you will sleep much better after you start applying this technique in your daily life and work.
But the only condition. You should not overload yourself too much with this technique in the first two weeks, because the body rebuilds to this kind of breathing and it will be like a real workout in the gym. So use a little at the beginning, gradually increasing the amount of time up to a cumulative time of breathing exercises lasting up to 2 hours during the day.
The hardworking and slow solution versus the fast and short-term
The case: How to achieve satisfied customers using the hard-working and long-term solution, even when they urge you to find a fast solution.
The solution: Agents must deliver a solution that produces positive and long-term results. The agent’s solutions must be grounded on knowledge, not on the desires of customers. Of course, in extreme cases, when customers urge agents to initiate processes that can make a positive impact on the product’s usage or changes. Be cautious here and see the results of these actions.
The result: The hard-working and long-term solution produces a positive customer experience, customer loyalty, and satisfaction, and prevents repetitive calls on the same issue. The brief words with the manager or supervisor can be the blueprint for the situation.
Sometimes guidance is the only way
The case: The customer service team is describing what to do yet rarely provides deep guidance on how to do something to achieve the desirable and necessary results.
The solution: Once an agent clearly figures out the reasons why customers want to achieve something, they need to provide the step by step guidance. Here’s what it looks like:
Customer: “Hi, I need to fill out the form regarding the renewal of my insurance. But I’ve tried to fill out the form, and there’s either a mistake or no renewal on my account. Can you assist me with it?”
The insurance customer service agent can have a call script or blueprint as follows: “Good evening Mr. Bly, can you tell me exactly what your insurance number is? Ok, thank you, let me have 1 minute to check your insurance account.
So, Mr. Bly, I see you’ve to try to fill out the ordinary form for the renewal, can you tell me what exactly you’re struggling with or what the systems tell you? Ok, let me see. So, to accomplish your renewal process, you need to fill correctly fields, for example, “Address”, “Zip Code”, and “Social security number”.
Ok, if you forget about your Zip code, let me check it on my own, please tell me what your current address is?"
This is just the sketch but you understand the idea.
The result: Apply the guidance of customers step by step as your Golden Rule, when necessary, and they will reward you with much more gold.
The long queue is not a problem anymore
The case: You have a long queue of calls. Is it better to talk longer with effectiveness or faster with efficiency?
The solution: Take as one of your golden rules that spending additional minutes is more profitable than fast and vague decisions on the subject because it prevents repetitive calls. And consequently, reduce your queue.
If the customer is struggling with understanding, try to put yourself in their shoes, understand how they see the situation and describe your solutions in more detail. Believe us, it will positively reflect on you and your customers.
The result: Your queue will walk smoothly and customers will never call you on the same issue.
Angry customers are not the problem now in 80% of cases
The case: Your agents handle calls from angry customers that tend to be harsh, abusive, and even treat agents. Two outcomes from this situation are either you’ll escalate the conflict to the senior person, but a lot of stress on employees and consequently just lose a lot of productive time.
Or you have a winning strategy to tackle the situation quickly and fairly easily. Let’s see what you can do.
The solution: The angry customer can be of two types. Either there’s a mistake committed by your company. Or it can be just an angry customer that wants to vent out, for their personal reasons. Anyway, your professional goal is to save as much time as you can and prevent the escalation, if possible.
So here’s what your agents need to do. First of all, they need to commit fewer mistakes from their side by eliminating the cause of “natural anger” from the customer.
Again, an adequate solution stems from the homework of each of the agents. The better your agents are prepared and have complete knowledge of their services, the fewer problems they meet day after day. To tackle the type of callers with anger for personal reasons, they need to be a little bit smarter.
Once they’ve identified the real cause and the customer is just trash-talking, they can quickly move to the desired outcome: “Mrs. Walsh, I know that there’s the problem, can we figure it out together?” That puts the customer to the final point of the conversation, either you searching for the solution or letting it vent much faster.
Or if the customer is really abusive or even treat, the corporate policy must allow the agent to say something like this: “Mrs. Walsh, if you continue to talk in this way, we just need to speak later”. And consequently, the agent has the right to end the call.
The result: This kind of position of the company will be positive both for the company and agents.
Solve the most frequent problems once and for all
The case: Customers and prospects frequently struggle with the same problem over and over again.
The solution: If your agents identify the rising frequency of the same issues that are rising from time to time, they have to report it to the senior person or manager. And the manager must quickly identify the cause and counsel the senior or company's representatives about the solution.
The result: By rapidly identifying and reporting frequent inquiries, any company can find a fast and timely solution.
A straight shift has a positive impact if organized properly
The case: Talking for about 8 hours straight is a nearly impossible task for any kind of employee, even the most productive.
The solution: Give your agents at least 5 minutes for each working hour to take a break. And arrange at least one break for a meal during the 8 hours shift. This is a scientifically evident fact that these breaks boost attention, reduce stress, and give vital energy to employees for further activities.
The result: Your agents will have less stress because of switching from churn to the rest, and that’s how successful companies care about each call center employee. Remember these call center tips on the subject and your agents will say to you: Thank you!
Which kind of shift pulls the most productivity: straight or flexible?
The case: Depending on the age, your staff can have family obligations or can be single individuals that can devote large chunks of time to the work.
The solution: Consider the fact that when you have more than 10 employees, you need to move emphasis towards the most appropriate shift for the majority of employees.
Thus employees are either fine with working from 8 AM to 5 PM. Or when they have obligations such as families and children to care for, the flexible shift is more suitable.
Keeping this in your mind, organize the shift in a way to satisfy firstly the vast majority of employees and then move to the certain agent's working capacities.
In case you have sales and customer services teams around the globe with different time zones, as a manager, consider their time zones. Finally, always have room for changing if some of your agents need certain hours of the day for work. To make a decision regarding the working shift, just gather the meeting at the end of the working week and discuss it for 40 minutes or so.
The result: Taking into account not only call center tips yet your employees, both big and small groups. Will reduce your headaches with the schedule and productivity in the long haul.
How to work from a home-based call center using call center tips?
The global call center business has examples of successful operations. The huge advantage is that every agent can work from home and reduce your financial strain by this. The only rule is that you need to organize it properly. Want to know the details?
Call center tips for organizing your work with the precision
The case: Working from home requires management as any other kind of business. And the first thing you have to establish is straight working hours: from 8 AM to 5 PM or other hours of your day.
The solution: Have a strong commitment that in particular hours you’re working and there are zero chances to go around. In this case, successful entrepreneurs suggest using the Pareto Principle, when 20% of your time during the day generates 80% of the income in your life.
We strongly recommend you discover this principle by yourself. And here’s the short version: "Whatever you do in your day, delegate a certain amount of hours for the billable work, it could be 3, 5, or more hours. Do this every day and you will generate 80% of your income during these hours".
The result: By working in this fashion, you’ll establish a strong commitment to the work, find oceans of time for work, and generate a positive experience for customers as well.
Is call center businesses only for the rich?
Today, entrepreneurs from small and mid-sized businesses disagree. And they're right. Here's why.
The history of the call center business takes us back to the 1970s when the first business systems for massive calling to customers were designed.
To be successful you are really forced to buy a business telephony system with all of the physical infrastructures. No way around. In addition, updates, enhancements, or changings constantly required investments. If not rich, you at least need tens of thousands of dollars permanently to arrange this kind of office.
And this is only for the business technology, not for rent and other expenses on the salary, electricity, internet, so on and so forth.
Today, the office-based call centers are nearly the same as in the 1970s. You still need to have tens of thousands of dollars for the start and additionally expenses on salaries, rent, etc.
By the way, did you know that in 2020, Panasonic made a strategic decision to stop the support and development of their PBX systems? Do you know why? It’s too costly to maintain these systems or provide additional improvement for the physical infrastructure, even if customers are ready to pay for it.
So, Panasonic just hit the switch and shut down the technology, and their customers were incapable of doing anything with it.
The same story with other PBX systems in the US and Europe. They just shut down their systems if they are proven unprofitable. Plus, providers refuse to guarantee the same prices on services year in and year out.
Cloud contact center technology can't be shut down like a switch in the bedroom
The first benefit is the price of establishing a fully-functional contact center is the price that is drastically lower in comparison with the traditional lines. This is because the whole package of the infrastructure is already embedded in the software.
Everything else is about the professional IT staff that keep an eye on the infrastructure absolutely remotely and provide all necessary work as soon as a problem occurs.
More to say, the cloud call center software guarantees the same inbound, outbound, messaging, robocalling, and other capacities as a business telephony system.
What about shutting down the functions? There are no unpredicted and unplanned shutting downs of functions unless on the mutual consent between the company and the customer.
Take a look at the automation calling features such as IVR and ACD
Basically, interactive voice response systems (IVR) and automatic call distribution (ACD) are designed and constantly updated to reduce the workload of agents in both outbound campaigns and inbound calls from customers.
The main idea behind these systems is to put the most urgent and valuable customer inquiries in front of the live agent. While letting the software deal with the occasional and most frequent inquiries when the assisting of agents is unnecessary or even harmful.
For instance, in Voiptime Cloud, you have the package of the IVR and ACD to satisfy your sales or customer service activities. There are also options our company can customize if necessary.
Calls without limits
The capacity of calling with the cloud is unlimited, you can reach every customer and vice versa with the speed of the internet. The call center’s customer service and sales agents have an immersive quality of the sound and zero delays in the voice transmission.
Call recording is a valuable advantage of the software
Listen to the conversations to know that your call center's business is OK. Achieve the high-quality sound recording function to understand the mistakes agents frequently commit, their level of service, customer feedback, and sales pitch power.
There’s the unlimited capacity to store recorded calls on your hard drive with enough space. Each recorded conversation has its unique date and time mark, for a simple search.
Security is the top priority of call center software
Contact center managers want to secure their conversations and data from third parties and to have a trustworthy reputation in the global market. That’s why Voiptimecloud has cutting-edge protection protocols to make it happen. Working with certified data centers, we’ve easily enhanced our protection to a world-class level.
Know the real impact of every contact between agents and customers
The dashboard of the software allows you to observe every piece of information regarding the calls. Frankly, you’ll see the amount of time, the outcome of the call, and can listen to calls in three different modes such as: listening, whispering, or taking over the initiative in the call to control the conversation.
Customer service is easy with the cloud call center software tech
Because the Voiptimecloud call center software system is integrated to monitor the customer’s activities such as agent’s attendance, inbound calls, messages, and chats, customer service agents have a two-sided connection with each other all the time, 24 hours a day.
None of the contacts are missed if the agent hasn’t answered the call or message because the system accurately puts this request in the database. To sum up, contact center managers have a full and dynamic picture on their monitor of what’s going on in their call center.
Here’s how to achieve this software now
Actually, we haven’t yet mentioned something that you need to know. And here is what it is. Outbound call center software from Voiptime Cloud is not only for our successful partners such as Idea Bank, Dunapack Packaging, Before Hello, Thebigword Group, and others.
If it could work on the businesses that operated in a highly competitive market with high calling volumes, don’t you think it could help you too? Would you like to try this remarkable software? Would you like to make calls as well as you feel?
Remote call center software is easy to achieve today. Just order a callback from us.
Voiptime is yours for stellar results. More often!
Contact us to discuss your needs and see Voiptime Contact Center in action!