Enjoy Life in a Rewarding Role
Working in call center jobs can be stressful. You’ll hear stories about irate customers, constant rejection on sales calls, and long hours. What you don’t hear so often is about the amount of fun it can be, the great customer calls, the positive reviews you receive, and the camaraderie and team spirit.
If you’re good at your job, there’s a better than even chance that you’ll love it. That goes for any occupation, including call center jobs. And if you’re great at your job, it becomes a lot less like work and a lot more like a fun environment for hanging out with your pals.
Here are our top 10 tips to help you become great at your job in a call center. Tactics that will ensure you act like a pro. These will make you better at your job, more likely to get a promotion, and improve your job satisfaction.
Let’s start at the beginning.
1. Learn About the Company’s Products and Services
One of customers’ biggest complaints is that the agent they speak to in a call center doesn’t have a good knowledge about the products or services they are discussing. The greater your knowledge, the greater your ability to help your customer.
Your job boils down to solving problems. You’ll do this more effectively by learning about the products and services you are helping with or selling every day. It’s rule number one.
2. Learn to Build Rapport
Customers want to like you. There are very few customers who want a fight on the phone. But they may be frustrated, unknowledgeable, or unsure. By building rapport quickly, you will reduce their frustration, make them feel more comfortable, and deliver a conversation in which you can learn about their challenges and solve them.
A great way to build rapport is to show empathy with your callers. What’s empathy? It’s the difference between “I know you’re hurting right now” and “I understand your pain”. Let your customers know that you understand what they are feeling, and that you are there to help them as best as you can.
Showing genuine empathy will help to calm the situation and put you in control – then you can do what you need to do to solve the issue.
Tactics 3 and 4 will help you to build rapport, too.
3. Be Natural
Don’t use a phone voice. Be natural. This will help you sound confident and relaxed. Speak a little slower than you would in a face-to-face conversation, and use appropriate tone matching to show empathy and understanding.
4. Smile When You Are on the Phone
It’s true what they say – a caller can hear your smile. Be happy in your job, and you’re more likely to deal with happy customers.
5. Use the Mute Button
There will be times when the mute button is your best friend. For example, when you need to ask a colleague a question. And especially if you need to scream! (Okay, perhaps it’s best not to scream, but there may be occasions when you need to breathe a sigh of frustration – and it’s best that your customer doesn’t hear that.)
Before your shift starts, make sure that your mute button is working. And during your shift, if you need to vent a little anger, do it as silently as you can, just in case the mute button decides to stop working as it should.
6. Deal with the Real Issue
Many customers think they know what their problem is, and expect you to fix it for them immediately. It doesn’t work like that. “The power button on my laptop has stopped working,” doesn’t tell you the issue, though the customer thinks it does.
Ask questions to drill down to the root cause of the problem. “Is the laptop plugged into the power supply? Is the power supply switched on? Do you see any flashing lights on the keyboard?” are all questions that will help you discover the real problem that will help you solve the customer’s perceived problem.
7. Be a Note Taker
Keep that notebook handy, and use it. Taking notes helps you to listen and ensures you don’t miss anything that is important to the issue you are dealing with. While most calls will be recorded, taking notes will help you serve your customer more effectively.
Remember not to write down any private or sensitive information, though – you’ll be breaking rules and regulations.
8. Up-Sell and Cross-Sell
You know the company’s products. You understand the customer’s issues. You’ve built rapport. Now it’s time to up-sell or cross-sell. Describe how another of the company’s products will help your customer to avoid similar issues in the future or enhance their experience.
A customer who is buying a laptop might be sold a case to help protect and transport it, for example.
Learn how to engage with a customer and make them feel that other products and services are necessary add-ons, offering extra benefit that they simply don’t want to miss.
9. Remember That It Isn’t Personal
Being on the receiving end of a tirade of frustration and anger is not a pleasant experience. It’s also not aimed at you personally. The customer’s frustration is with the system, product, or service. Not you.
Remember this one rule, and you will be a more objective, logical problem solver. You’ll also keep your sanity as you pull customers round, calm them down, and solve their problems. The most frustrated customers can become the most grateful.
You might want to keep a few pencils handy, though – just in case you feel like snapping one in half!
10. Be a Team Player
Finally, be a great colleague. Be nice to those around you. Speak, smile, and be helpful. If you’re going to fix a coffee, offer to bring one back for the agent working on the next desk. You are responsible for making your call center a happy place to work.
Are You Ready to Step Up as a Call Center Pro?
Life as a call center agent can be interesting, enjoyable, and rewarding. If you have what it takes to be a great colleague in a close-knit team that provides stellar service to its customers, then contact Everest today. There’s a job waiting for you.