Face-to-face and telephone ethics to be followed in Call Centers
Posted by ICCS BPO on Monday 9th of July 2018
The demand for call centers in India is rising, one of the reasons being that the call center solutions present in India can provide labor at cheap rates which in turn makes call center rates, very competitive. Domestic Call centers in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and many other locations have been increasing.
Call center services in India are of two types-Inbound call center, outbound call center.
Inbound call center support services are basically where the customer calls to clarify their doubts or receive customer service. BPO call center is an example of call center inbound.
Outbound call center services are the ones where the agents place the call to customers to let them know of new product launched by the company, or to make them aware of any policy changes.
Whether the call center is inbound or outbound, there needs to be some basic ethics that are needed to be followed by the agents while interacting with the customers. While a call center might have its own ethics policy here are some basic pointers that one needs to keep in mind while talking to the customer -
It is the most important, you should treat the customer with humbleness, you can't afford to be rude with them. Ask for their name, what they would prefer to be called. Try and pronounce their name correctly and be consistent in the use of their name.
- Talk with a smile
A smile can be heard in the way one talks, when you smile you would sound more cheerful. Words and their inflection over a phone call are much more important as the customer can't see your body language.
- Wait for the person to finish speaking
Listen completely to the customer, let him finish before speaking. Never interrupt a customer who is complaining. It might be difficult to do so, but it will benefit you if you know about the whole problem before responding to the customer. No matter how long it takes, listening to the customer feel like he and his problem are being taken care of.
Be sure to maintain an air of professionalism throughout the entire conversation. Agents are a face of the company, which makes it important to adhere to quality standards that are set. Conversations with customers should be in line with values and goals of the company.
Showing respect to your customer goes a long way in maintaining the image and showcasing the value system of the company. An agent should remain calm and composed throughout each interaction. Every customer should be treated as if they are the most valued customer. (Respect also involves understanding the caller’s needs and making an effort to accommodate them. Agents should attempt to understand the causes of the customer’s problem, realize how their problem affects their behavior and respond with compassion.)
Honesty is the best policy
It is not a good business tactic to lie, an agent should be honest with his customer. If you do not know an answer to their question, instead of lying, let the customer know that you would get back to them as soon as you know of the answer. If you cannot solve the problem, maybe because it is not in your jurisdiction of control you can let them know that you are transferring the call onto someone who can help them to solve the problem.
- Always keep the customer in loop
An agent while talking to the customer should let him know of the steps he is going to take to solve their problem and let them know of a time frame that is little longer than necessary because when the problem is solved the customer would feel that you took extra measures to solve their problems well within time. However, if the time taken is going to exceed the time that you informed to the customer, then it is advisable to communicate this delay to the customer to let them know that you have not forgotten of their problems and are working towards solving them. When a problem is solved, all your customers tell their respective friends about it. Word-of-mouth publicity right there.
- Be Trustworthy
Instilling trust in your customer is very important, it not only helps in smooth progress of the interaction but also builds a positive brand awareness about the company. This requires the agent to be truthful, honest, reliable, loyal and have integrity. Adhering to these traits and company's values can successfully instill trust in your customer.
- Be Confident and Competent
Exuding confidence is essential for a productive and healthy interaction. An agent must know how to handle himself and the customer in difficult situations. When one interacts with confidence, the image of the company and the interaction, both will be positive. Along with confidence an agent should be competent to address the customer's needs. If and when the customer's demands are too high they should know that they must refer the customer to someone who has more experience, and who can effectively handle their demands.
- Learn how to handle angry and abusive people.
If your customer is angry, the first thing that you need to avoid telling them is to calm down. Effective way of handling an angry customer is to initially talk in a slightly louder voice, if the customer from very beginning is shouting. The words to be spoken by the agents should be sympathetic and reassuring such as, "How awful", "You are absolutely right to be mad". This will make the customer feel as if he is being understood and slowly the customer will calm down and begin talking in normal volume and once this happen, the agent can once again resume talking in his normal voice.
- Know and Use the Hold Button.
The hold button is your friend. Avoid putting the phone to your chest to muffle the mouthpiece, so you can speak with your team members. It is not fool-proof, and the customer might end up hearing things that you might not want them hearing.
- Get to know the Transfer Button.
If you are required to transfer the customer's call to another member of your team, know how to do I and also let the customer know that you are making a transfer. If you feel this is going to take time, because you might need to explain the customer's situation to the person who now will handle the call, tell the client an estimated time they might need to hold and if they are comfortable with waiting. Most people would say yes.
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