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Article : Making the Call Center Experience as Pleasant as Possible for Your Customers

#contactcenterworld, @nectardesk

This article by Symon Edmonds, Marketing Manager for Nectar Desk in Canada, outlines strategies to improve customer experience in your call center. It describes the ethos that a call center should employ in its operations as well as the personality traits that it should instil in agents.


Customer service is the cornerstone of any business. Your ability to give incredible service will ensure a loyal customer for life. But if they experience a rude agent or are kept on hold forever, that client is out of the door for good. We’ve all been on the receiving end of a hideous customer service experience. We know how it left us feeling and how our relationship to that brand instantaneously dissolved. An American Express Survey on Customer Service noted that, "Americans tell an average of nine people about good experiences and tell 16 about poor experiences."

"The goal as a company is to have customer service that is not just the best but legendary." - Sam Walton


Unforgettable in Every Way

You want clients to call in and have an unforgettable experience that will lead to their loyalty and trust wrapped up in a beautiful package of positivity. You want to make the best, long lasting impression on your caller so they will continue to do business with you into the future. There are obvious challenges to executing perfect customer service with every call. A Harris Interactive report found that, "according to consumers, customer service agents failed to answer their questions 50 percent of the time." That is quite an alarming statistic. In this digital age where your competition is only a click away you have to make sure that poor customer experience is eliminated.


"You’ll never have a product or price advantage again. They can be easily duplicated, but a strong customer service culture can’t be copied." - Jerry Fritz

These days with voice recognition and automatic directories customers are missing the personalized human touch. Talking to a machine often leaves customers feeling exasperated. Right now, call centers are the human face of your business and customer support is critical to maintain a good reputation for your brand. It’s often the only one-on-one, real communication consumer’s might have with your company. The challenges of long hold and waiting times, and bad communication remain major problems for call centers but there are ways to woo your customer when you get them on the line.


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5 Tips for Impactful Customer Service

"You are serving a customer, not a life sentence. Learn how to enjoy your work." - Laurie McIntosh

  1. Be a Good Listener: The goal is to really listen to what the caller is saying. Don’t interrupt or start responding until you completely have a handle on their grievance or situation. The customer will feel "heard" and validated if you actively listen to them.

"One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say." - Bryant H. McGill

  1. Honesty is the best policy: Always give straight answers. If you try to distract them from the truth the customer will be on to you. Transparency builds trust.

"Customers don’t expect you to be perfect. They do expect you to fix things when they go wrong." - Donald Porter

  1. Above and beyond: Solving someone’s problem is the basic solution. When you put in the extra effort it creates ongoing customer loyalty. "Every great business is built on friendship." - JC Penney

  1. Establish an organized work environment: You need to focus all of your attention on the customer so you must ensure you are working in efficient surroundings.

"For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned." - Benjamin Franklin

  1. Informed Agents: Training and education on the business, target audience and how best to react to customers will elevate your customer service delivery. You must research the company, past customer complaints and exceptional past customer service practices to be on top of your game. Make sure you are aware of the most frequent complaints so you are equipped to better handle the client.

Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project discovered that, "58 percent of Americans perform online research about the products and services that they are considering purchasing."

Make sure that your customer doesn’t know more about your business and industry than you do.


The Essential Personality Traits for a Call Center Agent

Call center agents are under a large amount of pressure when handling a frustrated caller. In order to transform the angry into the satisfied, happy customer you need to demonstrate specific skills and qualities like:

  • Empathy: listen and show remorse. Make the customer feel heard and understood.

  • Willingness to help: redirect them to where they can best be served, find all necessary information from the other departments, and accommodate them in a positive, helpful manner.

  • Be courteous and confident

  • Professional and competent: You must know the software backwards and forwards and know all of the possible scenarios you might be called on to execute.

  • Maintain an air of calm: never come across stressed or unsure of how to solve the issue.

  • Patience: hear the whole complaint and stay cooperative.

  • Have a positive attitude: adopt a positive mindset so you don’t ever get weighed down by a hostile customer. Use positive words and phrases.

Tips and Tricks for Managing Irate Customers

A study by NewVoice found that, "42% of customers switch companies because they are put off by rude or unhelpful staff while 73% of consumers say friendly customer service reps can make them fall in love with a brand."

A call center agent is going to have to deal with their fair share of upset customers and they will need a few tricks up their sleeve to turn the situation around. You might be threatened with violence or loudly shouted at as customers express their rage at you - the representative of the whole company in that moment. Keep calm and carry on…finding the solution.

Try and see the situation from their perspective before you get defensive. You are the first point of contact and don’t take it personally.

You will need to dance these steps:

  • Reassure: You can say, "Please explain the whole situation first and then we’ll find you the perfect solution." "I definitely understand why this is so distressing for you."

  • Climb in their shoes: You can suggest - "I would absolutely feel exactly the same in your situation, but we will sort out this problem." "Thank you for bringing this problem to my attention." (Note: Don’t suggest the customer is overreacting!) Always ascertain if the caller’s needs are emotional or physical. Someone hasn’t understood how they are feeling or they are upset because they don’t have something they should have. There are a plethora of empathy statements to use in these situations.

  • Keep to the facts: with an irate customer, stick to the basic facts and a simple outline so they can focus on their communication thus far. "Let me make sure that I have heard you correctly and have all of the facts straight."

  • Build relationship: Be on their side and their anger will be diverted. "Let’s work together to solve this." "If you’re not happy, I’m not happy."

  • Sell the Solution: "In my experience the best way to proceed is_____. How does that sound to you?" When you bring them into the process and start creatively finding the right solutions for them, their frustration will dissipate.

  • Let them blow off steam: release the pressure valve by letting them vent.

  • De-stress: rejuvenate yourself after a stressful call with a hot drink or listen to some calming music, meditate or try a few breathing exercises. Find the best, restorative recipe for yourself.

  • Don’t fly off the handle: always try to control your anger.

Planning for Pleasantville

Gartner reports that this year 89% of companies will compete mostly on the basis of customer experience, versus 36% four years ago, and a company’s call center performance level heavily influences this.

Positive and pleasant interaction with customers by a well-trained agent will grow your customer base and their ongoing loyalty. With a respectful, trustworthy, interested, flexible, empathetic agent that succeeds in going the extra mile for the customers, the business will grow. The call center etiquette guidelines for the ideal customer service response must be clearly defined by managers to ensure positive brand elevation.

Managers must engage in:

  • Strategizing with the agents to uncover effective ways to solve customer’s problems.

  • Sharing feedback with agents in real-time to motivate them to keep their performance consistent.

  • Showering agents with praise for their great efforts and incentivize. (Only 31% of organizations recognize and reward employees across the company for improving customer experience.)

  • Allowing agents to speak about their frustrations.

  • Offer opportunities for career growth.

With constant monitoring and training a call center agent can be one of the biggest assets for a company. Satisfied customers bring more clients to your door as they are now your brand ambassadors showing their happiness by word of mouth and social media. The more positive customer service stories you create, the stronger your brand will become.

"The customer experience is the next competitive battleground." - Jerry Gregoire

#contactcenterworld, @nectardesk


About Symon Edmonds:
Symon Edmonds is the marketing manager with Nectar Desk, a call center software provider based in Ottawa, Canada.

About Nectar Desk:
Company LogoNectar Desk offers cloud-based contact center software for handling inbound and outbound calls with reporting and analytics.
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Today's Tip of the Day - Do Your Agents Have All The Right Tools?

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Monday, March 20, 2017

Printer Friendly Version Printer friendly version

2021 Buyers Guide Cloud Contact Center Solutions

Page: 1234
1.) 
Accordia Solution

Accordia Solution CIS
Accordia Solution is an innovative developer of seamlessly integrated cost-effective omnichannel Contact Center Solutions specifically targeted at the micro, small and medium operations.Our core business model involves the development and marketing of IP Telephony and IP Contact Center Solutions. We also strive to develop customer interaction solutions which include contact center and customer relationship management (CRM) that enhances Customer Experience Of The Future (CEOTF) and optimizes agent productivity.

Our flagship product, the Accordia Customer Interaction Suites (CIS), offers comprehensive functionality by helping your business meet and exceed the level of service in line with...
(read more)

2.) 
Adversus Dialer

Adverus Dialer
Adversus is a web-based dialer and practical CRM solution for telemarketing, fundraising, and appointment scheduling businesses.

3.) 
Alcor Consulting, Inc.

HoduCC/VoipCor
Omnichannel contact center platform which can be deployed on-premise, private cloud or public cloud subscription. Our contact center provides all of the modern features expected in a full contact center solution. Includes voice, SMS, chat, email, and social media integration. Built-in integrations for all major CRM's (Plus a built-in CRM). Survey module and QA module are also available.

4.) 
Alvaria

Alvaria Cloud
Alvaria Cloud is the only enterprise cloud contact center solution that allows you to adopt best-of-breed Customer Experience (CX) and Workforce Engagement Management (WEM) applications modularly. Start with one or more applications and then add applications with ease when ready for additional capabilities, as your needs change. With the Alvaria Cloud Platform, you have the advantage of knowing that all provisioning, security, user management and other administrative tasks are already configured and in place.

5.) 
Alvaria

Noble Contact Center
Noble offers a modern communications platform for optimizing all customer interaction. Put Noble’s unified platform to work for you — building performance and productivity, improving the quality and effectiveness of customer contacts, and reducing costs. With the critical software technologies that contact centres need most, our solutions provide seamless integration to existing corporate environments, reduce your learning curve and protect your technology investments.

6.) 
Amtelco

Genesis Intelligent Series
Genesis is the latest advancement in Amtelco’s long line of call center solutions. This call center technology is entirely software-based and virtualized, with cloud-based capability. Genesis provides skills-based automatic call distribution (ACD), built-in speech recognition, text-to-speech (TTS), and voice services to improve call routing and management.

7.) 
Arise Virtual Solutions

The Arise Platform
Arise is a pioneer of on-demand customer management business process outsourcing solutions, headquartered in Florida. Through the cloud-based Arise Platform, Fortune 50 and other companies connect to Service Partners who deliver authentic, loyalty-building interactions with their customers. Delivering radical flexibility to meet even extreme contact volume fluctuations, the award-winning Arise Platform is an innovative alternative to the traditional contact center.

8.) 
Astute Solutions

Astute Agent
Astute Agent gives your agents everything they need to work cases confidently and efficiently. This modern case management CRM is the preferred choice for Consumer Relations and Customer Care teams who support some of the world’s most prestigious brands.

Astute Agent balances agent efficiency with customer experience. Here’s how:

- Automated email responses
Using natural language processing, Astute Agent reads incoming customer emails and automatically supplies a response to agents to review and send.

- Auto-populated case fields
AI capabilities automatically suggest reason codes, product codes, and other case information, saving agents minutes per case.

- Time-saving case feat...
(read more)

9.) 
Britannic Technologies

INBOX
INBOX allows any digital interaction to be blended into single or multiple queues with zero service interruption with implementation. Organising them by business context with smart tagging and search filters, the events can be automatically prioritised and categorised. Automating the route to the correct agent or business orchestration rule. It also connects with all your social media channels, enabling you to respond and route accordingly in real-time. Customer sentiment is also indicated. Use it to measure trends across your business or by a single event so that your agents can easily prioritise responses.

10.) 
Brook Trout Solutions

CCaaS, SIP Trunking, SD WAN, Interconnectivity
Brook Trout Solutions provides Technology Guide services to help Contact Centers to the best possible solution for their business. This includes:
CCaaS: Talk Desk, Five 9s, Nice, Genesys and more
SIP Trunks: Many Global Providers to lower cost and improve operational efficiency
SD WAN: Connect to customers rapidly with the latest network technology to scale with flexibility.
Our service are at no cost to our customers. We look forward to meeting you!

11.) 
Call Center Studio

Call Center Studio
Call Center Studio is the world’s first call center built on Google and is one of the most secure and stable systems with some of the industry’s best reporting. It is one of the most full-featured enterprise grade systems (with the most calling features, one of the best call distribution, outbound dialing features and integrations—including IVR, AI Speech Recognition, blended inbound/outbound calling and includes Google’s new Dialogflow and Speech API. Call Center Studio is the absolute easiest to use (with a 10 minute setup), and is the price performance leader with lower equipment cost and less setup time.

12.) 
Call Tracking Metrics

CallTrackingMetrics is the only contact center solution with marketing attribution software built in. Our powerful UCaaS platform lets you know upfront who is calling in, what campaigns they were referencing, and their previous history with your company. Partnering this data with tools to automate and streamline your team’s workflow frees you up to focus on truly delighting your customers.

Conditionally direct calls, texts, chats and forms based on:

• Actions the customer has taken on your website
• Whether they’ve previously contacted your business
• Which agent they last interacted with
• Custom criteria unique to your business needs
• The location nearest to your customer

Say...
(read more)

13.) 
CallShaper

CallShaper
Welcome to CallShaper – Harnessing the Power of the Cloud for Greater Sales Efficiency
For sales-based call centers, where margins are so tight, it’s all about closing. Thanks to CallShaper, inbound or outbound call center directors can have a dynamic, highly flexible platform that enables sales agents to focus on making the sale.

Thanks to CallShaper’s flexibility, call center directors who are managing multiple vendors from multiple locations can have everything they need on one platform that offers 99.999% reliability. And when it comes to reporting, CallShaper has no equal in providing real-time transparency.

With CallShaper, clients quickly find that they are better able to manage efficiencies at the sales rep level – and make more money!

14.) 
Cloud Call Center Search

From AI - WFO and everything in between!
Cloud Call Center Search has spent hundreds of hours evaluating and vetting leading cloud software applications (Omni-Channel, Artificial Intelligence, Business Intelligence, Workforce Management and many others) and their actual use in the trenches with real-world clients. As a result, we understand the strengths and weaknesses of cloud-based call center software solutions. At NO charge, Cloud Call Center Search will match your organization with the cloud software providers that are the best fit to drive positive ROI in your customer experience, sales, and back-office operations.

15.) 
Cloud IT Services GmbH

Dialfire
Dialfire offers you a complete call center solution that is simple and intuitive to use and adapts to your needs. It's completely cloud-based, saving you the hassle of setting up a phone system and installing software. In addition to predictive dialing and call blending of inbound calls, you can create personalized campaigns through an intuitive and easy-to-use interface. Features include automated workflows and full control over the agent screen.

You can see the full list of features here:

16.) 
Connex One

Cloud contact centre technology with built in gamification tools, workforce optimiser, omni-channel, speech analytics, artificial intelligence, quality assurance, PCI-DSS payment platform, form builder and much more features. All seamlessly integrating with almost 100% of your inhouse applications & CRM systems - creating one powerful workflow platform. Increasing productivity, customer engagement, saving you cost. Available in opex model - pay per license per month. No binding contracts with NO cost for 24/7/365 support and full training with built in SLA.

17.) 
Consilium Software

Consilium AWS and Amazon Connect Offering
Imagine a cloud-based contact center that can make customer engagement easy, deliver answers, assistance, and resolutions in a very personal manner, and in the context of your customers’ actions. Amazon Connect is a self-service, cloud-based contact center that provides a seamless omnichannel experience through a single unified platform for voice and chat. Contact center agents and managers don’t have to learn multiple tools, because Amazon Connect has the same contact routing, queuing, analytics, and management tools in a single UI across voice, chat, and mobile interface. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform, offering over 175 fully...
(read more)

18.) 
contactSPACE

contactSPACE
Cloud contact software that makes customer contact pain free, so your team aren’t worrying about complex technology and can focus on what they do best. Take control, and design the perfect agent interface with a drag-n-drop visual editor. Combined with AI, leverage data-driven contact strategies to ensure the right agent is contacting your customers at the right time & on the right channel.

19.) 
Content Guru

𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝗺®
Content Guru makes engagement easy. A global leader in cloud communications solutions, we deliver off-the-shelf and bespoke customer engagement and cloud contact centre services, through the multi-award-winning 𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝗺® platform.

Europe’s largest Customer Engagement and Experience platform, 𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝗺, brings together intelligent automation, third-party systems integration, and on-demand scalability to enhance all customer communication functions. With true omni-channel engagement capabilities, 𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝗺 gives organisations the power to create consistent and seamless experiences for customers, inspiring loyalty and powering success.

20.) 
Convoso

Convoso is the #1 dialer software for outbound lead gen/sales-related contact centers. Our cloud-based omnichannel solution solves the biggest frustrations call centers have with their dialer, including:

*Caller ID reputation
*Call flagging/blocking
*Low contact rates
*Limited insight into list performance
*Time wasted resetting lead lists
*Dropped calls
*Poor answering machine detection

Customers report dramatic increases in contact rates of up to 300%, delivering more conversions and significantly improved ROI.
 
Page: 1234

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