Customer Experience

Training Call Agents in Phone Etiquette

Discussing best practices in phone etiquette for contact centers and how to achieve exceptional call agent customer service.

In the world of contact centers, the call agent can be the first (and sometimes, only) contact point that a customer has with your company. They’re often the voice, so to speak, of your organization. Providing quality service to every customer should be a priority of any business. We're here to help you to achieve it!

Whether you’re a manager or a call agent, take the time to teach, learn or define phone etiquette, provide sufficient training, and monitor compliance within your pre-determined guidelines. Every positive interaction a customer has with your business has the potential to turn them into a loyalist and in turn, help you build strong brand awareness.

1. Be respectful

Remember that the customer on the other end of the line is only human. As the call agent, you should ask how customers prefer to be addressed, make every attempt to pronounce their name correctly, speak clearly and with a smile, and try not to talk over them. These simple tips can go a long way in generating positive interactions with callers. It is inevitable that some days you’ll have unhappy customers. Have a clear idea about how your company or call center manages these cases.

2. Be honest

Agents - don’t guess or make up answers on the phone. If the problem is beyond your level of expertise, tell your client (politely) that you’re going to transfer the call to an employee who can better address their needs. This approach will also help build trust, which is beneficial to build positive brand awareness of your company.

On a similar thread, organizations should also be transparent with their agents. Share any outputs from surveys or other feedback loops to help remind them that their efforts are recognized, as well as make corrections when things veer off course. 

3. Be flexible

Agents: anticipate everything! Be prepared to change course when necessary. You should be prepared to take ownership of problems and spend time dealing with the customer as often as possible (versus escalating or passing over the problem) All organizations will aim to get it right the first time, but that isn’t always the case. When it doesn’t, take that as an opportunity to better prepare your agents and your call agent managers so that you can get it right from that point forward.

4. Be competent

Every agent should feel empowered with the appropriate knowledge so that they can help address a customer’s needs quickly and accurately. It’s recommended, at least once per day, to gauge the temperature of your agents, ask if they’re noticing any trends on the calls they’ve received or placed and make adjustments on the floor, if/where appropriate. You should also stay abreast of any trends in the contact center space or take note of new and improved tools and solutions.

It’s also important to measure and score what is most important to your customer. For example, they likely don’t care about your internal processes. Instead, take steps to measure average handling time and couple that with quality to ensure your customers aren’t rushed off the phone prior to their issue being solved.

How does your business ensure that you’re delivering exceptional customer services to all? Leave us a comment below!

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