There’s a lot of advice out there on how to effectively run a call center. Buy the right solution. Hire competent agents. Believe that the customer is always right. A lot of this advice, while well and good, gets a bit repetitive, and some of it is just common logic.
Many checklists involve items surrounding workforce, feedback and software. While training is worth its weight in gold, effective training goes above and beyond. More to the point, as Carolyn Blunt points out in Real Business, training should involve four key learning points: listening, reason, resolution and a positive ending. If agents follow these golden rules, then call center success is that much more likely.
Among Blunt’s list of good practices for call center managers is the social aspect that has come along as common practice in the customer experience today. Customer service is more than just fixing a part, answering a question, sharing a new shortcut or completing an upgrade. It’s about creating a better customer experience.
The impact of social customer service on your bottom line is more than just cost savings from online self-service and peer-to-peer support – it influences purchasing decisions that drive revenue.
One area where traditional CRM systems fall short is their inability to incorporate social network data about customers. This is important because consumers frequently ask product-related questions, and share with friends and followers their product purchase intent, as well as their personal experience using products.
Social CRM tools enable merchants to integrate social data from customers and prospects into a contact database. This provides a more holistic picture of who their customers are, what they care about, and what they are saying about the company and products.
At the end of the day, solutions are great, but the person managing said solutions on the other side matters a great deal more than the software itself. By encouraging and engaging staff, the positive energy naturally rolls off onto the customer.
Foster team spirit. Most modern businesses are structured around teams. It is critical, then for every member of the organization to understand the concept of teamwork and to consider his or her job as part of a team effort. Making employees realize that they are part of one team is the best antidote to an inward-looking work attitude. This will engender a willingness on the part of everyone to pull in one direction, regardless of the job or task at hand.
This will translate to the customer, and in turn, the customer has a happy, positive, experience.
Edited by Rory J. Thompson