10 Customer Handling Tips for Call Center Agents

best practices for call center agents

Every year organisations experience a high agent churn rate due to which they have to spend a large number of resources and money of hiring and training new agents. The reasons for the churn are many, but one of the prominent is the pressure of handling a high volume of tough customers.

Here, call center agents must remember that they cannot build a successful career by switching employers frequently. They must focus on acquiring and honing the right skills to handle tough customers. But the process of acquiring skills may take time, thus, to make it easy for agents, we have curated a handful of customer handling tips recommended by successful call center agents.

1. Be Passionate About Work

Novice professionals cannot achieve success in the call center industry without enjoying their work. Agents must take an interest in resolving customer service issues by providing relevant information or assisting the callers at the right time.

They should take control of the call to ensure first call resolution. When a professional decides to pursue a career in the call center industry, they should be passionate about their work.

2. Take Advantage of  Real-Time Customer Information

Cloud telephony solutions help call centers to access customer information in real-time. The agents should take advantage of this real-time data to deliver personalized customer service.

On-time access to updated information help agents to reduce average call handling time and resolve customer issues without prompting the caller to share additional information.

3. Know the Products or Services Elaborately

Agents cannot deliver customer service quickly and confidently without acquiring in-depth knowledge about the products or services. They must spend time understanding each aspect of the product or service before handling customers.

Further, they should attend company organised product training programs to understand the product. This knowledge helps the agents to solve simple customer service issues promptly without referring to any knowledge base.

4. Focus on Clear and Concise Communication

Call center agents interact with a variety of customers daily. They cannot afford to deliver a poor-quality customer experience to any customer.

Thus, in addition to listening to the callers attentively, agents must make the communication clear and concise. They should remain approachable, friendly in the conversation without compromising its quality.

5. Practice Active and Attentive Listening

Active and attentive listening is a skill that makes performing agents stand out in the crowd. Agents must be willing to listen to a caller actively and attentively regardless of the nature of customer service issue.

In addition to acknowledging the issues explained by the caller, they should ask questions to understand the problems clearly. If customers are not satisfied with the provided solution, then agents must enquire about the dissatisfaction to understand the cause. Attentively listening to customer’s queries help the agents to understand the customer’s perspective.

6. Adhere to Predefined Quality Standards

It is important for call center agents to remain professional, respectful, and courteous throughout the interaction. But they also need to adhere to predefined quality standards while interacting with customers. Agents must keep the conversation professional and aligned with business values and goals. To keep a quality check, call centre managers can listen to customer call recordings.

7. Understand KPIs for Measuring Agent Performance

Managers these days use several KPIs to assess the agent’s performance and productivity. Cloud telephony solutions help managers to assess performance based on real-time data. Hence, the agents must understand these KPIs and follow them during a conversation. Mostly call centers to evaluate their agent’s performance on KPIs such as average call handling time, on-hold time, resolution rate and more.

8. Learn How to Cope with Abusive Customers

Call center agents often encounter angry and abusive customers. But they lack the option to disconnect the call as it can impact the brand’s reputation. Therefore, agents must differentiate between angry and abusive customers.

They should provide relevant assistance or information to the angry callers by empathising and not losing their calm during the conversation. While doing so, they should deal with abusive callers according to the procedure laid by the call center.

9. Focus on Relieving Stress During Working Hours

No professional can build a successful career in the call center industry without reliving stress and staying relaxed. It is always important for professionals to identify the sources of stress.

Also, they need to remain stress-free in the call center environment by implementing simple stress management techniques like taking breaks, listening to classical music, taking deep breathes, and going for short work.

10. Maintain a Healthy Work/Life Balance

Instead of occupying minds with work, agents should indulge in activities like watching television, reading books, performing yoga and listening to music. The healthy work-life balance will help them build a successful career by relieving workplace-related stress.

No professional can build a successful career in the call center industry by changing employers or jobs frequently. They need to understand and acquire the skills required for becoming a successful call center professional. These tips and best practices shared by call center agents helps novice professionals strengthen their career trajectories and achieve long-term success.

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