Top 10 Tips for Top-Notch Call Center Service

So you want to equip your contact center agents to deliver better customer service in 2014. A flexible, easy-to-use CRM system is key, but in the end, top-notch people skills can make all the difference. If you're in charge of your company's call center, or perhaps you're on the front lines yourself, where do you begin?

As they say, the strength is in the fundamentals, like service with a smile, active listening, and of course, treating the customer as king. Check out our top ten tips for customer service strategies to help call center agents boost sales and drive customer satisfaction. And when you're done, we welcome you to share your own tips as well.

1. Start with a Smile

Did you know that your voice sounds different when you smile? You sound friendlier and more engaging. Beyond being courteous, professional and respectful, contact center agents who smile on the job come across with more warmth and breed more trust with customers.

2. Listen Before You Speak

Staffing the customer service desk, contact center agents may think they hear the same complaints or requests all day every day. It's easy enough to make assumptions about what the customer is asking. Don't make that mistake. Failing to listen to the customer can be a fatal flaw. Listen and listen closely, clarify the customer question or complaint, repeat the concern back to them, then work on solving it.

3. Know Your Stuff

Few things are more annoying to customers than a contact center agent who doesn't know their products and services well enough. Or a service rep who gives pat answers that the customer could have simply read on the Web site. Or, worse, a rep who gives wrong information. Make sure your contact center agents know the answers to frequently asked questions and not-so-frequently-asked questions alike. And...

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