Prepare for conversations
A common customer complaint is that a different agent handles their calls each time and lacks knowledge about their past requests. Encourage your agents to review previous tickets raised by the customer and call recordings (if available) of prior conversations. On a system like Freshcaller, agents can even leave notes for the next agent who interacts with a particular customer. Context will help agents resolve issues more quickly. If the customer has called multiple times for a recurring or unresolved issue, ask your agents to acknowledge their concern and apologize for wasting their time. An empathetic statement such as “Janet, I can see that you’ve written to us three times and called once about this payment. May I place you on hold while I check why it hasn’t cleared?” will be better received than “Hi Janet, can you tell me what you discussed with my colleague in your previous call?”
Go the extra mile
Treat your customer service agents as an extension of your sales team. Their role isn’t to only solve problems that pertain directly to their area of responsibility. Instead, their focus should be on making the customer’s experience as effortless as possible. For example, let’s assume that you have e-commerce business with an IVR for shipping & delivery queries on line 1 and billing inquiries on line 2. If a customer speaks to an agent in the shipping team first and then has a query on billing, empower the agent to transfer a call to the billing team (another queue or an external number) directly. This way, the customer doesn’t have to terminate the call and dial another number. Even if the customer has two unrelated queries, they’re both queries that pertain to your business and need to be treated similarly. Internal SOPs and differentiation of labor shouldn’t interfere with a customer’s brand experience.
Resolve issues promptly
As much as possible, equip your agents with the knowledge to resolve queries within the first call itself. First Call Resolution (FCR) is important because it gives customers a sense of closure- they no longer have to follow up or wait for an agent to carry out their request. Research by the SQM group showed that on average, customer satisfaction drops 15% each time a customer has to dial back about the same issue. Organize your call center processes to increase quick resolutions. For example, enable call barging to step in and solve issues that are too complex for your first tier of support agents. Or, consider activating Smart Escalations (special rules that redirect calls when all agents are unavailable so that important calls aren’t missed and attended to late).