Thorough Staff Training is Part of a Call Centers’ Success
Nothing can replace a friendly voice (or smile, if it’s in-person), and genuine customer service provided by people who care. No other facet of a company’s operation can take up the slack if good service is lacking. Phone-worker training must have a strong emphasis on excellent service.
Through web-based programs, staff are able to simulate real-life phone encounters. This helps to make them more comfortable and confident when they begin to actually do their job. Answering service companies typically serve a wide range of clients from numerous industries, and each client has specific protocols and requirements for staff to follow. Practice definitely leads toward perfection in following client objectives on the phone.
A lot goes into a customer service training program. For the call center staff, it usually includes teaching new employees methods of building rapport with callers, discovering callers’ needs, and explaining the center’s clients’ products and services. Because time is money, as they say, staff are taught to manage the flow of the conversation in order to expedite each call.
But this doesn’t mean taking over and manipulating the conversation. One of the greatest skills people working at call centers can learn is how to listen. It is only by listening that a phone representative can understand exactly what the caller wants and needs. It’s a known fact in sales that in many cases, if you just let customers talk, they’ll talk themselves right into a sale.
Phone workers also need to be taught how to deal with complaints – because they will get their share during a typical shift. Management should make sure that staff are comfortable when talking with upset customers and have tools to resolve conflicts. Most of all, staff members must learn to not let an irate or difficult caller personally affect them.
A skill – actually it’s more of an attitude – that goes a long way in any one-on-one business encounter is exceeding customer expectations. When a customer feels that a call center staff member has truly cared about them and their concerns and shown that they (the staff) will do whatever is necessary to help the customer or solve a problem, that customer is far more likely to buy from the center’s client again.
Finally, staff members should be thoroughly trained on privacy issues and the importance of not taking any sensitive information they may have learned about a client out into the world. Clients trust answering services to be discreet and secure, and staff need to understand their responsibilities in these areas.
Running a successful call center requires more than just employee training, but if this discipline is neglected and staff are given little or no direction and allowed to fend for themselves, that particular center will never be able to out-run its competition.