Tips to Build Contact Center Relationships
The best contact center agents are those who can build empathetic relationships with consumers, whether it is over the phone or online. Training for both outlets is vital to ensure that callers feel a friendly and connected bond is built with the agent. Implementing proper workforce management (WFM) practices and solutions help agents garner the skills necessary to build and maintain customer relationships.
If a contact center’s workforce is struggling with customer service; no matter what the area, to optimize contact center productivity training is crucial. In this case, it is suggested agents are taught mirroring techniques where a customer’s tone is copied by the agent.
Agents are instructed to carefully pay attention to tone, rate, and style of speech or analyze the language tone within online chats to respond in a similar way. This mirroring builds a familiar interaction within the call. However, agents should not use this technique when a customer is angered but rather stay calm, mindful, and helpful.
How do customers really know, from a phone interaction, that the agent really cares? Again, training the agents to say certain comments like “mm-hmm” or “I see” keeps the caller aware they are being listened to. In training agents, remind them not to regurgitate the information they have received from the customer like a robot. Rather, acknowledge the situation with a caring and personalized tone, for example: “Your order never arrived? That’s terrible, Mrs. Smith…”
Once a positive connection is established between the agent and customer, follow through is extremely important. The initial agent needs to reiterate ownership of the claim, even if the call needs to be rerouted. Reassurance is vital for the customer to feel their issue is of value and will be resolved. When a customer knows they will be taken care of by someone they have grown to trust, it solidifies a positive contact center rapport that will accelerate customer service levels.
Edited by Maurice Nagle