Repeat contacts are an obvious sign of ineffective customer service. Aside from incurring extra costs, repeat calls would require you to spend a lot of time relaying the same information over and over to the same customers. If left unchecked, this can result in a rapid decline in productivity and more dissatisfied customers.
To resolve this issue, here are 10 call handling quick tips to reduce repeat customers and increase productivity in the call center.
1. Promote self-help among customers.
Online resources such as a list of FAQs, short manuals, and instructional videos can provide shortcuts in resolving customer issues. If your customers aren’t aware that these materials are readily accessible online, remind your agents to promote your brand’s self-service features to customers.
2. All agents should understand their role in the company.
Call center agents who understand the integral role they play within the company are more likely to perform well, especially when it comes to call handling.
3. Keep an organized log of call queries.
This way, you and your agents will be able to track high-priority and commonly occurring issues. Once you’ve identified these, you’re one step away from implementing an effective solution to recurring problems.
4. Train agents to gather the right information.
Problem resolution is all about having the right information. Agents should ask the right questions in order to efficiently get to the bottom of a customer’s complaint. The best customer service providers focus on clear communication more than quantitative call center metrics that might hinder understanding between customers and agents.
5. Stop monitoring average handling time (AHT).
Call center agents must stop focusing on ending calls as quickly as possible. Instead, they should prioritize rapport building by listening intently to customers’ complaints and queries. This helps them to truly understand the concerns and come up with effective resolutions.
6. Anticipate customers’ future problems.
What issues are your customers repeatedly running into, and what other problems may arise from them? If you’re able to anticipate customers’ future difficulties, you can prepare for them ahead of time.
7. Manage customers’ expectations.
Customers often get frustrated because of brands’ failure to deliver on their promises. Although it’s not a crime to try to appease customers by promising them something, only do so if you fully intend to follow through.
8. Align performance indicators with first contact resolution.
Make sure that your performance indicators do not go against first contact resolution (FCR). For example, if your AHT targets are too restrictive, call center agents will find it difficult to find a balance between FCR and speed.
9. Company decision makers should be involved.
There may be instances that would require the intervention of key decision makers in the company. Acquiring new software, optimizing employee schedules, and implementing a new customer approach are just some of the many ways to optimize customer service, and they all require approval from the top-level management.
10. Invest in a good CRM system.
Your customer relationship management (CRM) system must work together with your call handling strategies. Not all CRM applications are designed the same way, so make sure the one you’re using has the features and functions your call center is looking for.