The best way for your call center to offer exceptional customer service is by training your agents to be excellent in providing solutions to customer problems. Open Access BPO explains how you can transform your workforce into an expert team of problem solvers.
For every call center in the Philippines, it is highly important that agents are trained to solve customer problems without having to seek too much guidance from supervisors or fellow agents. This autonomy enables them to take matters into their own hands and strategize on their own without being dependent on external help.
Agents should also be effective problem solvers. They must be systematic and well abreast of the customer service processes used in your call center. Without the necessary knowledge and skills, your call center agents will be inefficient in helping customers with their concerns.
So, how can your call center have agents who are both autonomous and effective in solving customer problems? Here are four fundamental ways that can help you get started:
The process of gathering the best problem solvers in your call center starts with the recruitment stage. It is important to note that although people can generally be trained to become better at work, those who have shown effective problem solving skills in the past are more likely to continue excelling and become even better over time. Hence, you need to assess the track records of call center applicants and check with their former managers. You can also give them mock customer service situations and ask them how they would react to each issue.
Personality and attitude towards work matter when training agents to become better problem solvers. The more dedicated a person is in becoming a more effective agent, the easier you can mold his skills and expertise. Assess if an applicant is goal-oriented, competitive, and methodical. Agents must also be open to new experiences and constructive feedback from leaders.
Once you have found the right people, you must make sure that they undergo a comprehensive training on how to handle customer problems, may they be simple or complex. Training should not only be about lectures and theories. They need to be exposed to realistic customer service situations by making the training experience hands-on. Expose them to actual recordings of complex customer problems and ask them how they would approach the problem. Give them an opportunity to practice decision-making before imparting expert knowledge.
Allow your agents to handle calls with enough degree of autonomy. Make your scripts more flexible by making room for creativity and personalization. You can even encourage your agents to customize their own cheat sheets that they can use in handling customer service calls. Don’t limit your agents with rigid protocols and strict punishments. Let them learn from their mistakes and give enough guidance when necessary.
Once they start doing live calls and solving actual customer problems, you shouldn’t just abandon your agents and expect them to be completely autonomous. Sit with them during the initial stages to boost their confidence. Once they are ready to solve problems on their own, you can now monitor their calls and continuously assess their skills. You can also ask for feedback from customers who interacted with your agents. Use all evaluative information in coaching agents and training them further. When giving feedback, ask your agents to make their own action plans aside from the instructions and tips you provide.
Becoming a winner in customer service requires a workforce that is effective in providing solutions. If you want your call center to have a team of excellent problem solvers, you can start with these five tips and see how they can improve your agents’ performance.