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Going back to basics: How call center agents can establish rapport

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A positive interaction between customers and call center agents is built on mutual trust. Open Access BPO explains how agents can easily direct conversations with customers to where they want them to go.

Establishing rapport is the most common call handling technique used by call center agents when interacting with customers. Since voice-based customer support can’t provide face-to-face interaction, your call center in the Philippines must instead train your agents how to effectively connect with customers and gain their trust. This connection or mutual trust allows your agents to sell more and satisfy customers better.

A common misconception among agents is that establishing rapport should only be done at the onset of the conversation. Building rapport is not only crucial on first contact but throughout the customer-agent interaction as well. Business relationships and customer experiences are dynamic. Hence, as your customers experience an evolving relationship with your business, your rapport building strategies must also be reinforced from time to time.

Prerequisite to effective rapport building

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Establishing a genuine and sincere connection with customers requires knowledge of relevant information about them or their purchasing activities. Modern call center tools, such as customer relationship management (CRM) systems, provide agents easy and quick access to comprehensive customer information that they can use in interacting with the customers.

Needless to say, these call center software properties must be constantly updated and reviewed by attending agents. Understanding what transpired during their previous call attempts can ensure that agents are aware of important considerations that other agents have taken note of.

Establishing rapport must, however, not be just about showing off that you know a lot of information about your customers. You must also use all available information to understand your customers’ unique desires, expectations, and sources of motivation. This is your way of getting to know them as individuals, which naturally allows you to take a genuine interest in connecting with them.

How to make the caller like you

Once you have solid background information about the caller, you can now easily modify your call handling approach to make sure a pleasant interaction happens. As call center agents, you must be able to adjust your style based on verbal hints, such as changes in pitch, tone, or volume of customer’s voice. Active listening helps you stay on the same page with the customers and create a mutual understanding with them.

There is no faster way to gain your customer’s trust than showing genuine concern. You can do this by putting yourself in their shoes. Try to understand what they are feeling and match this with the right therapeutic statements and speaking style. Be sincere when apologizing to dissatisfied customers. Even the most upset or furious customer can be won over if you communicate in a respectful and calm manner.

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How you sound over the phone also influences the kind of impression you make with customers. Using a script is technically not wrong, but you must never make it obvious that you are reading from one. Inflection or changes in pitch can make you sound more engaging. Adopt a personality and respond to remarks made by the person you are talking to. These techniques will remind the customers that they are talking to an actual person and not a robot.

As call center agents, establishing rapport with callers can be a challenge. But with the right techniques in mind, connecting with customers can be done naturally. Once you prove to your customers that you are credible and knowledgeable enough to solve their problems, you can easily direct the conversation to where you want it to go.

 

 

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Open Access BPO

Open Access BPO

Open Access BPO is a Californian boutique-style outsourcing firm that offers voice, non-voice, and back office solutions from its Philippine operations site. Following the neo Captive BPO business model, Open Access lets clients customize their outsourced services to fit their business' needs.    Find out more about https://www.openaccessbpo.com or Follow us on Google+

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