Nov. 12, 2014 - Call center customer service is important work, rewarding work and it can also be frustrating work. A big part of being professional within a call center services setting is handling frustrating situations with angry callers in a patient way that is intended to resolve the situation in a way that retains the customer’s loyalty and good will.
It can be difficult for the customer service representative to keep his or her composure with an angry or rude caller, and to remain professional throughout a full day of handling inbound calls. But it’s what is required of call center work, remaining professional at all times.
We all know what this is NOT being done. We’ve seen them, and we’ve been on the receiving end of them. Let’s look a few things that should NEVER happen in customer service call centers:
- Agents hang up the phone on rude or angry customers. This is absolutely forbidden: Customer service reps should never hang up on customers.
- Reps don’t say “thank you,” "please," and "you're welcome." These words cannot be said enough!
- Agents tell customers to “try me back” when the employees aren't busy. The right way: The rep asks for the customer’s phone number and promises to call back him or herself.
- A rep in a bad mood allows that to influence the way they deal with customers. (Everyone has bad days, but customer service employees need to keep theirs to themselves.)
- Your employees put callers on hold without asking them first, as a courtesy. (Ask customers politely if you can put them on hold; very few will complain or say "No way!")
- Agents talk to customers on speaker phone – and they don’t ask first if that is all right.
- Reps talk with colleagues and friends while handling customer calls; or they make phone calls to spouses, friends and children (or do personal social media) in the call center. None of this is acceptable.
- Agents only provide single word responses to customer questions. “Yeah,” “no,” “dunno” (I don’t know), conveying a nonchalant, off-hand attitude toward customer service.
- Staff members eat, drink or chew gum as they talk to customers. All of this can be easily heard by the person asking for customer service, and that person may well hang up when receiving this kind of treatment.
- Agents tell customers that they dislike their work, can’t wait to go home, wish they were doing something else. This reflects very poorly on the company and should never be viewed as acceptable behavior.
Agents are much less likely to commit these customer service sins if they are trained - and repeatedly told – the truism that “customer service is the face of the company.” This points up the critical, invaluable role that the customer service call center performs and helps stave off bad behavior in the call center.
Mark Fichera, CEO