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Running Your Own Call Center? 4 Effective Tips For An Enhanced Customer Experience

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When a customer calls a company, they want to talk to a customer support representative that can communicate well, doesn't mind personal interaction and will solve their problems quickly. Therefore, those companies that choose not to properly train their agents or hire the right ones in the first place will lose out on business and sales. Those customers will then turn to you and your business in the hopes that you've taken the time and effort to develop a group of well-versed, desirable call center agents. Here are four tips to make sure you have good call center agents under your belt who can encourage and maintain positive customer experiences:

1. Start by Hiring the Right People for the Job.

For any job, the most critical and first step is hiring the right people. This will make all the difference between a mediocre and superior customer experience. In a recent study, U.S. consumers were asked to choose a celebrity who best represented a customer service agent that they would most like to speak to. Nearly one-third of them chose Anderson Cooper, the news anchor for CNN, because he is smart and straightforward. He was chosen over Simon Cowell, who is blunt, and Charlie Sheen, who is unpredictable and outrageous. He was even chosen over Michelle Obama, who is approachable and genuine, and Tina Fey, who is quirky and funny.

2. Keep Your Agents Happy.

Happy employees make for happy customers. To keep your agents happy, start by making sure your agents have plenty of downtime, including breaks. You could consider offering unscheduled breaks whenever necessary, such as when someone is just having a really terrible day. It is better for them to walk away for 15 minutes and come back than to stay put and speak to customers harshly. Don't hesitate to conduct a small survey with your employees to determine what things might make them happier in the workplace.

3. Cross-Train Your Agents.

No, you shouldn't get your agents to participate in lifting weights. This type of cross-training involves training your agents in more than one area of the business. For example, if you have a set of team members that are designated to sales, you may want to train them to handle service calls. This not only changes things up for them, but it also makes it easier for customers to stay happy. This is particularly true in the event that they have more than one matter that needs to be handled when they call so that they don't have to be transferred back and forth between representatives.

4. Avoid Making Customers Repeat Already-Provided Information.

One of the worst and most aggravating things for a customer is when they have to input or say account information to an auto responder only to be re-asked the same information when an agent gets on the phone. Combat this by making sure your system is set up so that the customer information that is entered before the agent gets on the phone is automatically captured and provided to the representative. This saves a lot of time on each call, thereby reducing costs, improving productivity and enhancing the overall customer experience.

Whether you want to give running your own call center a try or you are considering outsourcing phone support to a call center, these tips will help you make sure that your business as a whole is a success. You will be able to successfully avoid the stereotype that is often associated with call centers, beat out your competitors with superior customer service and improve your company's reputation.

If you'd like information about setting up phone systems for your own call center, talk to a company such as Livewire Communications.