Customers today have a variety of channels to choose from when they want to get in touch with a company. However, for many people, the phone is still the preferred method of contact when they have an issue or a question.
In fact, according to a surveyof consumers between the ages of 18 and 65, 88 percent choose to speak with a live rep on the phone over other channels. If they do use a different channel, they like having the option of turning to a live phone rep as their next choice.
Speaking to a live person is perceived by some as easier than going online and more personable. The caller has more confidence that their issue or question will be resolved when a real, live person is handling their request over the phone.
How effective is your company with customer service phone calls? Here are 5 customer service phone call best practices for companies to follow:
Invest in Agent Training
Customer service agents are only as skilled in their position as the training they receive. No matter how long someone has worked in customer service, each company and industry is different and continually evolving, which means that ongoing agent training is essential.
Agents must be properly educated across all components of the company in which they are representing and have a clear understanding of the services and/or products offered, policies, processes, and more, in order to provide a positive customer service experience over the phone.
Avoid Complicated IVR Systems
The purpose of an IVR system in the call center is to make the customer service process more efficient, however some systems have the opposite effect. If the IVR system is complicated it can cause frustration and detract from the customer experience. Customers call a company to speak to a live human being and a complex automated system can be a turn-off.
Customer Service Reps Should Be Available
A customer service call center must be properly staffed to ensure that customer service reps are always available to answer the phone promptly and consistently. Customers choose to use the phone because they don’t want to wait for an answer to their question or a response to any concern they may have. When someone is on hold for a long time, it results in a bad customer experience which can be damaging to the company brand overall.
Have an Escalation Plan
Occasionally, an issue may arise that is beyond the agent’s training. This is why it’s so important to have an escalation plain in place! These plans insure that the issues are properly attended. This helps improve customer service.
Use the Right Technology
In addition to investing in quality customer service agent training, a company must also invest in modern call center technology to ensure that agents don’t have to struggle through slow screens or other technical glitches that make customers and prospects wait.
While it’s a smart idea to provide customers with numerous ways to get in touch, it’s important to remember that the phone remains the top customer service channel of choice which is why these best practices must be followed.