What is resolution? Webster Dictionary defines it in two categories:
- A firm decision to do or not to do something.
- The action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter.
In relation to call center production, resolution is a key component in solving a customer’s issue as quickly as possible. This should be done without incident or repeat call backs for the same issue. When completed successfully, this is referred to as a “One Call Resolution.” Though each approach from an agent is unique based on their call taking style, it is crucial that agents are advocates of the base call taking process as it relates to improving their resolutions per customer. Here are a few ways that an agent can improve on their resolution rates without increasing talk time and still achieving customer satisfaction.
Tip # 1- Be Receptive to Customer Venting/ Feedback
When I train agents on call flow, I always advise them to let the customer vent to get rid of any frustration they may have related to previous issues. Think of the moment as it’s happening and realize that they have conversed with you before. Agents are taught that if customers are calling in with a complaint, it’s not something that the agent in particular has done wrong. Within each customer service interaction, the agent should be able to gather each piece of the issue to assist the customer.
Tip #2- Take Ownership
Because we are consumers of various products in our own lives, the last thing that we want to here when calling a service provider is “It’s not my fault” or, “It must have been the other representative that did that”. I advise agents to understand that the customers are not looking at the individual of the call. Instead, the company as a whole is being represented on each call. After the agent allows the customer to vent their frustrations, they should possess a sense of ownership. This makes way for cementing the agents personal stake on what him or her can do to assist the customer. Key phrases such as “I definitely understand” and “I would feel the same way, but here is what I can provide you with to make sure that the issue is resolved”. This kind of statement provides two things:
- It allows your to own up to any mistake that was previously made by the company.
- It expresses a sense of empathy for the customer’s issue, therefore easing tensions between the two parties.
Tips# 3 Avoid Phrases That Hinder The Resolution Process
“You need to” or “you should have” are just two examples of what not to say when resolving customer concern. Instead of treating each call as a moment to teach policy information, it’s important to understand that the true nature of a call is to provide assistance. Renee Evenson, author of Powerful Phrases for Effective Customer Service, explains that knowing what to say when handling different customer behaviors is not easy. However, the manner in which you address a person has a lot of bearing on how they perceive your organization. Statements that show enthusiasm and project a willingness to assist will allow resolutions to come more quickly and more effectively compared to those of cold nature.
Tip#4 Pace Yourself
Each call center has a set of metrics that are integral for their business. Talk time is one of the key metrics for every call center. One tip to avoid falling into a rushed call scenario is to prepare a small check list. The list should contain each area of what is needed within a call. The list can range from greetings, assisting the customer and closing statements. While this can vary from center to center, practicing this ensures that the call is completed in a timely manner and neither the customer nor the agent feels rushed.
Tip# 5 Know The Company As Well As You Know Yourself
This last tip may seem like a lot, but customers are more in favor of agents that are
- Knowledgeable about the product or service
- Able to respond quickly to issues without fail
This comes from an agents’ understanding of their company’s guidelines and procedures. It is here that they know how far they can truly go to tackle each inquiry. To play on the old adage of “knowledge is power” – the more you know, the quicker your answers, which lead to higher resolution rates.
Interested in agents with the skills above handling the customer service calls for your business? Contact Stratus Contact Solutions today for a free proposal!
Lu Gutierrez is the Director of Human Resources at Stratus Contact Solutions. She has been with the company since 1997 and has over 30 years of experience in the industry. Previously, Lu worked with a variety of telecom companies through mergers and acquisitions, including WorldCom, Metromedia, and LDS. Currently, her responsibilities include employee recruitment, payroll, benefits and employee relations for all of Stratus.