How To Calm Down An Irate Caller In Three Easy Steps

You’re not likely to come across many business owners who don’t believe in the practice of providing excellent customer service. This is certainly true for businesses that predominantly communicate with their customers over the phone. As all phone agents know, it’s no easy task to create and grow a relationship with someone you have never met face to face. However, the most talented of phone agents do it all the time!

It takes special skills to be a telemarketer. Patience is one very important skill. It is necessary because you’re not going to speak to happy leads and customers all of the time. As everyone who has ever worked on the phone knows, encountering angry customers is all part of the job. And it’s definitely not the easy part.

There are some important steps for all phone agents to take in order to calm down their irate callers. Here are three easy ones:

Step #1: Shut up and listen.

One of the best things you can do for angry customers is to let them get whatever they need to off of their chests. Let them vent. Give them the opportunity to express their frustration. But make absolutely certain that you are listening. Take notes if you have to. A guaranteed way to find out how to resolve the issue is to know exactly what the issue is and how it may have started.

“You can usually determine whether or not the caller is angry within the first few seconds of a call,” says TalkDesk.com, “When you come across an angry caller, it is important to simply listen to them before trying to defuse the situation. The caller may just want to vent his frustration. Sometimes, after a caller is given the chance to express displeasure, they will apologize and allow you to solve the problem with no further anger.”

Step #2: Express empathy.

A big step in calming down an irate caller is to immediately apologize for the inconvenience and stress that the unfortunate issue has caused. However, expressing empathy is more than saying you’re sorry. It’s putting yourself in the customer’s shoes in order to show that you truly understand his/her anger. For example: “I sincerely apologize for the mishap. I can appreciate your frustration. If I was in your shoes, I wouldn’t be pleased myself.”

Step #3: Show that you will be working to quickly remedy the problem.

When callers are irate, time is of the essence. More often than not, they will want their problems to be solved immediately. If it’s possible, stay on the line to show that you are working to resolve the issue right away. A couple of weeks ago, we posted a blog that focused on the appropriate techniques for putting people on hold. When dealing with irate callers, however, it’s best to avoid hold time.

According to TalkDesk.com, “some callers believe that hold time allows representatives to talk rudely without being heard. Others believe that they are put on hold so that the representative doesn’t have to deal with the problem. While this may not be true, while on hold, a caller’s imagination will have plenty of time to think up negative reasons for why they are on hold.”

How will you know if your phone agents are following these three easy steps? Take advantage of SIClytics’ Live Call Monitoring services! For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-877-374-6003 or email us at sales@SIClytics.com.

3 Major Reasons To Monitor The Calls Of Your Phone Agents

At SIClytics, we would go so far as to argue that there is no type of employee who benefits more from feedback than a phone agent. Employees who work on the phones speak to customers at much greater rates than any other industry professional. Therefore, it should probably be obvious that phone agents need the most encouragement as well as tips and pointers to help make them better at their jobs.

Simply put, it’s important to monitor the calls of phone agents to ensure that they are all performing at their best. Here are three major reasons why:

1. It helps to correct common mistakes.

Not all phone reps are going to be perfect on each of their calls. There are many factors that may cause them to miss out on opportunities to make sales and/or provide top-of-the-line customer service. In such cases, your monitoring of their calls will help you to pinpoint the areas of concern that can be improved.

“Knowing that a call centre agent struggles when interacting with customers who ask for a refund because call scorings from this call type consistently fall below the expected threshold is helpful,” notes TalkDesk.com, “but knowing why this agent struggles with this call type by analyzing call recordings from these interactions is imperative to gaining a comprehensive understanding of where the agent is going wrong.”

2. It motivates your staff members and inevitably makes them happier.

You may think that phone agents feel uncomfortable knowing that their calls may be monitored. But, in fact, the opposite is generally true. Not only does call monitoring keep them on their toes, but it ensures them that they’ll receive advice on how to better their performances. Keep in mind that feedback should always include both constructive criticism and positive reinforcements. As a call centre manager, you should take advantage of every opportunity to offer proverbial pats on the back to reps who are doing well.

As Jeanne Landau points out on Business2Community.com, a happy staff is a productive staff. “Happy employees can be the strongest asset a company has,” she writes, “With contact centre agents interfacing over the phone every day with hundreds and thousands of customers, handling important customer issues, it is critical that these employees are satisfied with their position in the company so that they project a positive attitude and image.”

3. It helps to promote customer satisfaction.

All call centres pride themselves on their customer service. Monitoring calls helps you to determine who, on your team, is the most proficient at pleasing your customers. “There’s a reason that the standard disclaimer call center callers hear includes the words ‘quality assurance purposes,’” says TalkDesk.com, “Call monitoring enables managers to silently listen to conversations without agents realizing. This means that agents are held to a standard of excellent customer service.”

At SIClytics, we offer Live Call Monitoring services that enable call centre managers to whisper information to their reps while they are on their calls. This helps to create more immediate conflict resolutions. If absolutely necessary, managers can also barge in on the calls and take them over to satisfy escalated customer needs!

For more information about our Live Call Monitoring services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-877-374-6003 or email us at sales@SIClytics.com.

The Important Process Of Professionally Putting Callers On Hold

Every single one of us has been put on hold in our lives – several times over. It’s a natural part of life. We make calls, we get asked to be put on hold, we wait and then someone eventually picks up. It isn’t a big deal, right?

Well, in today’s “get things quickly” world, being put on hold is a bit of bigger deal than it used to be. We’re a lot more used to having things done immediately these days. The internet is a big reason for that. Not only can we attain useful information with the click of a few keys on our smartphones, but we can also access music and videos in ways that were once unheard of. There’s a reason why video rental shops and music retailers are either completely out of business or are heading there fast.

People expect to get what they want NOW!

The entire on-hold process is regarded a bit differently because of our modern-day association with getting things quickly. So, business owners and the phone agents that work for them need to be mindful that their callers are expecting expeditious service. It’s not good enough to simply say “hold please” to someone who calls your business. To ensure that all of your potential customers know that their time isn’t being wasted, it’s wise to implement some courteous acts.

It all begins with asking – not assuming.

“May I please place you on hold for just a minute while I look into that for you?” is an ideal way to initiate the hold process. “Hold please” is just not going to cut it. Firstly, it’s imperative that your caller is made aware that he/she won’t be wasting his/her time waiting for longer than necessary. You’ll notice that the above written hold request has two important components:

  1. It kindly requests permission. It asks the caller to be placed on hold instead of demanding that he/she wait.
  2. It gives a timeframe. People don’t generally have problems with waiting for “just a minute”. If you’re going to be longer than the timeframe given, be sure to come back to the line and inform the caller. This measure of respect and courtesy will go a long way in boosting customer satisfaction.

On Humanity.com, David Galic lists the act of asking callers to be placed on hold as one of his five most important rules of proper telephone etiquette. He points out, however, that asking is not enough. “Wait for the person to respond,” he advises, “It’s important to make sure you have initiated the conversion and confirmed that you are there for them. If you ask politely if you can put them on hold for a few moments, most customers will say ‘sure.’ Be sure to use that approach if it’s indeed necessary.”

At SIClytics.com, we know how important it is for business owners who employ phone agents to ensure that top-notch customer service is always being provided. We offer Telemarketing Reporting services that help you to track telemarketer progress and results as well as Live Call Monitoring services that enable you to listen to the calls being taken by your telemarketers live and as they happen!

For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-877-374-6003 or email us at sales@SIClytics.com.

What Are The Best Ways To Boost Productivity In Your Call Centre?

No one would ever claim that it’s easy to run a call centre. At least, they shouldn’t. Because, as all call centre managers know, there are a lot of unique personalities to deal with on a telemarketing team. It’s the “personality” issue that a call centre manager should pay special attention to. Although talented phone agents help to make high-productivity call centres, it’s the emotional states of the employees that need the most nurturing.

No one would ever claim that it’s easy to be a telemarketer. And they shouldn’t. Being on the phone all day is a hard enough job as it is without having the requirement to meet sales targets. So, as a call centre manager, it’s important to address the mental strain associated with the telemarketer position when working to boost sales for your business.

So what are the best ways to boost productivity in your call centre?

Hold energy-boosting morning meetings.

This wouldn’t be the first time we’ve recommended the morning meeting for call centre businesses. And it probably won’t be the last. Use at least 10-15 minutes each morning to gauge the moods of your phone agents – and do your part to uplift them, if necessary. Tell jokes, share funny stories and encourage participation from your team members. An energy-boosting morning meeting is a great way to start the day off right.

Implement friendly competitions.

At the end of the day, you’re looking to boost your sales numbers, right? Why not encourage higher productivity by making it fun for your employees? Create contests that offer prizes for the highest producers. Divide your phone agents into teams and create a standings (not unlike in professional sports) so that your employees can see how they’re measuring up against their competitors.

“Healthy competition can be highly beneficial in the contact centre, so why not pit teams together in a head-to-head contest?” poses CallCentreHelper.com, “One month it could be handle time, and the next month it could be up-sell opportunities…This can really improve a team’s morale, and the productivity boost you get from the teams striving to attain their goals will never hurt. This works particularly well in outbound telesales.”

Encourage inter-team feedback.

Who better to help improve the productivity of your phone agents than your high-producing phone agents? They know, from experience, some of the top tips that can be used to help boost sales and overall customer satisfaction. Not to mention, encouraging inter-team feedback helps to increase employee morale and team-building.

“Involving the telesales team in improving productivity can be highly beneficial, as they know better than anybody else because they are doing that job on a day-to-day basis,” says Martin Jukes on CallCentreHelper.com, “Salespeople will know where the problems are, where systems perform poorly and where the processes are disjointed. There are not enough instances where the telesales team are involved in realigning processes or mapping out new procedures to improve productivity as well as performance.”

At SIClytics, we offer call centre mangers Telemarketing Reporting services that help them to track the progress and results of their telemarketers. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-877-374-6003 or email us at sales@SIClytics.com.