Happy Customer Service Agents Make Happy Customers: How to Encourage Genuine Smiles in the Call Center
Improving customer satisfaction means improving employee satisfaction, as it’s the best way to encourage genuine smiles. After all, genuine smiles can’t happen on command, but they can be endlessly powerful in the workplace. Happy employees are likely to reach their full potential.
10 Ways to Improve Employee Satisfaction in the Workplace
Since customer experience and agent experience are intertwined, each investment you make in your workers is also a long-term investment in your consumers. It means that improving employee satisfaction leads to higher retention rates and, consequently, increased profits from happy customers.
Here are 10 ways to up employee satisfaction in a call center.
1. Train Your Agents Well
When your agents are poorly trained, they’re more likely to make mistakes or be confused on the job. It’s also more likely that they’ll be yelled at by customers, which affects their mental health. A properly trained employee will feel happier and more equipped to speak to customers.
Before an agent gets on the phone, ensure they have all the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively assist customers. Provide regular training to your agents to keep their skills fresh.
2. Set Clear Expectations for Call Wait Times
Customers are more likely to be satisfied if they know how long they can expect to wait on hold or are provided with a fast response. Consider estimating your wait times, or give customers a convenient call-back number, so they can be contacted when an agent becomes available.
Personal and timely call center interactions are the ticket to customer loyalty. They also help employees be more efficient, cutting down on stress.
3. Teach Agents Patience
Customers may be frustrated or upset when they call, so it’s essential for your agents to remain patient and calm. No one can help feeling angry after a difficult situation. Do your best to explain that customers aren’t angry at them specifically; they’re just frustrated about the situation.
4. Give Employees a Script
Sounding happy and confident on the phone has a tendency to put customers at ease and leads to greater productivity and job enjoyment for customer service agents. With that said, it can be hard to sound genuine when you’re getting tongue-tied, which is common for new hires.
A script can help agents stay on track during a call and ensure that they cover all necessary information. Scripts also ensure consistency in the information provided, reducing frustrations.
5. Make Their Lives Easier
You can cut down on customer calls (and lower staff anxiety at the same time) by adopting automated systems and customer self-service options. IVRs streamline customer interactions and reduce wait times, while FAQs, knowledge bases, and chatbots free up the phone.
6. Be Empathetic to Your Team
Empathy can go a long way in creating a positive experience for customers, but it isn’t always about the customer. According to a recent UK study on stress, customer service is the third most stressful occupation in the world. They have higher reported stress rates than average.
Employers should allow customer service staff to step away from the phones after a stressful call, as it’ll lead to more genuine smiles on the next one. Pay attention to your worker’s health.
7. Use Customer Feedback
Use customer feedback to identify areas where you can improve and make changes that will benefit your customers. When you and your agents know where the problems are, they can cut down on customer dissatisfaction. This inevitably improves the happiness of your agents.
8. Don’t Put up With Abuse
While most customers are nice, many of them will take their anger out on your employees. They do this because they’re culturally allowed to do so. However, this “customer is always right” mentality has significant consequences on your business, including high turnover rates.
Call center employees should be allowed to set boundaries and hang up on customers who are acting abusive. If they know you’re in their corner, they’ll feel happier working for your company.
9. Use Positive Language
Positive language can help your employees feel more positive. If your agents were on an especially hard call, or you find they speak about themselves negatively, encourage them to see the good. Explain that mistakes are a part of life and you’re not angry about the mishap.
10. Reward Your Agents
All employees need regular feedback to help them ensure they’re on the right track. Be sure to have one-on-one meetings for each agent to go over their performance and goals once a month. Recognize and reward your agents for good performance, and train them to be better.
Consider creating an employee recognition program that involves peers. Although hearing the approval of upper management is important, employees also want to do well by their coworkers.
Encouraging Genuine Smiles is Worth it
From a higher ROI to improved customer satisfaction, there aren’t any downsides to making your employees happier. By following these tips, you can increase employee satisfaction in your call center. Remember that happy employees are more likely to make happy customers.
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