Published: June 21, 2013 | Comments
Call center customer service isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, but for those who excel at it, and especially those who enjoy it, there are precautions that should be taken in order to maximize the effective use of employee time while maintaining a positive work environment. You might think, “Great! This employee loves serving customers! I’ll just give them the basic training and I’m sure they’ll do fine!” However, the reality of the situation can come crashing down on both you and your employees if you’re not mindful of what may occur, and how to be prepared for it.
Take it from the Veterans
Somebody who’s excited to start working in your call center, but has never done it before, needs to really be told what to expect. There are angry people who call, who will say ridiculous and angry things because not only are they angry, but they are actually TRYING to get a strong reaction out of the customer service representative. This is where they need to know how to keep their cool, and to follow one simple phrase: Don’t take it personally.
Not knowing what to expect in this particular field can foster a breeding ground of uncertain expectations and ultimate failure. We want to deal with nice people, but the fact of the matter is that people are usually calling you because they have a problem that they want fixed, and quite a few will take every opportunity to complain about it and be as unreasonable as possible. I can’t stress enough that you need to let your employees know that this is normal, they should expect this, just be polite and once again: Don’t take it personally.
Give Advice, not Belittlement
A supervisor should be familiar with the processes enough to show the newcomers the ropes. The thing is, the supervisor has to care. In too many workplaces there are apathetic management personnel who create an air of disconnection between themselves and coworkers. Caring and concern nurtures more of the same, which will pour over into your agent’s interaction with your clients. Do unto others as you’d have done unto you, and make sure you’re hiring the appropriate staff who hold and practice the same philosophy amongst themselves and each other.
There are other practices that will be necessary for any call center, such as call monitoring and stat tracking for your customer service agents, but the nuances of how go about enforcing your policies and procedures is what will determine whether it’s a pleasant environment for your employees to work and interact in, or one that they can’t wait to get out of come five-o-clock.
For example, do you bark criticisms at your employees, or do you considerately advise them how they can improve? Do you crack the whip of punishment for shortcomings, or do you reward growth? These things mean everything in the eyes of your workforce, because if you’ve got call center representatives who only perform more poorly after being belittled and harshly criticized, and when they’re receiving such treatment from both their employer and the customers they deal with, they see that they have nothing to look forward to in a workday, which will create an environment of disgruntled hostility and apathy of workplace duties. That’s the last thing you want, so be nice – give advice.