Working in a call centre was never short of challenges, anybody who thinks it’s an easy task should definitely give it a try. Though call centre agents, after hiring process, go through a rigorous training period to learn about the proper etiquettes of communicating with callers, still it’s never enough.
The reason it’s never enough being, an experienced team leader can almost always predict the problems his company’s customers can face while using a product or service and train his agents accordingly.
What he cannot predict is the emotional state, the customer will be in, while calling and that turns out to be problematic when a customer goes in a sudden mood swing and lashes out at the agent who in turn unable to contain the situation, say something he should have avoided and thus risk tarnishing the reputation of that company.
Below are listed 6 things, a call centre agent should avoid saying under any circumstances.
1. “I don’t know”
Always remember one thing, if you are a call centre agent then it’s your duty to know anything a customer asks of you. Never say, ‘I don’t know’ its what you are getting paid for and that what a customer expects from you.
I understand we are humans and have certain limitations as well, but our limitations doesn’t include not finding answers. So, instead of giving an excuse, focus on solving customer’s queries in real time.
A substitute- “let me find the answer and get back to you.”
2. “There’s nothing I can do”
Another way to ruin your company’s reputation, becoming completely oblivious to the customer’s problem which in the first place has been caused by your company’s product or service and as a result, letting him seethe in anger for choosing your company.
Never put an end to the customer’s hopes by turning a blind eye, there’s always something you can do. Find a solution, even if it’s beyond your authority to help, at least direct him to whoever can help him.
A substitute- “let me transfer your call to the [X-department], they will help you better.”
3. “Calm down/Relax”
This is quite funny because saying calm down or relax to an angry caller never does the trick, on the contrary, it makes him even more furious than before.
What you can do is keep a calm posture, talk with politeness and try to diffuse the customer’s anger with patience. Calm him down with your behaviour instead of actually ordering him to calm down.
A substitute- “I am trying to work on your problem, please cooperate with me for a while.”
4. “I am going on a break”
There’s a saying at the call centre, ‘treat every customer equally.’ The idea behind it is, it might be your 100th call of the day but for your customer, it’s their first call. So, almost always avoid saying that you need a break or something.
It makes your customers feel worthless as it gives the impression that their problems are valueless compared to such meagre things as a tea break. Always prioritise your callers no matter how insignificant their problems seem.
A substitute- “Please allow me to pass your call over to a colleague.”
5. “Let me put the Supervisor on line”
Now the above sentence is acceptable only if your customer asks so, but not at all if you offer to. The reason is simple enough, everybody hates their calls being transferred on having to repeat their problems all over again.
It also kills your credibility and the customer thinks you’re an idiot and if you do this often enough, he himself start asking for Supervisor whenever you pick up the call and believe me, your supervisor won’t like it one bit.
A substitute- “How else would you like me to solve this issue?”
6. “Visit our website for info”
This is just another subtle way of saying that ‘I cannot help you’ or ‘I don’t want to help you.’ Here, the agents fail to comprehend that the customers might already have visited the website prior to the call or are just having a query not mentioned in the FAQ section.
As I mentioned earlier, always prioritise your customers no matter how insignificant their queries seem. Provide them with the answers they are looking for even if it means you yourself must surf the web for it.
A substitute- “I need to do some quick search, I will be with you shortly.”
At the end, it all comes down to proper training. Call centres in general especially call centre outsourcing firms should be aware that their job is to build trust and provide satisfaction to its clients and customers and their behaviour directly affects the company’s reputation.