Call Center Training
INTRODUCTION TO CALL CENTERS
WHAT IS A CALL CENTER?
Industry term referring to a company phone center that handles such services as help desk,
customer support, lead generation, emergency response, telephone answering service,
inbound response and outbound telemarketing is a call center. It is a part of an organization
that handles inbound/outbound communications with customers. A call center is a central
place where customer and other telephone calls are handled by an organization, usually with
some amount of computer automation. Typically, a call center has the ability to handle a
considerable volume of calls at the same time, to screen calls and forward those to someone
qualified to handle them, and to log calls. It is a functional area within an organization or an
outsourced separate facility that exists solely to answer inbound or place outbound telephone
calls; usually a sophisticated voice operations center that provides a full range of high-volume,
inbound or outbound call-handling services.
Inbound v.s outbound
Outbound
Inbound
An outbound call center is one in
which call center agents make calls to
customers on behalf of a business or
client.
An inbound call center is one that
exclusively or predominately handles
inbound calls (calls initiated by the
customer)
The outbound call centers do
telemarketing, debt collection, sales,
fund raising and other work that
requires proactive contact with
customers
The inbound call centers do Customer
Support, Online Help, Bookings, Placing
Orders, Resolving issues/queries etc
Call center technologies
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol, technology providing
voice services over IP connections)
Internet (E1, DSL, SDSL DXX etc)
Hardware (LAN, Switches, Routers etc)
Networking ((LAN & WAN, Different Components of
networking)
Call center category description
Customer Service
Telesales
Help Desk
Collections
Call Center Operations
E-Commerce
Support Cast
Telecom/IS
Account Management
Skills Necessary for a call center agent
Learning Skills
Communication Skills
Customer Handling Skills
Team work and Individual capabilities
Telephone Etiquettes and the ability to respond professionally to clients on the
telephone
The candidate's ability to use proper grammar
Vocabulary skills relevant to a call center position
Attention to detail and ability to follow specific instructions
Basic math, logic, analytical and telephone problem solving skills
Ability to follow specific instructions
Telephone problem solving skills
Call flow management – Do’s and don’ts
ON-HOLD MESSAGES
DO’s…
DON’Ts…
Match your message script to your goals. When all is said and done,
make sure the final product actually fits the purpose for which it was
designed. This includes an audio scan, as well as measurement of
customer behavior changes as a result of the message.
Ask for identifying information in the wrong place in the menu. For
example, if a customer’s phone number will only be used if he or she
opts for an automated response; don’t ask for it before the caller
selects the IVR.
Create a variety of messages. Change the message every few weeks.
If your customers call more often, be sure to change them more
often. Nothing is worse for a frequent caller than hearing the same
message call after call.
Be predictable. Predictable messages include phrases like: “your call
is important to us,” “we are experiencing heavy volume, so there will
be a long wait,” “we’re sorry you’re on hold,” as well as endlessly
repeating short messages.
Keep messages short. This refers to the content rather than the
total length. While the entire message tape can be lengthy, each
individual message should convey what it needs to in 35 to 40 words.
Confuse people. Giving complex instructions or information during
hold messages doesn’t usually work. Keep it simple.
Make recordings too short. Look at your expected delay statistics,
and make the message long enough to cover at least the average
delay when there is a delay. This is not the same as the ASA.
Write scripts in a conversational style. To check this, read them
aloud to yourself and others.
Use consistent voicing. The exception to this rule is when you inform
customers to expect different voices (e.g., when using a queue jockey
or employees’ recordings).
Be careful when providing estimated wait times. This can work very
well if you’re only feeding one queue to one agent group, but it
breaks down with virtual agents or multiple call priorities because
calls can “budge” to the front of the queue.
Repeat too often. Make sure that your messages have some
“breathing time.” In between messages, allow for some silence or play
music or some other sound.
Keep telling customers to hold or that they are on hold. They
already know it, and are likely to be annoyed by such commands.
Continued
Call flow management – Do’s and don’ts
ON-HOLD MESSAGES
DO’s…
DON’Ts…
Be creative. Messages that get customers to relax and enjoy the
wait (i.e., humorous, entertaining, informative messages) can be
crafted if you don’t limit your imagination to what you’ve already
heard.
Apologize too much. The real issue here is that you’re not prepared
to make the investment that makes the delay so short that you don’t
need delay messages — so don’t emphasize this fact. One apology is
all that’s needed.
Give customers control and information. For instance, allow callers
the option to use the IVR, give them information on when you’re
likely to be less busy, offer estimated wait times, and allow call-backs
or provide virtual queuing (see box above). Use ANI to identify
repeat callers who didn’t get through to you, and put them at the
front of the queue. Let the customer decide, based on wait time
information, how he or she wants the call to proceed.
Brag too much. Sales messages need to be informational in nature
rather than a hard sell. You have a captive audience on hold; you need
to treat them gently and persuasively.
Find out the true cost of using music on hold before deciding on it.
It’s not legal to play real tunes without paying a royalty, and the same
applies to playing a radio station. Elevator music is only slightly better
than silence, and can really annoy some people.
Neglect customers whose preferred language isn’t English. Provide
messages that are culturally appropriate, and in the languages of the
customers who are likely to call you.
Thank people for hanging on. Just doesn’t overuse the thank-you
message or it may become irritating.
Think that you’re in this alone. Messaging services can be an
invaluable resource, especially when it comes to finding voice talent
and making the final recordings.
Record emergency messages before you need them. This will save
you unnecessary panic and frantic activity during stressful times. Be
sure you know what each message says, and how to activate the
appropriate one. This should be an intrinsic part of your disasterrecovery plan.
Lie to customers. If you have messages that say, “due to unusually
heavy volume,” or “due to a snowstorm, there’s going to be a long
delay,” use them sparingly or, eventually, they will not be believed.
Use a mass-produced product.Your company is unique, and you
need to make sure your customers experience that uniqueness.
Call flow management – Do’s and don’ts
CUSTOMER SERVICE INBOUND
DO’s…
DON’Ts…
Thank them for contacting customer support in the opening
sentence of your reply messages.
Don't use abrasive words in your email. Always remain calm,
courteous and professional.
Ask for further clarification if you are unsure of their requirements.
Suggest some extra details to answer their query more effectively.
Don't leave the problem unresolved or unanswered because you
are offended by their tone or for any other reason whatsoever.
Address the support question within 24 hours of receiving their
message to avoid unnecessary confrontation and dissatisfaction.
Don't neglect your customers by repeatedly delaying your
response times. This will lead to negative feedback for your company
and will inevitably cost you sales and damage your company’s
reputation.
Offer further support if they require it and provide a sincere
thanks for their custom. Also confirm that their message has been
received and when they should expect a response.
Be apologetic to their needs and offer complete support and
reassurance. However if a customer is still unsatisfied with their
order offer them a replacement or refund.
Don't allow a customer to bully you into doing something
irrational or unethical just to please them.
Don't lie to a customer about your product. Make sure your
description and terms are clear and are easily accessible on your
Sales Page, Thank You Page and receipts.
Continued
Call flow management – Do’s and don’ts
CUSTOMER SERVICE OUTBOUND
DO’s…
DON’Ts…
Greeting the customer: Smile, speak clearly; give the customer your
undivided attention. Identify yourself and your department, offer help.
Note the customer’s name and address the customer by name that
creates and attentive impression. Begin the conversation with your
customer on a positive note.
Do not rush: Do not rush through the call in an attempt to feed
the customer as much as possible once he is on the line. Wait up,
relax, talk, and do not blabber.
Listening to the customer: Ignore disruptions, distractions or being
too fast or too slow. Concentrate on what the customer is saying to
you and acknowledge what he says. Attempt to identify the need and
basis of the call. Deliver information more and more.
Responding to customer needs: First, provide an empathy
statement to address the customer’s psychological needs. Then, with
the customer, develop an action plan that directly addresses his
needs. Developing an action plan involves informing the customer of
the steps that you plan to take, explain any steps he should take.
Answer questions, handle objections do not run away from
questions. Remember when a customer starts asking questions those
are actually BUYING signals. So pay attention and do not deviate
from the subject. Check agreement whether the customer has
understood and agreed to the proposed solutions.
Don’t get tense: It’s nothing personal; you are just doing your job.
They are just missing out on another good deal.
Do not be afraid: They cannot come out of the phone and hit you,
relax, listen to their questions and answer them.
Do not impersonate: Do not start by saying “if I was you…”
Empathize, put yourself in their shoes and think like them.
Continued
Call flow management – Do’s and don’ts
CUSTOMER SERVICE OUTBOUND
DO’s…
Getting agreement Seek feedback and agreement from the
customer at this point to establish whether he is satisfied with the
solution.
Concluding the call: Smile and have a positive, friendly attitude; use
the customer’s name; review the plan of action; offer further
assistance, and thank the customer for his patience and cooperation.
Following up as necessary:You might want to follow up
particularly urgent requests or such requests that are critical to a
large number of users
Keep Smiling: Remember, a smile can be heard even on the phone.
Relax and enjoy.
Determining the customer needs: Listening to the customer pays
let the customer talk, don’t interrupt. Paraphrase what the
customer has communicated to you, as questions and get feedback.
DON’Ts…
Effective communication
Effective Listening
speaking with confidence
Call center communication skills
Communication Techniques
Questioning Skills
Telephone Techniques
Phone etiquettes
Avoid using Slangs.
Make use of phrases such as "May I help you", "You are welcome", and "Thank you", etc.
Put the receiver down gently. Never slam the phone.
Always speak clearly so that the other person can understand what you are saying.
When picking up the phone, it is good practice to identify your Company and yourself to
the caller.
When transferring calls, make sure that you are well versed with the procedure for call
transfers. It is good practice to use the name of the person you are transferring the call
to.
Always adopt a pleasant tone of voice and be attentive.
When placing a call on hold, inform the caller of the same.
Don't interrupt the caller when speaking.
When initiating a call, spend a few moments to mentally prepare yourself so that you
know wheat need to be said / discussed.
Understanding customer services
Customer needs
Difficult situations
Skills simulation
Building customer loyalty
Communicate
Understand Your Customer's Goals
Be Consistent
Build Credibility
Cracker Jack Surprise
Call center telephone sales
Principles and techniques of
telephone sales
Telemarketing laws
42 telesales tips
Pre Call Planning
Before Reaching the Decision Maker
Interest Creating Opening Statements
Effective Questioning
Sales Recommendations
Getting Commitment (Closing)
Addressing Resistance (Objections)
Wrapping up and Setting the Next Action
Attitude and Self Motivation
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