4 Ways Call Center Agents Help to Grow the Company’s Brand

Posted on

May 24th, 2022


outsource fnolCall center agents are the frontline brand ambassadors for businesses. They’re often the first person a customer speaks to when they call with a question or problem, and that interaction shapes the customer’s perception of the company. Call center agents can do much more than field incoming calls. With the right tools, they can drive loyalty, enhance a company’s brand and reputation, and generate revenue.

The following are four ways call centers can redefine the agent’s role and empower them to grow the company’s brand:

  1. Making an impression. Call center agents are often an untapped resource for advocating the company’s brand. Well-informed agents can leave customers with a lasting positive impression of the company. Providing agents with easy-to-find and -digest content that is relevant to customer requests is critical for agent knowledgeability, quality of knowledge, and service effectiveness.
  2. Transforming customer perceptions. Many customers reach out to call centers after performing their own search for answers. They view agents as a quick fix and don’t have a high level of trust in agents’ capabilities. Call centers cultivated that perception over the years by relying on canned responses and rigid transcripts. Agents can transform this viewpoint by personalizing customer interactions. For example, agents can engage with customers on their preferred communication channel (i.e., text, chat, phone call, or email), reference previous interactions with the customer, or make a personal remark based on data records (e.g., wishing the customer a happy birthday or thanking military service members for their service).
  3. Harnessing data to make smart upsells. Many eCommerce websites feature a carousel with recommended products or frequently purchased with products. In service-based industries, customers don’t always know what products and services complement their existing purchases. Agents can reference historical customer data to make relevant upsell recommendations, increase revenue, and drive value.
  4. Acting as the voice of the customer. Call center agents know a company’s customers better than anyone else in the organization. They listen to their difficulties, work with them to solve their problems, and engage with them at a personal level. While customer data is invaluable, agents have insights into the customers’ emotions, preferences, and more. Businesses that encourage agents to share their knowledge can implement changes that improve the customer experience and perception of the company.

Call center agents are the first point of contact for many customers. Providing them with advanced training and technology hones their skills and elevates their service quality. Over time, a successful call center can transform the customer perception of agents from a band-aid solution to a trusted advisor. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about the benefits of an empathetic and high-tech call center.

5 Customer Service Red Flags for Call Centers

Posted on

March 9th, 2021


Customer service is a critical component to securing customer loyalty. No matter how stellar a product or service might be, customers will look for other options if the support is lacking. Knowing the warning signs of customer service issues allows businesses to address the problem before it costs them customers. Some of the biggest customer service red flags for call centers include:

  1. Long wait or hold times. The negative effects compound rapidly when a company makes customers wait. If it takes too long for a business to answer a call, the customer begins the conversation from a place of frustration. If the customer then has to wait on hold, that aggravation builds. If they have this experience every time they try to contact customer support, they’ll be more likely to look for a new provider. Customers also expect rapid replies to their chat support and email inquiries.
  2. Communication problems. Businesses noticing an uptick in unanswered calls and open chat windows may have a customer service issue. Not receiving an answer or support is equally as frustrating for customers as it is to sit on hold. Inefficient routing can also irritate customers as they have to repeat their inquiries every time a representative transfers them.
  3. A lack of repeat customers. If a customer likes a product or service, odds are they will make purchases again in the future. If businesses notice a dip in purchases from their established customers, poor customer service may be the culprit.
  4. Customers leave or close accounts without an explanation. Customers don’t always explain why they moved on to a new provider or vendor. However, most customers will break ties with a company after a negative experience with customer service. Keeping an eye on service cancellations or closed accounts can provide some insight into the quality of the company’s customer service.
  5. Prioritizing speed over quality. If a company evaluates customer service representatives based on how many calls or inquiries they resolve, this will cause representatives to rush. Rushing rarely produces quality customer service, and representatives may provide incorrect answers in their haste. Customers can sense when a representative is trying to complete the call as quickly as possible, and the quality of service often lags as well.

Providing superior customer service is critical to retaining existing customers and their business. Investing in a high-quality call center can help ensure the customer’s experience is satisfactory from start to finish. Contact the experts at Actec to learn how a nearshore call center can improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Quality Assurance Strategies for Better Call Centers

Posted on

January 11th, 2021


Businesses rely on call centers to streamline calls to improve customer service, capture leads, and boost sales. If a call center’s performance quality is low, it can lower customer satisfaction and hurt profit margins. Businesses can use the following strategies to cultivate a top-notch call center:

  1. Track all forms of communication. Companies communicate with their customers through several channels. Customer support employees may field inquiries via telephone, email, text, or chat. Many call centers focus their attention on voice calls, but these other lines of communication are important for ensuring a quality experience for the customer.
  2. Incorporate coaching into the company culture. If call center employees only receive coaching following a poor performance, this can create tension and resistance to feedback. Implementing coachable moments or providing guidance on a routine basis can destigmatize feedback and improve customer service.
  3. Track and recognize improvements. Employees may feel pressured or lose motivation if they feel like big brother is always watching. If employees only receive critique, they will focus their efforts on staying off the radar rather than providing superior service. Critiques may help employees improve enough to receive acceptable scores, but recognition helps them reach their full potential.
  4. Use selective hiring practices. If a call center continually fails to meet KPIs despite extensive training and coaching, the company may not be selective enough during their hiring process. Identifying traits and characteristics of call center employees that deliver consistent high-quality services can help ensure a call center’s success.

Call centers that frustrate customers are disastrous for businesses. Nearshore call centers often outperform their offshore counterparts due to familiarity with the customer’s culture. This improves their ability to empathize with the customer and eliminates language barriers. Contact the experts at Actec to learn how our nearshore call center services can benefit your business.

4 Benefits of Allowing Call Center Employees to Socialize

Posted on

December 28th, 2020


Considering that call center employees spend their working hours on the phones with customers, opportunities for socializing may seem scant. However, agents aren’t tethered to their seats from the moment they arrive to the instant they clock out of work for the day. Employees visit the breakroom for coffee, take breaks for lunch, or pass each other in the halls.

While productivity-driven employers may frown upon idle chatter, socializing amongst agents can reap several benefits:

  1. Happier employees. Call center agents spend a significant portion of their day at work. If employees don’t engage with each other, the office can quickly become a dreary place. Call center employees who don’t enjoy their work environment are less likely to grow their skills or deliver superior service to customers.
  2. Faster onboarding. The first few days on the job are often daunting for new employees. Even if their employer provides extensive training and guidelines, employees often learn better from their peers. They can discover helpful tips that help them perform better at their job and find their fit within the company’s culture.
  3. Less employee turnover. Call centers often struggle to retain employees for several reasons, some of which are outside of their control. However, allowing employees to socialize is an effective means to reduce the turnover rate. The environment is friendlier, which helps employees perform better. These successes often lead to praise and recognition, which fuels future efforts in the workplace. When employees thrive in the workplace, they’re more likely to stay.
  4. Better collaboration and coaching. All teams are stronger when they work together. Call center employees that socialize are more likely to help each other out or offer advice. Without this camaraderie, employees are less likely to improve, engage, or enjoy their work.

Managing a call center is a challenging task but well worth the effort. If your company is considering investing in a call center, Actec can help. Contact us to learn more about our nearshore contact center solutions.

How to Improve the Insurance Call Center Experience

Posted on

January 7th, 2019


When customers dial their insurer’s customer service number, they usually go through a phone tree before connecting with a live person. More often than not, customers make use of this number when they have a problem. This means they’re likely on edge and customer service representatives need to be prepared to handle the call with finesse. A knowledgeable and friendly representative is likely to yield better results than an inexperienced and aloof one.

However, every customer service representative has to start somewhere; without practice, they can’t improve. The following are several methods representatives can utilize to improve the customer’s experience:

  1. Build representatives’ confidence. A customer service representative who isn’t sure of him or herself is likely to stumble through many of their calls. Insurance companies need to provide representatives with the right tools to help them gain confidence in their ability to answer any question a client might ask them as well as offer creative solutions for customers’ problems. Providing onboarding training is a good start, but implementing quarterly training can help keep their skills sharp.
  2. Emphasize soft skills. Most customers become frustrated with customer service representatives because they can come across as uncaring or robotic. Soft skills like communication, problem-solving, and adaptability are just as important as technical know-how. Insurance companies should provide training for soft skills to teach representatives how to be compassionate while providing accurate information.
  3. Offer peer-to-peer coaching. Training can provide representatives with the foundation they need to offer quality customer support. However, they will encounter situations or develop questions they may feel uncomfortable discussing with their supervisor. This approach to coaching also fosters better relationships between employees.
  4. Focus on quality. Several key performance indicators (KPIs) can help an insurance company pinpoint areas to improve. For example, the industry standard for answering calls within 30 seconds sits at about 80-85%. If an insurance call center is taking longer than this to answer calls, they are already at a disadvantage regarding customer satisfaction.

Customer service representatives field dozens of calls each day. Making sure that each conversation is a satisfactory experience for the customer is vital to customer retention. To learn more about improving the insurance claims call center experience, contact the experts at Actec.