1. Employ extroverts
Generally, longer calls tend to convert better than shorter ones. If a call centre agent is able to keep the attention of the customer for longer, then this may mean that the customer feels comfortable talking to this call centre agent.Being an extrovert means being sociable, enthusiastic and ambitious. Call centre agents need to be confident in talking to whoever is on the other end of the phone and be able to quickly build a rapport with them. An introvert, or someone who finds it difficult to communicate with people, is naturally going to struggle with this.
2. Use good cold call openers
When cold calling, call centre agents will need to use good opening lines to keep the customer’s attention throughout the call. The opening line needs to be polite, upbeat and make the customer feel like they will receive some benefit from not hanging up. Here are some bad opening lines. Bad example:“I know you’re busy but…” – Telling the customer that they’re busy will make them think that they are actually too busy to take the call, even if they are not. Good example: “Are you free to talk for two minutes?” – Rather than telling the customer that they’re busy, try asking whether they are free. It is a natural reaction to say “yes, I am free”. Bad example: “I’m not selling anything…” – This does not seem genuine and makes it seem like the customer is being sold something. Good example:“Hello. I have an offer for you that you may be interested in, which solves the problem of…” – This includes a friendly opening line and then immediately moves on to telling the customer that they would benefit from listening to what the employee has to say. Bad example: “You don’t know me, but…” – The best and highest value sales come after a rapport has been built with the customer. If the call centre worker says they don’t know the customer then the rapport has already been broken before the conversation has even had a chance to start. Good example: “Hi, this is <your name> from <your company name>” – This answer seems much more genuine because it provides the employee’s name.
3. Staff competitions Motivating
call centre employees can create an environment where a culture of optimism can flourish. Healthy competitions in the workplace increase motivation and productivity when used in the right way. Consider creating teams competing against each other, as this will boost all of the participating members’ enthusiasm and productivity. Encourage employees to share what works and what doesn’t work with their team members. Have competitions which encourage employees to try new tactics and publicly mention the new tactic used by the winner to all the other employees. This will allow employees to learn from each other and will improve the skills of everyone in the call centre.
4. Call tracking
It doesn’t matter how well a company plans out the workload for its call centre, there will always be times when it doesn’t have enough staff waiting to take every call. Findings by BT showed that 69% of people hang up instead of leaving a message. Therefore, if the customer has to wait too long, then they are most likely going to hang up and call a competitor. Call tracking software can send call handlers a ‘missed call alert email’ which usually contains the caller’s contact number and which marketing activity motivated their call, including the keyword searched if the call originated from a website view from a search engine. This enables call centre staff to make the most of their less busy times by calling back customers whose call they were unable to take earlier. Measuring the number of missed calls also enables you to see the times of the day when there are more missed calls and plan your staffing as appropriately as possible to reduce the number of missed calls in the future.
5. Make sure employees can be heard Oliver
Heaton Oliver Heaton Quite often in a busy call centre, there is a lot of external noise, and call centre agents tend to have to talk over each other to be heard over the phone. Background noise and having to pay extra attention to be able to work out what is being said can be very annoying to a potential customer. If an employee cannot be heard, they need to raise their voice when talking over the phone, which may be perceived as rude or disrespectful by the customer. Invest in high-quality noise-cancelling headsets which will minimize the effects of external noise as much as possible.