Tech Plays a Key Role in Training Reinforcement

Train­ing is an invest­ment, a long-term behav­ioral change, and will not be suc­cess­ful with­out proper rein­force­ment;  follow-up sessions conducted by contact centre super­vi­sors and man­agers.

Thanks to new solutions provided by technology: video, email and social media, these reinforcement sessions become easy to conduct and are cost effective.

Every type of training is suited for technology based reinforcement, whether you’re reinforcing a strategic skill change or improving soft skills, technology will help. It proves to be a valuable “ally” during training as well as post-training activities as is after ensures the change in behaviour sticks.

These are the top techniques we at OpsTalent use:

 E-mail; bi-weekly emails with rel­e­vant infor­ma­tion which can be applied to daily tasks.

  1. A consistent and descriptive title is crucial, reference the training session the follow-up relates to so that the participants open the email ASAP.
  2. If the email contains video content make sure that the text part of the message is clear and to the point, don’t waste the contact centre agents time on reading, point them to the video straight away.
  3. Avoid graphics, emails containing these are often blocked by email client app’s, thus mistaken as spam and deleted straight away. Also, graphic content is not mobile friendly so keep that in mind.
  4. Plan no more than one training email per training hour, schedule these to be sent out over a course of 4 weeks. This is crucial since it will not overwhelm agents and at the same time will be more than enough to bring permanent change in behaviour.
  5. Send the e-mails to managers, don’t leave them out of the loop, the content can be easily reused during team meetings.

Video; create engaging videos that will aid employee knowledge retention.

  1. Create videos that last up to 3 minutes, that will keep agents engaged and interested until the very end.
  2. Be detailed regarding the most valued tip from the training session, expand on it and end the video with an easy to follow call-to-action.
  3. Follow-up videos don’t need to be made by professionals, but they need to look professional. Dress code, the tone of voice and a steady camera are vital when it comes to creating engaging content.
  4. Post videos in-house or on a private channel on YouTube or Vimeo. Streamed video is the safest and best option.

Other; pri­vate social media groups are ideal for sharing content and reinforcing training.

  1. Brainshark is great when resources are limited or creating video content is simply not an option. Creating PowerPoint presentations with audio is an amazing substitute for video content, but it has potential to be much more than just a substitute.
  2. Create private groups in LinkedIn where contact centre staff can share successes stories or ask relevant questions.

Technology can play a key role in reinforcing employee training and in long-term behav­ioral change, especially in crucial business areas such as;  intro­duc­ing new pro­ce­dures, improv­ing exist­ing skills sets, or engag­ing new employ­ees. It’s up to you to incorporate it!

Tech Support Training Tips

Most people think customer service and tech support are virtually the same role, well it might seem so at first glance, and with how customer centric the customer care industry has become we might see those two roles merged in the near future.

There are differences, most notably in the type of training and offered services

Soft skills are relevant in both roles, especially active listening, problem-solving, and the ability to de-escalate issues.

Never let your agents approach new roles untrained

If you’re facing staffing issues or your customer care centre is facing high communication volumes and you’re forced to ask your customer service teams to handle tech support issues, make sure that they receive proper training.

Not everyone is tech-savvy

Equip your teams with proper ‘tools of the trade’, they need them in order to help customers with their tech problems.

 

OpsTalent has prepared a list of five crucial tips that will turn your customer service experts into amped-up tech-geeks.

 

The Beginning 

The greeting phase is crucial, as it dictates the conversation’s flow. Your team needs to understand that this initials phase has to be short as well as professional.

Agents should start with providing their first name in order to make the call more personal, then they should immediately establish that the customer has reached tech support. The greeting itself shouldn’t be overly lengthy – short and to-the-point. Lastly, coach your team to sound friendly and happy to help, this might seem as a no-brainer for most managers in the customer care industry but it’s worth to mention.

 

Active listening

Ask what issue is the ‘user’ experiencing. In the active listening phase tech support agents need to carefully listen to the description of the problem while noting down vital information, such as software version used, model of the hardware in question, operating system, and any other technical aspects what will aid in successfully diagnosing and fixing the problem.

After the issue has been explained the agent should paraphrase the problem back. This reassures the customer that we value his input, furthermore by describing the problem back at the customer we confirm that the correct issue is noted.

 

Apologise, empathise, reassure

The customer needs to be reassured that his issue will be handled properly. Be sure to apologise only when it’s your company’s product or service at fault.

Next, comes empathy, use phrases such as “I know it’s frustrating for you, I’m sorry that the issue at hand is taking time out of your day, but we will resolve it ASAP.”

Lastly, reassure the customer that you’re going to personally oversee his case.

 

Problem-solving 101

The 4th step is where the magic happens. Look up the symptoms and take steps to solve the problem.

If more research is necessary then ensure that the customer is periodically reminded that “we’re still on the case” – there’s nothing worse than leaving the customer guessing as it creates more stress in an already volatile situation.

 

Mission Accomplished

The last step is the most crucial one, ensure that the problem was resolved.
Consultants need to ask a question along the lines of “Did we fix the problem you were experiencing?” Is there anything else I can do for you?”.

The agent needs to confirm that the issue was indeed resolved, which is why asking the final question is important. It also enables the customer to confirm he or she feels satisfied with the solution and has no further enquiries.

 

Instil Confidence

Training, coaching and proper guidance will provide your customer service agents with enough ‘know-how’ and confidence to handle tech support.

Proper ‘Tools of the trade’ are essential for your employees to provide exceptional customer care services.

 

 

How to Deal with Day-to-Day Grievances

Skilful use of language to calm an angry customer is a vital part of an agent’s skill set and here’s a list of potential phrases capable of defusing any situation in a fashionable manner.

We will also discuss the four most frequent angry personality types alongside with the appropriate responses which will aid you in tackling even the most difficult ones.

Keep in mind that every customer is unique and some of them will be a mixed breed of two or sometimes more personality traits. These particular cases can be tricky so approach with caution and choose the best response.

 

The Anger Venter

Most of the time this caller will have no legitimate reason to rage at your enterprise. They probably suffered personal strain and just need to vent and your staff will be the target their anger will rain down upon – complaints will be blown out of proportions often inflating the most minute matter.

This type is quite frustrating to deal with as most contact centre agents encountered a legitimately furious customer at least once in their career and The Anger Venter type, in comparison, will just seem like a waste of time and energy.

Treat him with respect and take him seriously.

Phrases:

  • “I’m so sorry that you feel this way, Mrs Anyperson…”
  • “As a solution, may I suggest that…?”
  • “What I’ll do right now is…”
  • “We really do appreciate this feedback, Mrs Anyperson…”
  • “May I arrange for an update call, at a time most convenient for you?”

 

The Legitimate Problem

Everyone makes mistakes, that’s a fact and most of the time those are forgivable. However, from time to time, enterprises miss their quality of service by such a large margin that when an experienced agent hears about the level of incompetence it boggles their mind.

This particular archetype of an unsatisfied customer in the most important one on the list by far. You as a company failed to deliver and now they’re back with a vengeance.  One which needs to be sated.

Your agents should quickly escalate the matter but also provide immediate comfort him; be empathetic and reassure him that everything will be fixed before he even notices.

Phrases:

  • “Thank you so much for letting us know about this, Sir/Madam…”
  • “I’m so sorry to hear about this, Mrs Anyperson…”
  • “I completely understand how you feel, Sir/Madam…”
  • “Thank you so much for your patience/understanding, Mrs Anyperson…”
  • “I will action this for you right away…”

 

The Profanity Spewer

The Spewer is quite a fascinating specimen, easy to identify thanks to his high pitch roar and the overwhelming amounts of profanities he spews out.

Contact centre agents will welcome this particular customer with open arms as this is one of the few and rare interactions, during which they are allowed to terminate the call.

No employee should put up with personal abuse but the standard within the industry deems it necessary for the agent to warn the customer at least thrice before ending the conversation.

Train your staff on the emotional side of dealing with obscene callers, there is no excuse for consultants “going off the rails” themselves or spewing profanities back.

Phrases:

  • “I truly understand your concern, Sir/Madam, but unfortunately we cannot tolerate the kind of language you are using right now…”
  • “I’m going to do my very best to help you, Mrs Anyperson…”
  • “You seem very upset, Mrs Anyperson. Would you prefer to continue this conversation through email or post?”
  • “I’m sorry you’re so upset, Sir/Madam. Would you like for us to call you back when you feel a little calmer?”
  • “I apologise, Mrs Anyperson, but if you continue to use this language, I will be forced to end this call.”

 

The Threat-Monger

During the initial contact, often mistakenly identified as The Profanity Spewer but after closer examination, it becomes quite clear they’re a different beast altogether. The former’s intention is to insult the agent into cessation, the latter seeks to resolve his problem through emotional and sometimes physical intimidation.

Remember that insufficient re-compensation will only encourage more complaints. Keep in mind that despite being unpleasant and harassing your staff he is still a vital customer who is an essential source of revenue. Call takers should strive to balance their response between cool-headed formality and empathy.

Phrases:

  • “I do understand the inconvenience you’ve faced, Sir/Madam…”
  • “Let me see how I can fix this, Mrs Anyperson…”
  • “I recommend that you (insert action here), Sir/Madam, so that I can take further action without delay.”
  • “I am more than happy to help you, Mrs Anyperson…”
  • “For the quickest resolution, I would request you to…”

 

We do hope the guidelines and phrases above will prove useful in recognising troublesome customer archetypes. The biggest takeaway from such encounters is to remember one simple fact: we’re all human, we make mistakes and we do let our emotions get the better of us.