Call center business is filled with a myriad of challenges. Handling irate customers, managing complaints and fixing complex issues are just a few in the long list of customer service related challenges faced by call center agents on a daily basis. It has been seen that many agents, especially when they are new, resort to being excessively polite in difficult situations. Although this approach does work its magic, it is not always fruitful and may sometimes hamper your business prospects.
Politeness or Ignorance: Know the Difference
Politeness is a necessary virtue for any call center agent dealing with customers. However, the problem arises when an agent, in his attempts to be pleasing to the customer, takes being polite too far and starts ignoring the realities. For example, an agent may start to agree with customers on everything to win his confidence. This could come at the cost of flouting company policies. Imagine your agents promising a replacement for a product that is not covered by warranty. Or, he may promise a call back to a customer at such a time when there are no agents available on the floor. This may appease an irate customer at that particular time; however, it can have serious repercussions. Below are some possible outcomes of such imprudent politeness:
Outcome1: The next agent dealing with the customer may have to bear the brunt of customers’ ire in case the injudiciously set expectations are not met.
Explanation: For example, while troubleshooting a router supplied by your company, your agent may start dealing with an irrelevant PC issue. This can waste a lot of time on the call and may set wrong customer expectations. The same customer, when he calls again, may expect the next agent to do what the first polite agent did on the previous call.
Outcome2: Excessively polite agents may find it hard to end the call after building an overfriendly rapport.
Explanation: Especially in processes like tech support, in which, you mostly have to be to-the-point in your discourse with the customer, a polite agent may start indulging agents on their personal life. This can waste a lot of time on the call and may lead to long queues of waiting customers.
Outcome3: Your company has to start making illogical exceptions.
Explanation: Nowadays, it is seen that word of mouth spreads pretty fast due to the rise of social media platforms and forums. So, when your call center agents start making exceptions, you generally get other customers calling in and referring to those instances where exceptions were made. In this way, exceptions can completely misbalance your customer service operation and may cause you to change your important polices. Definitely bad for business!
The nature of call center business is such that it requires the agents to tread a very fine line when it comes to dealing with customers. Any act of excessive politeness can come back to haunt you in the longer run. Therefore, it is absolutely essential that your call center agents are well-trained on company policies and know the different between being polite and being wrong.
In case, you are not too sure about the capability of your agents or are looking for a vendor that has experienced agents (who know how to be polite without hampering company policies), it is best to use call center outsourcing solutions provided by a competent vendor like Bluechip Call Center.