Quality might be one of the most important words in customer service. In the customer service context, quality translates to consistency, approachability, genuineness, responsiveness, helpfulness, and more. Below are some ways in which you could ensure that your customer service division or in-house call center adheres to top quality standards with regard to this important function.
Consider spending money to hire Six Sigma black belts and Lean masters. These experts could ensure that your processes and ways of working remain at optimum levels.
You could also consider investing in training your customer service employees. This could include voice training, accent training, cultural awareness, computer skills upgrading, and etiquette training, among others.
The best companies put their customer service candidates through stringent tests. The best way to ensure quality is to hire only the most capable employees for your contact center. Filter the walk-in candidates at the recruitment stage itself. The HR department, the floor manager, and even the departmental head should approve the candidate before he or she is found fit to be given an appointment letter. After recruitment, ensure that they are put through a rigorous training regime where they are taught everything about the company, its culture, and the products and services.
It would be best to monitor customer calls so that employees could be given appropriate feedback. Any signs of impolite behavior, use of improper language, making promises the company cannot keep or deviations from the rules, should immediately be brought to the notice of higher officials. Errant employees could be either given advice or warnings to avoid such behavior in the future. If the offence is grave, they could be given time for improvement and if they still do not act as required, appropriate action could be taken.
All calls should be recorded, evaluated, scored and given equal importance. This feedback should be shared with the customer service agents. Chats, emails and any other form of customer interaction must also be taken seriously and the agents should be given feedback and training on how they could correct their behavior when needed.
Managers, team leaders, and quality analysts could hold regular meetings to analyze how work is progressing. Drawbacks should be noted and ways to improve must be sought.
Sometimes, the business may not have the expertise to analyze and improve quality by itself. In such a situation, they could hire outsiders to gauge the existing situation and suggest ways to improve upon it. MIS experts could be brought in to prepare dashboards, performance metrics and KPI charts to make sure that the customer service division is on the right track. They would look at the functioning of the department, prepare reports and suggest steps for improvement. They might even train an in-house team to continue the work as their contracts come to a close.
Customer behavior could be analyzed and agents can be taught about how they can use this knowledge to serve customers better. Agents should be able to anticipate customer needs and problems. When technical expertise might be required to resolve the customer query, it must be ensured that such calls are routed to the staff member best suited to help the customer. Agents should be taught that the customer should not be kept on hold for a long time or made to wait for long to chat with an agent.
Ensure that agents are given training in all aspects of the business so that they do not give wrong answers to customers due to lack of knowledge. When new technology comes into the market, consider implementing this in the customer service call center. This way, agents could make use of them to remain competitive. The best practices that are followed in the industry can be rolled out at your business too.
Quality in customer service is undoubtedly important for all businesses, whether they are big or small. In fact, the bigger the business and its customer service division, the greater would be the challenges in implementing quality control. Many companies consider outsourcing their call center requirement to a specialist in the field to achieve high-quality standards. Whether customer service is conducted in-house or outsourced, businesses should ensure that the customer is the king, and every customer interaction should reiterate this fact.
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