Don't Train Your People to Be Customer Service Robots

Jun 18th 2015 at 4:20 AM

In this day and age of digital technology and other modern gizmos and systems, some customers may be starting to feel that customer service sucks because of over automation.

(I read a 'horror story' recently about one business recently who had their message receiving system set up like this :  “If you’re calling to leave a message, press 1.  If it’s about a quote, press 2. If you’re calling to ask for money, hang up!”)

If you’re one of the key people behind your company’s Australian sales training or call centre training it is critical your customer service reps don't sound like Darth Vader.

Who has not been a victim of a customer service agent mechanically reading from a script and not engaging with you as a customer

Here’s how not to be a customer service robot (Modify it in any way that will suit your company culture or circumstances, but you’ve got to have something similar to this in your customer service training) :

1) Begin with a script, but then, add your personality
No doubt there’s value in having some sort of a template to help customer service reps understand the important points to get across in a phone call.
But you can’t let the script be the “be-all and end-all” or you’d have your sales reps sounding cold and unfeeling leading to a very unpleasant experience for your customers.

If you’re involved in introducing sales training courses or call centre training in Sydney or around Australia, make sure you run them through a lot of scenarios until they feel comfortable.
Encourage your people to ad lib naturally what they need to say and not read the script word for word.

2) Engage your customers in a little bit of chitchat.

So it might increase your AHT (average handling time) but not doing so could cost you much more

Customers are human so Tracey them that way and engage in a 2 way conversation

Worse case scenario is it can help a distraught caller be calm leading to more positive results.

3) Invest in Conversational Sales Training.
One of the most common complaints of customers is that they can’t emotionally connect with the customer service reps.
This generally has to do with different expectations of their role

If you were hired as customer service rep Where do you start?  What’s going to be alright to talk about? How do you break the ice?
What questions should you ask?
What are the relevant benefits (not just features) of your products or services?

4) Make the call process simple.
Cut down the number of buttons customers have to press to reach a human being!

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