Sounding authentic when receiving a customer call is important for bilingual agents. Once callers notice that brand representatives sound uninterested and seem uninvolved with the work they do, they will feel burdened and unappreciated. This compromises the quality of customer experience that you, as a brand, are capable of providing.
As members of your organization, call center agents should embody the identity that you want to project to customers. This, however, can be quite difficult because most of their tasks depend on device-mediated interactions such as phone calls,.
Furthermore, one thing that adds to the challenge is that your bilingual call center deals with customers coming from different cultural backgrounds. This is another factor that may prevent agents from successfully connecting with them on an emotional level.
Below, we compiled some tips that brand managers can use in call center training to make agents sound more authentic and sincere.
1. Train agents to use the customer’s name.
Connecting with customers on a personal level doesn’t mean that agents have to know their hobbies and interests. Simply using their first name during a phone call can make a difference. Doing so will tell customers that the agent is completely paying attention to them and to what they say.
Call center agents should also respond to any personal information offered during the transaction, even if it’s something irrelevant to the issues being discussed. They don’t have to shift the conversation to an entirely different direction, but briefly and politely responding to these bits of information will make customers feel that agents do care about them.
2. As much as possible, don’t prescribe a script.
Call scripting is a common customer service practice. It’s especially useful when agents have to explain complicated processes or when a complaint repeatedly comes up. However, this can make them sound like robots, and customers don’t like that. A preferable alternative to scripts are outlines. This way, agents are free to use their own words to convey the message, thus preventing them from sounding stiff or unemotional.
3. Don’t rush agents into coming up with a solution.
In other words, don’t make average handling time a performance metric. The danger in doing so is that agents would focus on accepting more calls and resolving more complaints in the shortest amount of time possible. This would take their attention away from rendering a great customer experience for their callers.
4. Encourage agents to use verbal cues to indicate that they’re listening.
Without eye contact and body language, it’s difficult to show customers that you’re paying attention to them. That’s where the use of verbal cues such as “okay” and “ahh” along with brief prompts such as “And then?” comes in.
While call center agents try to eliminate these expressions because they may sound unprofessional at times, these verbal cues are useful to demonstrate the agents’ involvement.
5. Allow agents to rest a little after a call.
Accepting calls after calls can be mentally exhausting especially if agents are dealing with complicated issues and talking to frustrated customers. Allowing them to take even just a one-minute pause after a call can help them recharge just in time for the next customer transaction.