Companies depend on their call centers to interact with leads, prospects and customers in ways that lead to growth. Sometimes, however, call centers fail to reach their potential because opportunities for data collection and cross-selling go unnoticed. Call center call guides can help.
Call guides provide scripts and helpful information that help agents say the right things and have the right answers as they interact with customers. As one of the most effective call center strategies, the use of call guides can result in high levels of customer satisfaction, the collection of marketable customer data and increased sales.
Defining Call Guides
A call center guide supplies standardized language that includes questions and talking points for agents to use while on a call. By relying on guides, new agents can quickly become effective in the call center without compromising the customer experience.
Guides can help in both inbound and outbound settings to provide a consistent experience and capitalize on leads. Additionally, call guides can ensure that agents accurately transmit important information for legal and regulatory compliance. For cold callers, call guides can help agents use get desirable results by consistently using proven tactics.
Although call guides offer many benefits, their use can present challenges. For instance, agents reading from guides might seem unnatural and cause callers to feel uncomfortable. Therefore, managers must make an effort to create customized call guides that are also flexible.
The Importance of Using Call Guides
Flexibility refers to the fact that call guides serve an instructional role that agents should regard as guidance for calls rather than as rigid requirements. In view of that role, agents should aim to speak naturally while covering the required material for every call. Call guides also streamline the collection of data by agents that can add value to the firm, regardless of whether the encounter results in a sale.
At the same time, guides can streamline calls by helping agents stay on topic and communicate efficiently. As a result, agents can quickly provide relevant information, reducing service time, without sacrificing call quality. Meanwhile, call guides help to ensure that conversations in the call center consistently reflect company values and achieve marketing objectives.
By following call guides, agents can quickly build rapport with customers and know exactly which cross- and up-selling opportunities to offer. Also, call guides can reduce the number of agent mistakes and thereby support an exceptional customer service.
Setting the Call Guide’s Objectives
Call guides offer the most value too the call center when managers prepare them with well-defined objectives in mind. To that end, they should divide the process into the following segments before writing down any questions.
Goals – Identify the intended audience for the call guide and whether the guide will be used for outbound or inbound calls. Next, spend time considering the probable thought patterns and attitudes of the targeted individual. Finally, define what agents should accomplish by using the guide.
Inputs – Managers must discover what data call center agents need and then make it available to them in an accessible format via call guides. Additionally, guides should define what data agents should collect from leads and customers. In the end, the inputs should have a design that adds value to both the call center and customers.
Agent capabilities – The skill level and experience of the agents that will use the guide will determine its level of detail. For example, newly hired agents will likely need considerably more information and structure than experienced agents. Generally speaking, each call guide should contain an appropriate balance of information and structure for each agent.
Outputs – Managers should design call guides with a clear idea of their desired outcomes. Similarly, the design of the guide should lend itself to analysis and reporting. Equally important is that call guides should take into account the perspectives of customers as well as call center agents.
Developing Call Guides
Companies that want to improve the performance of their call centers should realize that effective call guides require thoughtful and deliberate development. In other words, hasty preparation can lead to shoddy results. By using the following rules for call guide development, managers can develop high-quality call guides that support agents and their mission.
Use natural language
Call guides should reflect the tone and flow of a natural conversation so that agents can use them without sounding awkward.
Every call guide should include a reference section that provides them with the answers to common questions.
Use consistent messaging
Everything presented in the call guide should support the voice and values of the firm.
Role play can give managers a chance to identify and remedy flaws in call guides before they go into real-world us.
Call guides should include language that asks callers to take specific action as a result of their conversation.
Managers should periodically review call guides and revise them in the light of analytics data and agent feedback. Such revisions can result in ongoing call center improvements in terms of agent productivity and customer satisfaction.
Make them manageable
Call guides should use short paragraphs that agents eyes can easily scan to quickly find needed information.
Include openings and closings
Every call guide should include greetings to use at the start of a call and appropriate things to say at the end of a call.
Rather than force agents to limit the scope of a conversation, call guides should have provisions for every likely scenario. Consequently, the call guide should empower agents to expertly respond to customer concerns and overcome any objections.
Call guides give companies a way to make agents more productive in the call center environment while improving quality and efficiency. By setting well-defined objectives for call guides and by following the essential rules for call guide development, managers can create call guides that contain all the information that agents need to intelligently engage and inform callers. Ultimately, call guides provide a valuable framework that boosts efficiency and creates an outstanding customer experience.
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