There are many things an agent can say to customers unknowingly or unintentionally that may be perceived as condescending, disrespectful, or impolite. Such conversational nuances instantly destroy customer experience and call center agents should always go above and beyond to avoid these conversational subtleties.
According to a customer behavior study, more than 70% of customers stopped doing business with a certain company, if they felt like the said company was treating them rudely or with indifference. The worst thing about such issues is that the calling agent usually never realize the misperception during their conversations.
In this article, we shall discuss a few call center best practices that agent should never say to a customer.
1. Implying That the Customer is Wrong
Call center agents must never imply that the customer is wrong. Off course they can be wrong, but agents should never confront the customers, straightforward about their wrongness. Instead of confronting the customer, call center agents should work around the conversation and provide the customer with a satisfactory solution or answer. Never use words like “you’re wrong” or “you’re mistaken”, rather simply correct the customer by providing the answer as your own opinion.
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2. Never Say I Can’t Do That or I Won’t
Many customers calling in will sometimes ask or insist on performing a task that the attending agent is not authorized to perform. In such cases, agents should never use terms like “I’m not allowed to do that”, “I can’t do that”, or “I won’t”. Instead, they should spin the conversation around to let the customer know what they can do for them.
How the agent does that, depends completely on the type of query and conversation already taking place with the customer. Another great workaround for such conversational issues is to provide alternative solutions that lead the customer to a satisfactory answer or solution.
3. Always Seem Concerned
More often than not, customers will call in and start to pour down on the agent with complaints. Such customer conversations might lead the agent to issues that have nothing to do with the agent or their business. In such cases, never imply to the customer that you are not concerned about their issue. Never use terms like “why would I care about that?” or “that has nothing to do with me”. The best course of action is such cases is to bring the customer and the conversation back to the actual issue and suggest alternative solutions.
4. Don’t Blame Anyone Else
Whenever customers call in, they just want their issues or queries to be addressed as quickly and easily as possible. They are usually the least bit concerned about who and what caused the issue in the first place. In such cases, instead of using terms like “it’s not my fault” or “the fault is not from our end” agents should guide the conversation by first agreeing with the customer and then offering alternative solutions or workarounds to the customer, leading them to a satisfactory solution or answer.
5. Never Seem Complacent
Being perceived as complacent is a sure and quick way to sabotage customer experience for call center employees. If a customer calls in with an issue or query which has nothing to do with the business, or there is nothing else that can be done to address or mitigate said issue or query, the last thing an agent should say are terms like “You’re out of luck” or “that’s just the way the cookie crumbles”.
In such situations, the agent preferably should first sympathize with the customer and then let them know about alternative solutions or answers. After all, a little empathy goes a long way, even in the call center industry.
Usually, most customer-facing employees, especially in the call center industry don’t even realize when they use a term, phrase, or tone which offends the customer calling in. And the worst part is that most customers won’t even tell them they were offended and will instead simply stop doing business with the associated organization. However, the 5 points mentioned above, if needed, shall result in better customer engagement and experience.
Let us know in the comments below if we missed anything, or if you have other experiences.