Your customer calls into your call center to ask a question. You answer the customer’s question, but then instead of hanging up, what if you asked them these questions: “Mr. Customer, while I have you on the phone, what exactly are you are trying to achieve? And how can I help?” By asking these simple questions, you have just demonstrated to the customer that you care, and would like to help them solve a problem, not just answer a question!
Be warned that this will definitely increase your agent’s talk time statistics, but we should all ask ourselves, what are we really trying to accomplish? Average talk time (ATT) and first call resolution (FCR) are important KPI’s in all call center metrics, but our ultimate goal should be to garner the role of a trusted advisor which not only improves the customer experience, but also builds loyalty.
If we take the time to understand the customer’s end goal, not just immediate need, we have the ability to increase their success and ultimately decrease their need for additional support. Being proactive versus reactive means we:
- Provide supporting materials – Release notes, technical articles, how-to video links, and white papers can be valuable resources.
- Make recommendations – Being a trusted advisor means you have the knowledge and courage to recommend software/firmware revisions and features that they should consider utilizing. Or equally important, software/firmware revisions and features they should avoid using and explain why.
- Offer best practice suggestions – Customers appreciate it when subject matter experts offer advice based on their own experience & knowledge.
In this day of digital, social and mobile technologies, more and more customers are moving to electronic based support. It is very important now more than ever to earn their trust and help them to become successful every time you have the opportunity.
At Extreme Networks, we pride ourselves in putting the customer first. We have been awarded six prestigious Stevie Awards in the past two years, and are finalists for four more again this year in recognition of our customer service & support. I look forward to attending the awards ceremony on February 21 in Las Vegas.
So, the next time you speak to a customer, don’t hang up and wait for them to call in again, be proactive and ask these questions, “Mr. Customer what exactly is it you are trying to achieve and how can I help?”