Agent-client Communication, Can Your Staff Achieve It?

NOVEMBER 2013

Communication skills are matters of the outmost importance when hiring a staff for call and contact centers. Therefore, it is convenient to develop constant courses aimed at promoting the enhancement of staff’s agent-client communication skills, given that they are of infinitely more advantage than they are generally thought to be. The features described hereunder have been acknowledged as key factors within agent client communication skills by the contact center industry.

Message Clarity

Agents must provide clients with objective information, i.e. they must avoid using words or phrases that can be subjectively construed. Constant work enables people to increasingly improve their skills, hence it is important to periodically schedule courses aimed at promoting the development and enhancement of communication skills among agents.

Assertiveness

A person is said to be assertive if he/she defends his/her ideas while respecting those of others. Assertiveness is not a matter of coincidence, but rather of practice. Therefore, it is ideal to include said feature within agents training in order to achieve better internal and external results. Assertiveness is especially important to debt collection contact centers, since a client that is upset for he/she was disrespected by an agent during a call can cause several problems and hinder the fulfillment of said contact centers’ goals, thus an agent that exercises his/her right to collect payments while respecting clients’ ideas can, in most of the cases, deliver better results.

Telephone Etiquette

Telephone etiquette is a key factor that every contact center must take into account for it comprises all the customer friendliness policies set forth by a company. Recommendations verbally made to agents during their hiring and training processes must not be taken for granted; they have to be established in writing and included in a manual or any consultation document. Furthermore, they have to be displayed (either in agents’ computers or next to agents’ telephones) so that all agents, especially those who have been recently hired, are aware of the customer friendliness policies that the company expects them to meet when communicating with both current and prospective clients.

Noise control

This is one of the most important features within a contact center, given that all agents speak at the same time. Experienced agents have developed the ability to ignore contact centers’ noise and concentrate on calls handling. However, during training courses and calls that require special attention (for instance), it could be convenient to create areas within contact centers’ floors so as to somehow separate agents and isolate them from noise, whereupon they will be enabled to focus on their job at all times.

Training

Although training courses are not part of the communication process per se, they are means through which managers can set forth the message to be delivered and the method to be followed by agents. Within said courses it is necessary to standardize customer service processes so that every agent provides clients with the exact same information. Besides, by standardizing processes, managers can develop mechanisms through which they can identify whether agents are complying with the contact center’s information policies or not.

Technology on your side

In order for an effective customer interaction to take place, both your clients and you need to be clearly heard when speaking through the phone. A comprehensive call distribution system that enables agents to communicate with clients and provides a high-quality audio can led to a successful customer interaction, given that agents can only focus on calls handling.

The lack of any of the aforesaid elements constitutes an obstacle to an effective agent client communication. By means of a system that enables real-time monitoring and hearing agents’ calls so as to assess their performance, managers can verify whether agents are meeting the communication process required or not.

 

CenterWare Xion

Our suite CenterWare Xion provides you with the opportunity to make stable calls with high-quality audio, whereby agents will be enabled to concentrate in communicating with clients, rather than in fixing technical problems. AgentRia is a system from which agents benefit, given that it is easy to use and enables them to set ‘marks’ in calls recordings so as to stress important parts within clients’ conversation. Through said recordings agents, supervisors, and quality departments can control information better, since they can look them up in the AVRS system at all times.