This article was first published on the FCR blog on March 28, 2017. Click here to read the original.
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I recently had the opportunity to spend some time with one of our customer service teams — one where we’re actively working to improve their customer satisfaction (CSAT). As a part of the initiative, I “side-jacked” with Angela, one of the stars on the team who consistently achieves high CSAT marks from customers. For those of you who don’t know, “side-jacking” is contact center code for adding a splitter device to an agent’s headset so another person can listen in on their phone calls.
As I listened to a few of Angela’s calls, it became very evident that her high CSAT is no fluke. I should also note up front that it’s not like she was handing out a bunch of free stuff to customers or asking them to complete a survey at the end of the call in order to earn these high marks. In fact, not once did she even mention a survey.
Angela does, however, have a very clear customer service style — one that can be emulated for those who are interested in having the same effect with their customers. Here are five behaviors I observed.
1. Angela speaks in the brand voice
As Angela gains understanding of the customer’s issue, she’s a master at then finding the appropriate knowledge article or macro in the company’s ticketing system. This particular client has very well-written macros with a clear, consistent voice and style. She doesn’t use these as scripts but instead as a reference point so the information she gives customers is consistent and correct. The other thing Angela does with those macros is to adapt some of the fun catch phrases into her own speaking style. As she delivers those phrases, they are natural, fun, from the heart, and don’t come off as scripted.
Pro tip: Establish your brand voice and use it consistently in every communication with your customers from marketing to customer service.
2. Angela uses partnering language
During the phone conversations, there were a number of moments where customers were trying to gain a better understanding of the product and figure out how they wanted to use it. In those situations, Angela used phrases like, “We really want to find a way to work with you on this” or “We’d love to join with you.” This is a great way to make customers really feel like you’re on their side.
Pro tip: Partnering with customers and advocating for what’s best for them helps them let their guard down and builds trust.
3. Angela uses (and loves) the product she’s supporting
One of the most powerful aspects of Angela’s style is the way she clearly demonstrates her love for the product she’s supporting. She’s actually a paying customer herself and a happy one at that. Speaking from this position, her confidence in the product and how to use it shines through to customers.
Pro tip: Make it easy for your agents to use (and afford) your product. The added confidence makes their customer service better.
4. Angela is focused
I noticed that Angela only really has to navigate between two windows on her computer during each call. Her phone app is integrated into the ticketing system so a case is created automatically when the call begins and she can write her notes and reference macros within that case. The only other window she has to visit is the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool where she manages the customer’s account.
Pro tip: Minimize the number of windows your agents need to have open in order to assist customers, allowing them to listen and focus on the customer.
5. Angela is consistent
The final thing that’s crystal clear about Angela is that she’s consistent on each call. Sure, the issues are different from call to call but her approach is absolutely the same. This ultimately is the reason her CSAT marks are consistently high.
Pro tip: Consistency is the real magic behind all great customer service.
As leaders, observing your agents firsthand as they serve customers is a vital activity for improving the quality of your customer service. As you sit next to some of your CSAT stars, you may just learn a best practice or two that you can share with the rest of your team. I know Angela taught me a few.