3 C’s of Accurate Documentation

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As front­lin­ers in cus­tomer sup­port and/or after-sales ser­vice, we endeavor to equip call cen­ter agents with as much knowl­edge and com­pe­tence as pos­si­ble for them to respond and resolve issues and con­cerns at their level. All of it boils down to tick­ing the boxes in all the impor­tant met­rics, higher cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion, lower cost, and ulti­mately a hap­pier bottom-line.

There are sit­u­a­tions, how­ever, when agents will be con­fronted with unique, some­times dif­fi­cult ques­tions that they may not imme­di­ately have the answers for. Some prob­lems and con­cerns are sim­ply beyond their com­pe­tence, exper­tise, or author­ity to resolve.

In those instances, we want our call cen­ter agents to still com­pe­tently han­dle the sit­u­a­tion. Not by sim­ply recit­ing their scripts, say­ing that they will refer the caller to the proper per­son to respond, or by leav­ing a promise for a call back. We want who­ever will han­dle the prob­lem, or whomever the buck stops at, to be armed with all the impor­tant infor­ma­tion. If the agent and the cus­tomer have already dis­cussed the prob­lem lengthily, hav­ing the cus­tomer repeat a nar­ra­tion or descrip­tion of a prob­lem twice or more is a sure-fire way to cre­ate dis­sat­is­fied, if not angry, customers.

One impor­tant skill that call cen­ter agents need to be pro­fi­cient on is doc­u­ment­ing the call. This is to ensure that when the call is trans­ferred, or endorsed to the per­son who is qual­i­fied to respond, the cus­tomer will not be both­ered with hav­ing to repeat him­self as if he’s mak­ing the call for the first time.

Here are the 3 C’s of accu­rate doc­u­men­ta­tion that we should add to our agents’ check­list of nec­es­sary skills. Doc­u­men­ta­tion impacts many of the impor­tant met­rics, includ­ing FCR, and TTR or time to resolution.

The 3 C’s of accu­rate documentation:

  1. Be Clear. The first step in any prob­lem solv­ing is iden­ti­fy­ing the prob­lem and writ­ing it down as a prob­lem state­ment. What EXACTLY does the cus­tomer want? Why is he call­ing? Is he com­plain­ing about some­thing? Is he ask­ing a ques­tion? Does he want to be guided on a step– –by-step how-to in set­ting up or using a prod­uct? Before clos­ing the call, make sure the agent has sum­ma­rized the impor­tant issues raised in the call. Only when it is clear what we can do for our cus­tomers can we come up with the appro­pri­ate response for them.
  2. Be Con­cise. Note-taking while lis­ten­ing and speak­ing to some­one on the phone may mean writ­ing in phrases. That is OK as long as the impor­tant key­words are iden­ti­fied. Train agents to use action words when appro­pri­ate to clearly state what the cus­tomer wants and expects the com­pany to do.
  3. Be Com­plete. Some prob­lems are usu­ally con­nected because per­haps one causes the other. In this case, it is always good prac­tice to be one step ahead and offer infor­ma­tion that may be optional, but might be use­ful to a cus­tomer in the future. This will pre­empt a future call of the same nature—saving time, resources, and one dis­sat­is­fied customer.

Call Cen­ter Agents may be likened to first respon­ders in a med­ical emer­gency. Hav­ing the basic know-how is essen­tial but equally impor­tant is being able to ask the right ques­tions, to iden­tify what needs to be done, and prop­erly relay CLEAR, CONCISE and COMPLETE infor­ma­tion to a qual­i­fied med­ical pro­fes­sional when it arrives. Often­times, the wrong infor­ma­tion can have grave consequences.

Viewed from a cus­tomer ser­vice per­spec­tive, call cen­ter agents as first respon­ders can very well spell the dif­fer­ence between “life and death” of cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion. Aside from hav­ing the com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills and basic know-how, proper doc­u­men­ta­tion of an impor­tant call can spell the dif­fer­ence between yay or nay.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jodi Beuder
We help organizations create a positive connection between customers and brands. We promote synergy through integration as it builds on the decades of collective history of renowned expertise. MHI Global is your comprehensive source for customer-management excellence solutions to compete in today's ever-changing, customer-centric environment.

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