Problem Solving Skills: a Crucial Call Center Trait

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When you’re working in a call center, you never know what the deck is going to deal you. You may get the inquisitive customer, the customer seeking a solution, or even the fed up and angry customer. Equipping yourself with problem solving skills will help you avoid reaching the irate customer stage.

First: Define the Problem

Listen first. When a customer calls, the first thing he or she wants is to be listened to and understood. Make every effort not to interrupt until you know your customer has finished explaining the situation. The only time it’s acceptable to interrupt a caller is when you’re not the right person to handle the caller’s request. This first stage is meant to help you gather the facts.

Second: Isolate the Problem

Once your customer has explained the situation, use open and closed questions to confirm your understanding.

Use open questions at the beginning of the call when you want a full explanation.

Use closed questions when you’re clarifying what your customer has said.

While you want to meet every customer’s expectations quickly, this is not the stage to rush. Avoid misunderstandings by taking the time to question, clarify, and confirm your understanding.

Third: Resolve the Problem

In the best situation, the problem is something for which you have an answer or solution. If you need to do additional research to help the caller, let the caller know what to expect. Will you call them back in an hour? In a day? Be sure to follow through, even if you don’t have the answer yet. The most important part of this stage is to keep customers informed.

Issues occur in any job. What’s important is to understand how to navigate through those issues to reach a resolution and the ultimate goal: satisfied customers.

Photo courtesy of Gillian Maniscalco

Republished with author's permission from original post.

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