Living in the digital age has definitely made most aspects of our lives much easier. Thanks to computers, many of the tedious and boring tasks we were forced to handle manually have been taken over through programming and automation. From a productivity standpoint, this technology has been a dream. Yet one specific area of business has always been more difficult to manage without the help of human employees: customer service. Our collective reliance on tech in the business world is causing customer service agents to forget critical interpersonal skills that make for excellent service, which is why every business should focus their training on finding a balance between human and digital services.
Having a personable and congenial customer service agent can be one of the keys for creating long lasting customer loyalty. While scripts and flowcharts are easy ways to ensure consistency with customer interactions, training agents to utilize their own personality makes business interactions feel less clinical. Customers like to interact with individuals, and not be made to feel like their call is just part of a routine. Training agents to incorporate their own personal touches in customer interactions can also make agents feel more comfortable in a professional environment, possibly leading to better job performance in the future.
Agent training should also focus on empathy and understanding. In the digital age, large companies can avoid distressing situations by letting self-service programs handle customer complaints. While this is convenient for the company, customers can often be left to fight for themselves when situations can’t easily be fixed with a few mouse-clicks. Having a customer service agent that can handle emotional customers with a true sense of care can make them feel valued. And customers that are appreciated are more likely to form long-lasting business relationships.
Having a deep understanding of company products and services is another key element to proper customer service training. Most companies have product descriptions and resources that can be found online, so customers do have the ability to answer some of their own questions through simple searches. However, if a customer happens to call an agent to ask a question, only to be put on hold, it gives the customer the impression that the agent isn’t knowledgeable. Business leaders should make sure that agents are experts in their areas, and should be able to answer most questions without hesitation. Not only does this make operations appear more professional, agents will save customers valuable time.
Businesses should be excited to use technology to support their customer service operations, but should always remember that these systems can’t completely replace human service. Ensuring customer service agents don’t rely too heavily on digital resources to meet customer demands is the easiest way to get the best of both worlds.
Edited by Maurice Nagle