When people call your business looking for a solution to their problem, they’re taking time out of their busy day to reach out with the hope your company can help.
More important than the solution you offer, however, is how you offer it. Are you running through a list of scripted questions in a dry, impersonal tone? Or are you communicating compassionately and addressing each issue with the attentiveness customers deserve and desire?
By solving customer problems with warmth and consideration, you not only brighten their day, but also leave a memorable impression of the call and the company as a whole.
In this article, we’ll explain how to make customer interactions a memorable experience with our detailed customer interaction checklist.
10-Point Customer Interaction Checklist
How do you make customer interactions a memorable experience? The key lies in inspiring meaningful and positive experiences for your customers. Learn more in this 10-point customer interaction checklist.
1. Have a Real Conversation
To win customers’ hearts, customer service agents should steer conversations beyond small talk and communicate with the same enthusiasm they have when talking to an old friend.
This is where active listening and context clues can help. If you hear a baby crying in the background, you could ask how old their baby is or how many kids the caller has.
That said, your attempts at a conversation shouldn’t distract from the matter at hand. This conversational approach simply puts the caller at ease, so they have a more positive interaction.
2. Understand the Customer’s Motivations
Why is the customer using your product in the first place? Always make it a priority to understand their motivations and intentions.
Representatives should ask questions about the customer’s reasons for calling. What are they hoping to use the product for? How has the product helped them in the past? What went wrong?
The answers to these questions can give you the context to better assist.
3. Practice Active Listening
Customer service agents often have to juggle multiple calls at the same time. But whenever you talk to a customer, try to give them your complete, undivided attention.
Don’t be afraid to ask clarifying questions when necessary. While it may take longer to work toward a solution, clarifying questions will help identify the caller’s true crux. If it helps, jot down notes during the call about discussion points you may want to return to.
Avoid interrupting callers. Active listening leaves enough room for the caller to finish their thoughts. Callers will likely feel more comfortable and satisfied with their experience if your agents do that.
4. Assign Agents That Know the Product
When working on a new brand or servicing a new product, it’s best if you know about the product. It’s much easier to have a passionate and invigorating conversation about something if you know what you’re talking about. Agents can feed off their enthusiasm and bring that eagerness into the conversation.
This can even lead to quicker remediation because instead of needing to consult instruction manuals and company scripts, you can give the caller advice from personal experiences.
5. Respond to Calls Quickly
No one likes long call wait times. Of course, with ongoing labor shortages within the industry, it can be challenging to meet the demand of your BPO’s call volume. That’s when a call forecasting system can be your greatest asset.
Validate your workforce management (WFM) forecasting system by assessing historical trends. Taking this step can ensure proper staffing based on expected call volumes. Partnering with an outsourced BPO service can also allow a call center to handle higher volumes without overwhelming agents.
6. Empathize and Read the Room
Each caller has unique needs and perspectives. What may work for one caller can be off-putting to another. It’s important to “read the room” when a call starts. Does the caller seem agitated and impatient? Or do they seem to be in a good mood?
How to best empathize with a caller? The easiest way is to put yourself in their shoes. How would you feel if you were in their situation? How would you like to be treated?
While you will need to alter your approach to suit the mood and needs of each caller, you’ll also need to remain cordial and professional at all times.
7. Embrace Customer Complaints
When handled properly, customer complaints can be a goldmine of opportunity.
The next time a customer points out an issue with a process or product, ask the customer what they would do to fix their problem instead of offering a myriad of solutions. Chances are good that they’ll have a few ideas.
By turning over responsibility to the customer, you’ll help them feel heard. Better yet, if you do what they suggest, they’ll feel empowered for having helped to solve the problem.
8. Follow Up When Needed
Some issues will take multiple calls to resolve. While it’s not always ideal to leave a call with unresolved issues, sometimes more information is needed before agents can solve the problem.
Before completing the call, check with the customer about the best way to follow up. They may prefer email, text, or instant messaging instead of communication over the phone.
But even if you resolve the issue within the original call, you may wish to follow up anyway to see if the caller has had any recent issues or to see how well the solution is working.
9. Frequently Assess Agent Performance
Customer service quality assurance can better prepare you with the toolkit you need to inspire memorable connections with callers. Have your managers check in with you weekly. This shouldn’t be an intimidating meeting, as it can be an opportunity to voice your opinions honestly.
These QA meetings should do two things:
- Evaluate the overall performance and quality of your calls.
- Identify a single teaching point where you could improve.
In truth, it’s difficult to know exactly how you can improve your own performance without an outside perspective. That’s why managers are such a useful resource—they have the experience to help you recognize what does and doesn’t work.
As the weeks go on, you will continuously improve your call-handling skills while becoming more confident. This can result in happier callers since you are better equipped to handle their problems.
10. Establish a Model of Excellence
Once you’ve developed a process for outstanding caller experiences, establish a model of excellence. You may use the points of this list to create that model, or you may pull from personal experience. Keep this model of excellence at the top of your mind when making any future calls—you may keep some bullet points at your desk that you can refer to
This customer interaction checklist can serve as a helpful starting point for making customer interactions memorable. Ultimately, callers will need to hone their communication skills. Customer service roles require listening actively, remaining empathetic, and controlling emotions. These skills take practice, but they’re worth strengthening because they can help customers end calls feeling happy. This customer interaction checklist can serve as a helpful starting point for making customer interactions memorable.
Empower Your Agents to Deliver a Memorable Customer Experience
Interactions with your brand often begin and end with your customer service department. You should know how to make customer interactions a memorable experience for happier customers and a healthy business ROI.
For help with customer service or complete Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), contact ClearSource.