Archive for February, 2010

Why the Customer is Always Right

Everyone has heard the saying, the customer is always right. But is it really true? For staff working in a call center, often the customer can be clearly in the wrong.

Maybe they have been late paying their phone bill, or have failed to update their address on their accounts and as a result not received a statement. A common problem is for customers to fail to pay their bills on time, and to find their services cut off, or a reminder form letter sent in the mail.

The call center agent is the first to hear from such a customer. The customer’s sense of injury is immense, even though technically speaking they may be in the wrong.

When the Customer is Technically in the Wrong

Here is a typical example of where the customer is technically in the wrong.

A credit card holder forgets to make a payment on their credit card. It’s been a hectic month. A sudden family illness has compounded problems. As a result of the non-payment, a block has been placed on the credit card. The block was only discovered when the customer’s card was declined at the head of a very long line at the supermarket, with $300 dollars worth of groceries in a trolley ready to go – the family’s food for the week.

The customer, besides being completely embarrassed with a long queue of impatient people looking disapprovingly on, had to forgo her purchase and leave the supermarket utterly humiliated.

In a furious mood, the customer calls the credit card company demanding an explanation for her humiliation. It is now the call center agent’s job to deliver the bad news. However, looking through the customer’s account, the agent feels entirely comfortable answering the call, as it is clear that a payment is missing on the account. The customer even admits, after a moment’s reflection, that she did indeed miss the bill.

Nonetheless, that is not important, as the customer goes on to highlight the indignity she suffered at the supermarket checkout. She then scoffs that the payment required was small, and considers it outrageous that her card should be blocked. Especially since she’s been with the credit company for over ten years. Doesn’t customer loyalty count for anything these days?

The Wrong Way to Respond to an Upset Customer

In this situation, it is tempting for the agent to respond in a technical, legalistic manner. The agent may say, “Mrs Smith, you missed your payment, therefore your account was clearly in arrears. If you disagree, refer to your conditions of use booklet. You’ll find it written clearly in chapter 5, subsection 2a. All accounts that are in default are immediately blocked. Have a nice day!”

Of course, technically the company employee is right. Yet the bulk of the call is dealing not so much with technical issues, as with emotional states of mind. The customer is clearly shaken and upset at her embarrassment in the store. She feels humiliated, and her feelings are real. The lesson here is: the customer’s emotions are always right.

How the Agent Should Respond to an Upset Customer

The best way to respond to this customer is to immediately address her emotional state. Her anger, frustration and feelings of humiliation are the most pressing points demanding attention. The last thing the customer wants to hear is nitpicking over what the company’s legal department has written in their conditions of use booklet.

The call center agent, after they have explained the problem to the customer, should immediately offer their consolations for the embarrassment that has been experienced. If possible, the agent can even relate a similar experience that has happened to them.

For example, the agent could say, “Oh, yes, I know. It’s awful to be in a line full of people when your card is rejected. It happened only recently to me and I could have died with all those people staring at me. So yes, I certainly know what you’re talking about.”

The customer will now feel like they’ve been listened to and their embarrassment understood. Once a rapport has been built, the agent can explain why the business blocks cards and make arrangements for the missing payment to be made.

The Customer is Always Right – Emotionally

The key to successfully dealing with customers is to remember that while they may not be technically right all the time, their emotional responses always are. If a customer is angry or upset, these are not feelings that are being made up. They are real, and must be responded to with understanding and empathy.

Once the customer feels that their feelings have been validated and understood, then the agent can explain the technical problems that have arisen on their accounts.

Get Quality Offshore Call Center Services

Today, India has become the outsourcing hub of the world. As more organizations understand the importance of focusing on their core competencies, they are turning to Indian offshore call center providers to manage their critical but non-core processes. This strategy helps them strengthen their brands and better manage their reactions to changing market dynamics.

Indian call centers offer a wide range of services that suit diverse customer needs. Whether you want to offshore the handling of customer inquiry calls or are looking for a call center that acts as a technical helpdesk, Indian call center companies can provide a solution that takes care of your exact needs. With their focus on putting customers first, Indian call centers have made India a front-runner in the global outsourcing arena.

India – The ideal outsourcing location

India has extensive experience of working with diverse customers in different industries. Corporate giants in the United States, Europe, and Japan as well as many Fortune 500 companies are leveraging the expertise of Indian service providers to minimize costs without compromising on quality.

Offshore call center outsourcing to India offers the following benefits:-

> Time zone advantages – The difference in time zones between India and countries like the U.S. and U.K. makes India a great option for companies looking to provide their end customers with 24×7 customer support or helpdesk services

> A vast English-speaking population – India has a large pool of English-speaking professionals that can provide first-time resolution for customer calls

> Favorable government policies – The Government of India’s favorable policies have supported the growth of the IT enabled services (ITES) industry. Some of the positive steps taken by the government to underline this commitment are:

>> A separate Ministry of Information Technology was set up to expedite swift approval and implementation of IT projects and to streamline the regulatory process

>> Software Technology Parks (STPs) with state-of-the-art IT infrastructure and telecom facilities have been established. They provide a “single window clearance” for all regulatory compliance issues

>> 100% foreign ownership is permitted in the ITES industry unlike other sectors where foreign ownership is restricted

> Effective communication networks – Because of privatization and a drastic reduction in the tariff of basic telecom, cellular, and internet services, India enjoys an infrastructural advantage like never before. Global companies can leverage this to their advantage

> Access to leading practices – Indian offshore call center providers have the capability to provide a range of offshore call center services since they have exposure to working with clients in many different industries. They can give companies access to a specialized knowledge base

> Better resource allocation – Leveraging the expertise of Indian offshore call centers can help a company shift its focus from transactional activities and reporting to value-added business analysis

In this way, India has many advantages that help its offshore call centers provide cost-effective solutions to global organizations.

What can you outsource to India?

Indian offshore call centers provide a wide range of services, which can be customized to meet your unique requirements. These include:

Phone support services

Customer service

Pre-sales, post-sales, and order fulfillment

Technical support

Credit management services

Verification services

Telemarketing services

Email support services

Chat support services

Disaster recovery services

In this way, depending on your particular requirements, an offshore call center in India can provide a variety of solutions.

Telemarketing and How Can Make it Successful?

Telemarketing service has been around for a long time, but in the recent years it has been increasing demand. India especially has suddenly become a hub for telemarketing jobs. Not even local products, lots of products across the globe are being outsourced for telemarketing in India.

Telemarketers can work in a variety of ways. In most of the cases job of Telemarketing agents involve calling to the people and spreading awareness of the products and services, and confirm sales deal on phone.

Outbound Telemarketing jobs require the executive to make outgoing calls using a ‘script’ prepared by the management, aiming to sale products and services. For each agent it is very important to know the telemarketing script proper to make customer interaction more healthy sale oriented.

The Telemarketing agents have a strict schedule to follow and they need to make a certain number of calls within a fixed period of time. This requires for any TeleCaller to keep the calls as short as possible.

Telemarketing is not easy task and if you really want to make Telemarketing project successful then it is very important that you have well qualified telemarketing executive. As speaking is a skill and there are certain techniques that have to be practiced by agent in order to achieve desire results and to be a successful telemarketing call center. Motivation also plays very important role and is the key to successful telemarketing. So always try to keep you staff motivated. Motivation can determine whether or not a telemarketer speaks in a professional manner with customers.

One of the vital parts of telemarketing is that each call center agent should be very well aware about call format, from starting to end and flow of call should be very effective through the customer conversation. Call format should be in below format and it is very important for call center agent that he or she should follow each point properly so that they can generate more sales.

Call Format –

1. Introduction

2. Description of the product

3. Price details of product

4. The value and features of the product

5. How to order the product

6. The closing of the sales

Telemarketing executives need to show very professional attitude during the customer interaction as customers will never have to deal with an agent that displays a poor attitude because they know that the key to success is professionalism and information.