Good communication skills are integral to establishing and maintaining a great relationship with your clients, and the onus is on your call center agents to deliver on this end.
That may be stating the obvious, but the English language has far too many nuances that there’s always room for improvement.
The thing is, delivering excellent customer experience on a consistent basis isn’t as easy as it sounds. But if you’re able to polish your agents’ communication skills effectively, half of the job is already done.
The following are tried-and-tested techniques you can use to improve your agents’ communication skills.
1. Hire the best possible communications trainer
By default, Philippine call center agents hire agents who have a good grasp of the English language.
Knowing your way around the language, however, is not enough.
An agent should be able to speak with an accent that native English speakers can easily understand.
Soft skills also need to be polished and honed so that agents can use the language in ways that can keep customers happy regardless of the issues they may have with the product or service.
By hiring a communications trainer who is well-versed with the best practices in communications training, your agents can be trained so that they can be easily understood and be able to connect with clients.
2. Provide agents with training materials and modules
Agents need to undergo a structured communications training so that they can improve their communication skills in a most comprehensive manner.
By providing them with good training materials and modules that they can use as guidelines, agents can receive the well-rounded training needed to communicate more effectively.
In addition, the training modules can serve as a reference agents can keep getting back to even if they’re already on the floor doing the actual work.
3. Put into effect the EOP (“English Only Policy”) rule
Most Philippine call centers are implementing the EOP (“English Only Policy”) to encourage agents to speak exclusively in English when communicating with their colleagues.
The principle behind the policy is to give call center agents more opportunities to practice speaking the English language.
One great thing about the “EOP” rule is that agents get to speak the language in casual conversations, which can do wonders in improving their soft skills.
4. Give agents ongoing product training
Call center agents who are not given enough opportunities to reacquaint themselves with product specific knowledge may end up losing confidence in the workplace.
When agents are unsure about certain procedures and facts about the business’s products, chances are he won’t be able to communicate clearly with customers.
As any life coach or communications expert will tell you, confidence is key to effective communication.
5. Give agents practical tips on how to improve their communication skills
If you can get your agents to commit to finding ways to improve their communication skills, they are more likely to deliver a positive experience to your clients more consistently.
What you can do is give them some practical advice and tips on how to hone their English skills faster. These tips include:
- Watching American films
- Reading books
- Thinking in English
- Speaking with someone in English regularly
By encouraging agents to do these things at every opportunity, you can foster an environment where communication skills are engaged and sharpened on an ongoing basis.
An organization that adopts a customer-centric approach to doing business has everything to gain. To pull this off, you have to ensure that your agents can communicate effectively.
By following the five tips mentioned above, customer satisfaction will be on the up-and-up, which will bode well for customer loyalty, and subsequently, your company’s bottom line.