5 Phone faux pas every call center in the Philippines must avoid

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Proper phone etiquette is important in delivering excellent customer service. Since agents are usually the first and only point of contact for customers to reach companies, every call center in the Philippines must then train agents to be courteous over the phone.

It may seem like basic knowledge for most agents to not chew on anything or avoid yawning while on a customer service call, but for some people, constant reminder must still be imposed to ensure quality call handling.

Here are five mistakes call center agents and supervisors must avoid at all costs when interacting with customers over the phone:

1.   Avoid sounding robotic or bored

The tone of voice can give away the agent's enthusiasm or the lack of it. A customer must feel special by knowing that the attending agent is genuinely willing to help him or her. Before picking up a call, try putting a smile on your face. Lastly, even when following a script, agents must still bring life to the conversation by injecting quick responses and not sounding too robotic.

2.   Do not address customers personally

Unless asked otherwise, be formal in referring to the customer by using "Mister" or "Miss" followed by his or her last name. Even if the customer asks you to address him or her informally, do not create a nickname variant out of his name (e.g. Sammy for Samantha or Joe for Joseph). Formally addressing a customer may denote respect and can make a good impression.

3.   Do not put anything in your mouth while on the phone

It is common for a call center in the Philippines to implement a "no food at production floor" rule, but some agents need to be reminded about the rationale behind the policy. The headsets used by agents can pick up any noise coming from the mouth, including chewing sounds, which could be unpleasant for the customer to hear. For this, nail biting, gum chewing, smoking, and eating should be prohibited while on shift.

4.   Do not engage in personal conversations with others

All conversations, especially if not related to work, must be limited to a degree that does not distract other agents on the floor. Customers on the phone may overhear this and can find it offensive. Worse, they may think that the agents are not giving them full attention and can lead them to thinking that the company lacks professionalism.

5.   Do not use informal or offensive language

Even if the customer uses slang or becomes offensive, agents must be trained to maintain professionalism at all times. Emotions must be set aside when dealing with an irate customer, and agents must take note that proper demeanor is key to cooling things off. When words addressed to the customer convey respect, the customer will more likely shift to a calmer mood.

Ensuring positive interaction with a customer increases the chances of the company to have more loyal customers. Training agents with proper phone etiquette can go miles in setting an image of trustworthiness and professionalism for the company. When quality customer service is given, the company's success is guaranteed.

Open Access BPO specializes in providing rigorous and effective training to its call center agents. This includes equipping each representative with proper phone etiquette to ensure quality customer service. Know more about our unique practices by visiting our website and Google+ page.