How call centers in the Philippines improve agents' listening skills

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Effective listening is very important in any customer service team since it directly influences the success of communicating a concern. Call centers in the Philippines know that when agents are effective listeners, customers are more likely to feel acknowledged. This also leads to better cooperation and reduced misunderstanding between the two key players of the communication cycle.

Therefore, it is important that effective listening behaviors are not only encouraged in call centers, but also monitored and enhanced among agents. With proper training, listening is a skill that can be developed and polished. Here are some ways how you can train agents to be effective listeners:

1.   Explain to your agents the effects of listening carefully to customers, including how it encourages them to be more open and cooperative. Emphasize how effective listening will enable them to detect the core concern of the customer and respond to it in a more efficient and prompt manner.

2.   Engage the agents in regular communication development training sessions. There are limitless training practices that can be employed such as using scenarios depicting poor listening behaviors and asking them how it can be done otherwise.

3.   Train team leaders to effectively monitor live calls and assess the listening behaviors of the agents. Team leaders must be effective listeners as well to serve as role models to their members.

4.   Provide them with an immediate and comprehensive feedback that they can use constructively. Call monitoring will only be effective when agents take an active role in making the needed change in their call handling techniques.

5.   Include call handling and call quality assessments in your monthly or annual review or report. By setting these as key performance metrics, the whole team becomes more motivated to perform better in those aspects.

6.   Include call assessment questions about the listening behavior of agents in post-call surveys. Customers are your best judge since it's their satisfaction you want to meet.

7.   Acknowledge effective listening behaviors through rewards or verbal affirmations. Your agents must know that their efforts in becoming better agents are appreciated by the management.

8.   Assess all customer service processes and technologies used by your agents. Oftentimes, communication problems or barriers may stem from a problematic phone system or rigid call flow procedures. Be on the lookout for distracting elements in the agents' stations as well.

Agents who are effective listeners can give a better call experience to customers, making them more satisfied. These agents will help businesses promote positive brand images, leading to customer loyalty. By following these steps, you can turn your workforce into a key driver for customer service success.

Open Access BPO is an outsourcing firm in the Philippines that specializes in providing rigorous yet effective training to its call center agents. We help our clients reach out to their customer base effectively by constantly improving the communication skills of agents. Know more about our voice solutions by visiting our website and Google+ page.