Call quality is an integral part of customer service. Customers call to ask questions, buy products and get help. However, just having the right products and services available to consumers isn’t enough. Call quality often affects customers’ opinion of the business and their call experience.
Call quality refers to the performance of a customer-facing representative during a telephone conversation. High call quality ensures that customers receive what they are looking for and are satisfied with your services! Learning how to improve call quality is essential for providing excellent customer service.
Factors that affect call quality
There are many factors that affect call quality in customer service. Let’s look at 10 important factors that impact call quality.
Customer service representatives should be familiar with the tools they use to provide efficient phone service. They should understand how each tool works and be able to use it quickly and efficiently. By using the best technology available, agents will be more productive in their jobs while simultaneously providing higher-quality customer service.
2. Training & Procedures
Customer service staff need proper training before taking calls from customers to ensure optimal call quality. Reps should know how to handle various types of complaints, whether it’s billing errors or lost packages. If there are procedures in place for common issues, callers will receive quick resolutions to their problems.
Poor acoustics in an office can lead to bad sound quality on phone calls because of echoes and distractions. Problems with acoustics can be addressed either by using a quieter workspace, repositioning equipment, or by using noise-canceling headsets that filter out background noise. Keeping the office clean and comfortable will help staff feel more relaxed during their call, which also increases call quality.
The customer service representative’s attitude is one of the most important factors that affect call quality. Agents should always be friendly, professional, and polite with interacting with customers on the phone. They should be able to get callers the information they need in a timely manner while also trying to resolve issues to customers’ satisfaction.
5. Tone of Voice
Callers will listen attentively to your tone of voice when on the call. Customers want to feel like they are talking to another human being, not just an automated machine or low-level call center employee. Using a friendly tone of voice invites callers to open up and ask questions without worrying about being judged.
6. Language skills
Language barriers should be dealt with professionally and carefully to avoid poor communication. Understanding the customer service representative’s language and terminology is important to achieving good-quality call service. Customers appreciate call reps who can clearly and accurately communicate with them.
7. Active listening skills
Listening is a different skill from hearing. Hearing refers to perceiving sound waves through the ear canal. Instead, listening requires understanding what a person says. Poor listening skills can cause misunderstandings between representatives and customers, resulting in low call quality.
8. Skills & Knowledge
Just having the necessary tools won’t mean callers will have a good call experience if they need complicated questions answered. Customer service reps should be knowledgeable about their company’s services in order to provide reliable information to callers, minimizing frustration and improving call quality. If an agent does not possess extensive knowledge about the company, its policies and procedures, or its products/services, it may affect call quality negatively because the customer may not receive the assistance they need and deserve.
9. Critical-thinking skills
Critical thinking refers to the ability to reason and apply logic when problem-solving, which is important for customer service representatives to provide accurate information and clear solutions. When agents are able to think critically, they will be better prepared with enough knowledge about their company’s products/services and how they can help customers use them most effectively.
10. Record keeping
Keeping accurate records is important because it can help with call quality and customer service operations. Information on each customer’s account will also be readily available to agents so that they can answer questions quickly. Good record keeping can assist agents with getting information to customers on time.
10 Tips to Improve Call Quality
1) Listen first, then respond
Give callers your full attention by letting them talk before you start to speak. This tells callers that they are being heard and understood. Try to encourage the caller to finish saying everything they need to say before jumping in or asking questions.
Interrupting callers can be especially frustrating when callers are explaining something important. And while it’s sometimes hard to stop yourself from jumping in, callers will appreciate call reps who take the time to listen.
2) Speak slowly
Speaking too quickly can make it difficult for callers to follow what you are saying and put them at a disadvantage if English is not their first language. Speaking slowly not only gives callers more time to process what you are saying, but also breaks your speech up into easily understandable chunks.
This makes callers less likely to get lost and frustrated with the information you provide. And callers who can’t understand English will be able to communicate more efficiently by listening for keywords and phrases that they recognize.
Pausing between words will also help callers feel like you are listening carefully to what they have said. Pauses will also enable foreign-language speakers to understand your question clearly without having to ask for clarification.
3) Ask open-ended questions
Be on the lookout for customers who sound confused or frustrated. This will be helpful to callers because they may not know what to say next, and it can also let you move calls along faster.
If callers seem like they are stuck or struggling, ask open-ended questions about how you can help them. For example, suppose a customer sound frustrated because of something technical with your service. In that case, you might ask them which steps they have already taken to try to fix the problem before you suggest any solutions.
4) Be mindful of time
Be mindful of your customer’s time. If callers are on a schedule, let them know that you understand they may be pressed for time, and then do your best to assist them quickly or follow up with a solution. At the same time, don’t rush callers off the phone. This can be frustrating for customers when they call asking for further assistance or information.
5) Maintain a positive tone of voice
Your tone of voice may convey your attitude towards callers. A positive tone shows callers that you care about them and their time on the call. It can make customers feel more comfortable asking questions or explaining problems. Try to maintain a calm, pleasant tone of voice at all times.
6) Use the customer’s name
Using the customer’s name is a great way to personalize your call and show that you care. It can also show the customer that they are important to you, and this may motivate them to do more business with you in the future. It helps them feel you are talking directly with them and that you care about their time. If you use callers’ names, be sure to use the correct pronunciation or ask them to confirm if you are not sure.
7) Take notes
Customers want call reps who are organized and can follow up on their call. Taking notes during your call will show customers that you are serious about helping them. Taking notes also lets you remember important details and keep track of the customer’s records.
8) Don’t blame callers for mistakes
Callers call you when they need help, and it can be frustrating when call reps blame them for mistakes. Try to avoid blaming callers, even if they are responsible for the problem. Instead, take ownership of the situation, offer an apology and a solution. Customers who feel mistreated by customer service may be more likely to leave negative reviews of your business online where other customers can see them. While it can be difficult not to take things personally when dealing with unhappy callers, try your best to remain professional and helpful throughout your interactions with customers.
9) Remain patient
Remaining patient with callers is important, especially if they are upset or confused. Try to stay calm and break down information into simple steps customers can understand. Ask questions to confirm that the customer understands the information you are trying to give them.
10) Ask for feedback
At the end of your call, offer callers ways they can provide feedback about your service. This gives customers a chance to tell you what they are thinking without you having to guess. It also lets them know that you care about their opinion of your business and that their time is important.
Monitor and evaluate your call quality
If you want to improve the quality of your customer service, consider the factors that influence call quality and how to improve it. These simple changes could help you deliver better customer service on the phone. Start by evaluating your current customer service call strategy and apply these tips to take your service to the next level!
By maintaining high call quality standards, you can increase overall satisfaction among customers while improving business profits.