Founder & CEO at Millennial Servicesa dedicated provider of call center services.
According to a study by customer service expert Shep Hyken, 58% of customers will pay more for better customer service. For this reason, an inbound customer service representative perhaps the most important capital of a company. After all, customers ultimately determine the lifespan of brands, products and services.
While customers may never completely ignore the price, you cannot ignore how much they appreciate the quality of customer service. HubSpot thought so 96% of customers choose brands based on customer service delivered, and repeat customers spend over 300% more with these brands.
Knowing that, maybe it’s time to refresh your customer service team.
What is an Inbound Customer Care Representative?
Today’s Inbound Customer Service Representatives (CCRs) provide things like scheduling appointments, booking reservations, prescreening, assisting with business development, and others. unique optionssuch as transferring calls properly. One of their primary duties is to: improve customer retentionsuch as having answers at your fingertips and quickly returning to contacts in many different locations.
Top Qualities of an Effective Inbound Customer Service Representative
Customer service representatives must have specific skills depending on the environment in which they work. In general, CCRs working for inbound call centers must have the following properties:
• Can handle the pressure associated with peaks in ring volume.
• Know and understand the solutions their employer or customer wants to focus on.
• Can document the number of problems and solutions as they receive calls for similar pain points.
• Can commit to a flexible work schedule.
• Are comfortable using SMS, email, social media, instant messaging, live chat, and even video conferencing platforms.
• Can show empathy.
• Can handle each call as if it were a brand new situation.
• Understand what customers want and need, even without physical signals.
Tips for finding the right inbound customer service representative
If you’re looking to build or grow your customer service team, consider these three tips.
1. Don’t underestimate personality
Keeping the customer satisfied is paramount. So when interviewing or training new CCRs, look for outgoing, quick-witted, patient people who speak clearly. These people understand your company’s offering and can explain it and resolve any customer issues. Even though these people may have a script or list of instructions, they should be able to have these conversations naturally. A friendly, open attitude also helps greatly in customer retention.
2. Make sure your CCRs can provide answers too
These customer service professionals often screen contacts at various points, from phone calls to text messages. They are then expected to refer the contact person to the appropriate department within your company. But if they have already addressed the question before, they should feel comfortable helping the customer immediately. Enabling CCRs to make these quick decisions can contribute to the productivity of many departments.
3. Consider Outsourcing Your Customer Service
As more organizations accumulate and analyze data at scale, more consumers expect great experiences. When it comes to phone calls, 59% of consumers hang up within 10 minutes of being put on hold. As soon as they hang up, they immediately begin to reconsider their options, including looking for another company that can help them more quickly.
For most small to medium sized businesses, training inbound customer service personnel can be time consuming and expensive. One way to ensure quality customer service is to outsource this service to a contact center. This gives companies access to highly skilled inbound CCRs without having to reallocate their own resources internally.
Essentially, most businesses need a team of friendly people who are trained, supported and well versed in their product/service solutions. As you work to improve the customer experience, prioritize training and support for your existing reps.