Agent Improvement: Are Your Agents Pushing Too Hard?

Posted by Rebecca MacLeod

3/10/15 9:00 AM

“I’m just looking,” is a well-known clue to retail salespeople that they should back off: the customer just wants to browse. But how do your service agents know when to back off during a service call?

Establishing boundaries is key to effective customer interactions, especially where your agents want to upsell and/or cross-sell. But in their quest to make extra sales, sometimes these agents can be overzealous. Remember the extreme example from Comcast just a while back in which the customer service rep refused to let customer Ryan Block cancel his service? The agent’s refusal to comply with the user’s wish was a national embarrassment, on top of almost certainly costing Comcast any chance of ever winning that customer’s business back.  

So, how do your agents know where those boundaries are so that they can respect them and ensure that customers are not annoyed or offended? Human nature will give them their first signs. When contact center representatives get too pushy, customers will show discomfort, irritation and even become personally affronted. The key to avoid these problems is sensitivity to the communications received from the customer.

But If you don’t think your agents are as receptive to these clues as they ought to be, our Click2Coach product can help resolve the disconnect by allowing supervisors to oversee agent-customer calls in real time, as well as record them for future use in evaluation and training.

Your company wants its agents to encourage customer involvement with its products and services. But when your rep gets out of hand and pushes a prospect too far, you need the tools to step in and address the agent’s issues right away so that it does not become a repeat problem. With Click2Coach, you will have the training and coaching tools to ensure your agents are as effective and efficient as they can possibly be.

Before we highlight how Click2Coach can assist with agent improvement—from being too pushy to just right, let’s review common mistakes that agents make to turn off prospects:

  1. Driving too hard: Don’t alienate your prospects by being too aggressive. Contact center agents have to first build rapport with a customer by channeling their enthusiasm in a positive and productive direction. Let customers and prospects know that you are there to help solve their problems no matter how long it takes.
  1. Talking too much: Instead of talking, listen! Show the customer you care by recognizing the concern being explained, processing the details and coming up with a solution. With careful listening you will hear not only what the customer is saying but what he or she is not saying outright—to uncover even unstated needs. You might be able to satisfy deeper challenges and bigger opportunities than you anticipated from an initial conversation.
  1. Asking about financing: Don’t unduly stress your prospects by asking about budget too soon. Asking about money makes the prospect think you’re ready to close the deal, putting them on the defensive. Instead, frame the budget conversation around positive “results” and “ROI” your solutions will bring to the table.
  1. Not accepting “no”: Be persistent and nurture leads over the long term. Graciously let go when a prospect is not a good fit for your product solution, but when qualifying leads, understand that “not interested” may mean, “not interested right now.” Perhaps in another six months, your customer will be ready to talk more about other opportunities with your company. Click2Coach can help supervisors monitor agents to ensure they aren’t employing any of these bad behaviors. The software helps supervisors drill down on individual agents and interactions to ensure representatives are not pushing too hard—doing more harm than good. Here are a few of the product’s capabilities:

Customized coaching packages

Recordings of evaluated customer interactions can be sent to agents for coaching. Content can include brief videos that can be quickly authored, links to Web pages or other training documents.

Improved flow and performance

Play back recordings within seconds, allowing supervisors to complete evaluations and coaching with ease and speed.

Standard reports

More than 53 standard reports give supervisors the ability to quickly and easily view data collected from customer interactions, so they can take action to make improvements.

Click2coach workforce optimization

To see Click2Coach in action, click here to sign up for a live demo.

Topics: customer experience, agent performance, Customer Service Best Practices

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