In business, consistency is key, especially when it comes to your customer service experience.
Your answering service is no exception. In fact, it’s one of the places that inconsistency will show through the most. You don’t want callers to be confused by different answers from different operators or have repeat calls from the same customers hoping to get an answer they like from a different answering service employee.
Consistency is everything, and it’ll shine brightest in areas with the highest amount of customer touch.
Increasing Consistency Increases the Bottom Line
Far too many companies provide their operators with minimal training, assuming that they’ll eventually get the information they’ll need to service customers well.
Unfortunately, skimping on the front end ends up costing your company plenty when confused customers call back for clarification or complain loudly when their expectations weren’t met. There’s no excuse for a lack of consistency, especially when it results in poor telephone customer service. It’s your business’ reputation at stake, after all.
However, you can learn just how consistent your answering service really is by asking these simple questions:
- How much training do you provide? First and foremost, a good answering service must provide more than a cursory amount of training. Each operator must both be well-versed in the answering service’s policies as well as the individual accounts they’re servicing. If you aren’t asked to provide information to help design training materials, it’s almost certain that a consistency problem will arise.
- Do you monitor your operators’ calls? Call monitoring might feel a bit invasive, but it’s the most effective way to learn if operators are properly implementing what they learned in class. By monitoring calls, your answering service can spot problems with consistency right away and provide extra training or materials to operators who may be confused about your policies or products.
- How quickly do you resolve issues? Of all the key performance indicators an answering service tracks, this is one of the most important. Customers who don’t think they’re getting a good answer from an operator may call back to find an operator who can help them, or possibly to see if someone will break policy in their favor. A high first call resolution rate means your operators are effective and consistent, and it’s a metric that matters hugely to both you and your callers.
You can help increase your answering service operators’ consistency by providing additional training materials, answering questions that customers frequently ask, creating detailed information sheets on commonly ordered products and giving those operators a way to contact you if there’s a question they can’t answer. It might seem like a lot of work to get your answering service partnership off the ground, but the better armed your team is, the better they can service your calls.
A consistent answering service will create happy customers who will more than pay for the bank of operators and training it takes to get there. It’s a united front for your callers, giving them the same service no matter which individual they reach. Consistency is one of the best ways to build your reputation and dramatically increase your customer loyalty.