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The Essentials of Good Customer Service

Jan 29, 2008
For some people, customer service seems to be an insurmountable job. For Filipinos working as contact center agents, however, customer service easily becomes second nature. This is because the culture of Filipinos is generally hospitable and they treat visitors (or customers) with utmost respect and with the best treatment that they can.

The following principles are usually followed by contact center agents in the Philippines whether they are talking with fellow Filipinos or customers located in other countries.

Getting the name and the account number of the customer is of utmost importance so that the personal touch can be established easily. By calling the customer by name, the agent is able to establish rapport with the customer, making him more comfortable in talking about the problems that they may have. Technical problems do occur in phone conversations so it is also a good idea to ask for the number of the customer if no caller id is available so that the agent can call the customer back in case of a cut line.

Contact center agents also provide their names to the customers they are talking to so that they know who the person they are talking to. This also enhances the accountability and responsibility of the agent serving the customer.

Apology is given for any inconvenience experienced by the customer. Sincerity is important, however. Without it, we do apologize line becomes nothing more than just a scripted attempt to appease and patronize the customer. When a contact center agent says sorry, he had better mean it because the customer can detect an insincere apology.

When a customer reports a problem, the contact center agent should be able to ask the right questions to provide a good diagnosis of the problem and the right solutions could be put forward. The agent should also repeat the problem or query of the customer to ensure that he has understood the concerns of the customer.

Before hanging up, the problem of the customer should be solved; otherwise the customer service process has not been given adequately to the customer. The easiest and simplest solutions should be provided first to the customer. If that does not work, then alternative solutions should be put forward to the customer until everything shall have been covered.

The contact center should always remember to extend courtesy and politeness to the customer no matter what the mood of the customer is. If a customer is difficult to deal with, it is very easy to be frustrated and lash out at the customer. The agent might not openly curse or berate the customer but the tone of the voice and the words used will betray the true feelings he has. The key to this would be to smile often. Even if nobody is seeing the agent, a smile on the face translates to the smile at the voice. With such amiable personality, the complaints of the customer will be defused. So even if the customer is annoying, contact center agents should keep in mind that it is them who make it possible for contact center agents to have their jobs.

Contact centers in the Philippines make use of the strengths of their agents. Through these, they are able to make waves in the offshore contact center business.
About the Author
James Stinson is Owner and Founder of Global Sky Inc. He employs a team of 50 in a high quality call center facility based in the Philippines. For more info on outsourcing your project visit: http://www.global-sky.com
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