Call center agents must familiarize themselves with a customer’s unique communication styles so they can respond to queries more effectively.
Much of the success of customer service depends on how well agents can handle difficult conversations. Characterized by lots of confusion and unproductive dialogues, these types of transactions slow down problem resolution.
Sometimes, though, it’s not the agents’ insufficient product knowledge or the customer’s stubbornness that gets in the way of successful transactions. It may be that the call center agent and the customer are not communicating on the same wavelength. In such cases, even when customer service reps do their best to connect with the caller, it can be challenging to achieve a common understanding.
The solution is to train your agents to quickly assess how a customer communicates. If they can do this, they can respond in ways that will please the customer.
Here are the four typical communication patterns among customers and some tips on how to handle them.
1. The controlling customer
It’s easy to spot the controlling customer because they’re bossy and demanding. They want the call to be over as soon as possible, so give them the facts right away. However, try not to focus too much on the small details, and just provide enough information to allow the customer to understand the big picture.
To communicate effectively with this type of customer, agents must be able to think on their feet. Because they’re likely to raise objections, be prepared to solve them on the spot. The trick is to let them feel that they’re in charge and they’ll cooperate with you.
2. Talkative and enthusiastic
These customers are extroverted and very sociable, which means they can talk nonstop and thus often go off-tangent. Although they’re friendly, the agent may have a hard time holding their attention and making them focus on the subject being discussed.
To avoid unnecessary dialogues, call center agents can capture the attention of these customers using creative techniques. For example, they can offer an interesting story of their own to illustrate possibilities, pros and cons, and possible solutions to a problem.
3. The detail-oriented caller
Aside from wanting all the details, this caller is focused, contemplative, and extremely frugal. They place the biggest value on specific facts, because for them, it’s impossible to understand something without taking into account all information relevant to the topic. They think through every purchase decision, as they want to get the most value out of their money.
To get on their good side, agents must demonstrate remarkable product knowledge. Charts, lists, or graphs can also help, as these customers are very organized and logical.
4. The calm and collected
When a calm and collected customer calls, you need not be scared of having to go through difficult conversations yet again. They’re very patient and open-minded, although they can get emotional when they try to reach a decision.
To successfully assist these customers, avoid being pushy or aggressive. Don’t pressure them as they make decisions, but do constantly reassure them that they’re in good hands with your brand.
Customer engagement suffers when agents and customers fail to reach a mutual understanding. By familiarizing themselves with the different communication styles of callers, agents will become more adept in maneuvering conversations. This will allow them to solve problems quickly and close great deals.