Boost your customer loyalty by increasing your agents’ emotional intelligence.
An emotional connection should be established in order to ensure customer loyalty and to drive decisions and behaviour.
Here are some tips to help agents build an emotional connection:
1. Refer to the customer by name
Greet the customer enthusiastically and make sure to get their name. Then refer to them by name to establish a personal connection.
You need to make the customer feel you are speaking with a person, not a caller. This will also let the caller know you are paying attention to them.
2. Really listen to the caller
This will demonstrate respect and help the customer feel welcome and important. It will also give the impression that you appreciate their time.
The first 6 seconds of a call are crucial, according to Myra Golden (How to establish rapport with callers in 6 seconds flat). She mentions that in those first 6 seconds, even if you intend to transfer the call, make sure not to interrupt. Let the caller know that you are listening.
You should try to establish a one-to-one relationship. For example, if the caller mentions that they are going on holiday, ask them where they are going.
3. Tone, language and style are very important in establishing a connection
Language affects the emotional state of callers. It is best to keep the language positive.
Pay attention to how the caller is communicating and try to match their energy. Share their priorities and mirror their behaviour.
This is important because, according to Nick Drake-Knight, it is possible to imply messages through tone of voice that contradict the actual message that needs to be put across.
“In call centre operations, it is vital that tonality matches – that is, is congruent with – the message contained within a script. We’ve all experienced the call centre operative who delivers his scripted phrase for the umpteenth time in an unenthusiastic tonal style that contradicts the scripted message offering excellence of service.”
4. Smile as you speak
A good way to keep the tone positive is to smile as you speak. The caller will be able to notice this in your voice.
5. Be natural
It is difficult to do this when the call centre uses a script. Therefore, as Nick Drake-Knight points out, it is better to provide consistency of warmth than consistency of process – and a script isn’t the best way to gain an emotional connection with the caller.
You need to be adaptable and therefore able to put yourself in the caller’s shoes.
6. Value your caller
The relationship between you and your caller grows stronger when the client feels valued, rather than processed, says Michela Suller (Inside Sales Executive at Tellermate Ltd).
The caller doesn’t want to be treated as part of your job procedure. Therefore it is important to be warm towards them and not rush the conversation.
7. Be honest
It is important not to promise what you cannot fulfil. If you say you will call a customer back, then this is what you must do.
This way a relationship of trust can be built and they are more likely to call back for your help in the future.
Following these steps will help to build an emotional connection with a caller, and make the experience more pleasant for both the customer and yourself.
Written by Devon Lunn, Call Centre Helper.