15 Mar 2012
customer service agent working from home increasing sales

Whether you have an in-house team or use an outsourced call center, some basic practices will improve their effectiveness and your bottom line. These best practices are not limited to your outbound sales or telemarketing teams; anyone answering the phone has the potential to affect your sales.

Communicate Goals

Set goals for your agents, and be sure to communicate them. Your team cannot work effectively if each person does not know what is expected of him/her. Goals do not have to be consistent across each agent, either; if you expect a new hire to perform as well as your most experienced agent, you’re setting the new person up for immediate failure.

Providing feedback is key to meeting (and exceeding) goals. Let your agents know how they’re performing on a regular basis, and help them when you think they may be struggling.

Know the Product

Knowledge is power. The more familiar your agents are with the product, the easier it becomes for them to provide information…and make the sale. If possible, allow them to try using the product; they’ll be able to provide their own experiences and be authentic with their responses.

Encourage your agents that they do not have to know the answer to every question. Tell them to offer to find answers and follow up later. This not only makes them more valuable by providing an accurate answer, but also gives them a legitimate reason to call back.

Have a Positive Attitude

It is important to maintain a positive attitude, both on and off the phone. Attitude is everything, and it’s a given that your agents will have to stay positive when dealing with even the angriest of people.

Off the phone, keep your agents motivated. They’re going to hear the word “no” a lot, so they’ll need as much encouragement as they can get. Reward your agents for stellar performance, as well as performance improvement. It doesn’t have to be something big; sometimes just the recognition of a job well done can really keep someone moving forward.

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