Customer service is the lifeblood of any business. A bad experience with a product or service can be turned around by the right representative, with the right attitude, willing to help the customer who has had a bad experience. It’s the reason that restaurants send the manager out to speak with guests who have had a problem with their meal or want to make a complaint about a server—they know that a gentle hand, a sincere apology, and the offering to make things right are the best ways to make a customer happy and, therefore, retain them.
It may be difficult to understand, then, why your customer service efforts do not seem to be yielding positive results. The whole point of having a customer service line is to retain your current customers. If that isn’t working, however, it can be difficult to come up with a solution—unless you have the ability to evaluate customer service interactions and develop training and protocols that better retain those customers or clients. Some of your representatives might actively have a negative attitude that drives customers away. Others might be driving them away without even realizing it. You cannot know which it is and how to remedy it unless you can actually listen to those interactions.
This is where call recording comes in. Many businesses have call recording software to comply with industry regulations, but most, especially small and medium-sized businesses have not yet considered the very real benefits of being able to record and review your agents and the calls they take. Here are four of the reasons any business that offers a customer service hotline should consider call recording software:
- The Big Brother effect – Let’s face it, not every customer service interaction is going to be positive and not every representative is going to be great at handling difficult, angry, or belligerent customers. It’s also true that some representatives may be short with a customer who is being difficult or belligerent, simply because they know that there will be no repercussions for doing so. Businesses that use call recording software, however, have often experienced what could be called the “Big Brother” effect. When representatives know that they are being recorded and that those recordings will be reviewed by a supervisor, they are less likely to lash out at a customer who is frustrating them. Representatives who always remain polite and helpful are more likely to retain customers than those who reply in kind to rude customers.
- Better information for performance reviews – Unless you have been standing over the shoulder of very representative, you are not going to be able to provide detailed and helpful performance reviews when the time comes. And no employee is going to perform well with a supervisor standing at their shoulder. Instead, a supervisor would have the ability to find, listen to, and evaluate a representative’s interactions, listening to both sides of the conversation, to provide a more thorough review for that employee. When it comes to improving an individual’s ability to deal with customers, it is important to provide them with detailed and personalized feedback—call recording allows you to do just that.
- The ability to collect data – With an additional service like speech analytics, you are able to not just listen to the recordings, but glean information from your recordings without even having to listen to them. While most customer service supervisors will still want to personally review the calls for performance and quality assurance, there is very real data to be found in those calls, that can be useful not just to your customer service department, but to all of the departments in your business. Speech analytics would make it possible to search for specific phrases or keywords, which could give a business insight into their customers’ attitudes and desires.
- Provide examples of good and bad customer interactions – For training purposes, it can be very beneficial to provide examples of how you want your representatives to interact with customers and to give examples of interactions that push customers away. This is especially true for new hires, but can be equally helpful for representatives that are struggling to understand where they are going wrong in their interactions. Call recording gives you the ability to play back great interactions and note what the rep did well. While you might not want to single out certain representatives by name, it can be very helpful to also provide some examples of negative interactions and where that representative went wrong.
Call recording is beneficial for a wide variety of different businesses and departments, but it is especially important for your customer service department. Your sales department, for example, may experience many of these same benefits. Where many businesses fail, however, is with customer service. They may be able to sell their product or service perfectly fine, but the moment someone calls in to speak to a person at that business, the customer is pushed away by inadequate customer service. Call recording allows you to push back against customer loss, by ensuring that you have the data and tools you need to provide the very best experience.