Call Center Customer Communication - Words Matter

Call Center Customer Communication - Words Matter

Last Updated on October 12, 2020

Slang in a call center

How your customer service reps talk to customers is more important than you may think.

We’re not referring to courtesy or friendliness – that’s a given. What we are referring to is the words they say and how they say them. Your call center may be in Pittsburgh but your customers are spread throughout the nation. A customer in California is not likely to understand Pittsburgh-ese. In Pittsburgh, “jumbo” is bologna but it’s something big in California and Colorado, for that matter.

Not only are geographic colloquialisms a concern but so are accents. While it’s unrealistic to expect your reps to speak without an accent, they are required to speak to customers so they can be understood. Usually this means an intentional effort to speak slowly and clearly. Imagine a fast talking New Yorker trying to provide expert customer service to a customer in the Deep South. The rep could be the most technically proficient member of your team but if he can’t be understood, the result is an unhappy customer who may go elsewhere.

Another thing to keep in mind is how “millennials” communicate versus folks from other generations. It’s not a good idea for a customer service rep to say to a customer, “totes” instead of “I totally understand where you’re coming from.” Imagine this beginning to a customer service conversation…

CSR: “Good morning, ABC Company. Jennifer speaking.”

Customer: “Hi Jennifer, this is Joe Miller. How are you today?”

CSR: “I’m chill today. Thanks for asking.”

Customer: “Okaaaaay.”

Moral of the story, slang is ok at home but not on the phone with customers.

Next on our agenda is jargon. Some industries are known for their abundance of acronyms and other expressions that could easily constitute a language of its own. While many of us know PDQ means “pretty darn quick” from years of watching of M*A*S*H reruns, the same does not hold true for the jargon of your workplace. Customer service reps must use jargon-free communication with customers at all times. There’s no easier way to leave a customer dazed and confused than to have a conversation so thick with jargon that Robert Langdon couldn’t decipher it.

The bottom line is simple. Customer service reps must be trained in appropriate, professional communication and monitored to insure performance meets expectations. The first part sounds easy enough, but monitoring can get a bit tricky. Supervisors need a solution to know which reps to listen in on and what to listen for. This is where a call monitoring and recording solution/a> comes in handy. An effective solution can record all incoming and outgoing calls in your call center and allow you to listen to these calls and conduct custom tests; allowing supervisors to manage rep performance where appropriate.

Last Updated on October 12, 2020