It was a Friday in December last year and the day was going slow.
My agents were relaxed and completing their work for the day. Suddenly I heard my name called from someone on my team and I went to check.
I saw a question mark on my agent’s face and as expected he asked me, “I need to improve the way I communicate, and could you help me?” I felt delighted by his question and my mind started ticking like a clock’s needle for ideas to help him out.
It seems the many people could learn to improve their listening and communication. Did you know:
- We are distracted, preoccupied or forgetful 75% of the time when we are listening.
- We recall 50% of what a person says immediately after hearing it.
- We listen at 125-250 words per minute and think at 1000- 3000 words per minute.
I gave him an assurance and went back to my cubicle to find some information for him. I thought I could send him some articles on effective communication or ask him to read some good books on the subject. As I was preparing to get back to him, like lightning in the clouds, my mind sparkled with a thought of InterCall’s learning management system.
We’re fortunate at InterCall because our company invests in employee training and development. Our learning management system allows us to sign up for several live, online employee training sessions and access archived versions for self-paced learning. For a global company like ours, this allows everyone in the company to take advantage of the courses our training department offers. Because of the availability of the classes, I decided I should also take a couple of classes to improve my own communication skills.
This training we offer not only helps a person improve communication with co-workers, but it helps agents to handle the calls with customers, particularly those with upset customers. Here’s a list of things to avoid when working with an unhappy customer:
- Interrupting the speaker
- Not looking at the speaker
- Showing interest in something else
- Rushing the speaking
- Setting ahead of the speaker and finishing his/her thoughts
- Not responding to the speaker’s request
- Saying, “Yes, but…”
- Topping the speaker’s story, “that’s nothing, let me tell you…”
- Forgetting what was previously discussed
- Asking too many questions about the details
I received positive feedback from my agent about our online training and have made it part of my team’s job responsibilities to regularly attend these types of training sessions. Not only does it help them develop personally, but it helps them to better serve our customers.
Is there any member in your team who needs some training and development? Have you tried online training to give them more access to a wider variety of topics?
Anusha Karnad is a post call services lead at InterCall in Bangalore. She’s been with InterCall since 2009, working in customer service, training for new hires and account management where she helped customers with billing and service related questions.