Impact Learning Systems

GET TO THE HEART OF CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

Call Center Training: Fun Games to Motivate the Call Center Team, Part 2 Jodi Beuder

Empathy and Smiles Go a Long WayHave you run out of ideas on how to keep your call cen­ter rep­re­sen­ta­tives moti­vated, inspired, and ener­getic through­out their day? Why not try play­ing some fun and edu­ca­tional games that keep them engaged while they work, get them learn­ing new tac­tics to han­dle calls, and encour­age them to work as a team, using each other, and you, the call cen­ter super­vi­sor, as a resource when­ever they have a question.

Call Cen­ter Train­ing Game: “I Feel For You”

  • Objec­tive: It is impor­tant for call cen­ter rep­re­sen­ta­tives to estab­lish rap­port with every cus­tomer they come in con­tact with. A repeat­ing ele­ment in every call? Empa­thy. And we’ve said it before: If a ser­vice or sup­port agent is not being gen­uine, the customer’s expe­ri­ence will not be sat­is­fac­tory. Exhibit­ing empa­thetic behav­ior is an ideal way to calm upset callers and quickly let them know that their issues have been heard and will be resolved. In this game called “I Feel For You,” par­tic­i­pants work in pairs to rewrite dry, rote state­ments to show more empa­thy for cus­tomers. This game is use­ful for new hires or as a refresher for sea­soned ser­vice employees.
  • Time needed: 15–20 minutes
  • What the coach needs: An over­head trans­parency or flip-chart of the infor­ma­tion shared below, and one sheet of paper to copy/paste the infor­ma­tion on the sec­ond bul­let in this sec­tion that you will cut into 7 slips of paper to put into a hat:
    • For your trans­parency or flip chart:empa­thy (em’ pe thee) n. iden­ti­fi­ca­tion with or vic­ar­i­ous expe­ri­enc­ing of feel­ings, thoughts or atti­tudes of another per­sonTo show empa­thy for cus­tomers, you might use the fol­low­ing phrases:I under­stand…I’m sorry…

      I can appreciate…

      Empa­thy is also con­veyed by your tone of voice and body language.

    • For a one-sheet to cut into seven pieces of paper to put into a hat:Cus­tomer: I have tick­ets to the evening per­for­mance on the 15th, but unfor­tu­nately I broke my leg a few days ago and won’t be able to go until my cast is off. is it pos­si­ble to exchange my tick­ets for some other show later in the sea­son?CSR: It depends what kind of tick­ets you bought. Do you have the tick­ets handy?
      – — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — -Cus­tomer: I brought my car in for an esti­mate this morn­ing – it got banged up in an acci­dent. I’m call­ing to see if it’s ready. The name’s John­son.CSR: I’ll check; what type of car is it?- — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — -

      Cus­tomer: Hi. I came in here yes­ter­day after­noon to take care of some paper­work. I noticed last night that my wal­let is miss­ing, so I’m retrac­ing my steps to see if I can find it. I don’t know yet if it’s been stolen or just mis­placed. Did you hap­pen to find a lost wallet?

      CSR: Bum­mer. I’ll check our Lost and Found.

      - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — -

      Cus­tomer: I have an appoint­ment with the den­tist for 3:00 today, but I just found out that I have to make a 2:00 flight to New York. Is there any pos­si­bil­ity I can see the den­tist sooner? I’ve had a toothache for two days and I hate to let it go until I get back from New York.

      CSR: Well, we try to leave some open­ings for emer­gen­cies. Let me see if the den­tist can fit you in sooner.

      - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — -

      Cus­tomer: My hard disk crashed—I think because of a virus that came in through my Inter­net connection—and I need to know how to retrieve my data. It’s all gone, and I don’t have copies of everything.

      CSR: There’s a good chance we can fix it, but it may take some time. Let me ask you a few ques­tions about your sys­tem and then I’ll tell you what to do.

      - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — -

      Cus­tomer: My doc­tor has put me on a very strict diet and I don’t see any­thing on the menu that I can eat. Is it pos­si­ble to get some steamed veg­eta­bles and rice?

      CSR: Well, I’ll have to check with the chef. I don’t know if we can do spe­cial orders.

      - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — -

      Cus­tomer: I just real­ized that I gave you the wrong mate­ri­als to print! If I run back to the office and get the right ones, can you still do the order by noon?

      CSR: Oh man! We’ll see what we can do; how soon can you get back here?

      - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — -

      What to do now: Read out the fol­low­ing sce­nario and ask par­tic­i­pants which response sounds bet­ter and why.

    • A cus­tomer calls and says, “My home was dam­aged in the earth­quake and I need to know what the insur­ance will cover.” Which of the fol­low­ing two responses do you think the cus­tomer would pre­fer to hear?     1. If you give me your pol­icy num­ber, I’ll check your cov­er­age.2. I’m sorry to hear you affected by the earth­quake. If you’ll let me know your pol­icy num­ber, I’ll check the extent of your coverage.Ask par­tic­i­pants what the sec­ond cus­tomer ser­vice rep­re­sen­ta­tive did that the first one didn’t. (Showed empa­thy toward the customer’s sit­u­a­tion.) Show the over­head or flip-chart to the group, and briefly go over the def­i­n­i­tion of empathy.Tell par­tic­i­pants that it isn’t nec­es­sary for them to express empa­thy in every cus­tomer ser­vice inter­ac­tion, but when a cus­tomer is in a dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion, it’s essen­tial that they show their con­cern. There are many ways to show empa­thy for cus­tomers—through actions, words, tone of voice, etc.Divide par­tic­i­pants into pairs. Ask each pair to come to the front of the room and draw a state­ment out of the hat. One part­ner should read the customer’s state­ment and the other should read the cus­tomer ser­vice rep­re­sen­ta­tive’s response. Each of the other pairs has to quickly come up with a rewrite of the cus­tomer ser­vice representative’s response to show more empa­thy for the cus­tomer. Have each pair share their response with the group, and then ask the next pair to come draw from the group, and then ask the next pair to come draw from the hat. Answers will vary, but you should make sure each rewrit­ten response con­veys empa­thy for the customer.

      TIP! If com­pe­ti­tions work well with your group, you can offer a small prize to the pair who comes up with the best rewrite of each response.

Post-Game Dis­cus­sion:

Q: Why is it impor­tant for call cen­ter rep­re­sen­ta­tives to empathize with cus­tomers?
A: Hav­ing empa­thy for your cus­tomer is vital when it comes to bet­ter under­stand­ing their needs. Lis­ten and show con­cern and aware­ness of cus­tomers’ needs by acknowl­edg­ing their feel­ings with phrases like ‘I under­stand’ or ‘I can appreciate.’

Stay Tuned: More Call Cen­ter Games to Come!!

For more games, check back to this site from time to time and type “games” in our site search engine. Call cen­ter super­vi­sors who play an active role in the suc­cess of their rep­re­sen­ta­tives will have a much bet­ter time keep­ing their team engaged; and with engaged, sat­is­fied rep­re­sen­ta­tives comes sat­is­fied cus­tomers! Cus­tomers who hear hap­pi­ness and con­fi­dence in the voice of the per­son help­ing them solve their prob­lems have a much bet­ter time on the call which returns a pos­i­tive cus­tomer out­look. Ongo­ing call cen­ter train­ing is vital to keep­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tives in the know with the lat­est com­mu­ni­ca­tion meth­ods, keeps rep­re­sen­ta­tives engaged and gives them breaks from pos­si­ble daily monotony.

Jodi Beuder, Cus­tomer Expe­ri­ence Advo­cate at Impact Learn­ing Sys­tems, believes cus­tomer ser­vice exists not just out­side the com­pany, but inside, too.. “Hav­ing excel­lent cus­tomer ser­vice skills and knowl­edge are para­mount to cre­at­ing strong work­ing rela­tion­ships, whether you are in an office or out in the field.” With over 17 years in Mar­ket­ing Exec­u­tive roles, Jodi has ded­i­cated her career to assist­ing com­pa­nies grow their brand pres­ence and sales, and most impor­tantly, their cus­tomer reten­tion and satisfaction.
Jodi Beuder
View all posts by Jodi Beuder
Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Technorati





Alltop, all the top stories

We're an Alltop blog, and regularly contribute to The Customer Collective and CustomerThink.

Back to Top