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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
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