This essay was written to establish the key traits, or, should we say, "best practices," towards achieving an excellent customer experience over the phone. In order for us to develop the treatment in a comprehensive manner, we must first create the foundation and connect the teleology to the aspects of the object.
One must first understand why we are receiving an incoming call from a certain individual. Most of the time, we are receiving it because the individual on the other line is influenced by a certain minutia within the sphere of our entity and needs an answer or a solution, enough to compel them into taking action.
We are to assume that you represent a specific entity, so the person on the other line is not really addressing you per se, but the entity itself. We must answer the phone with the mindset of a problem solver, assuming that the reason for the call is a difficult issue, so that if it is, our behavior becomes angled towards the matter, and if it is not, we have already set the bar so high that assisting them with an inquiry or basic question goes flawlessly.
Prudence, honesty, and charity are the interior traits that should be initiated, while the exterior acts should be courtesy, empathy, and altruism.
Prudence as the driving factor in solving a certain concern with the individual over the phone; embedded in the trait is the ability to be cautious and wise in rectifying a concern, as well as swift in identifying the root cause of the problem and relaying the information pragmatically to the individual.
Honesty as the virtue of transparency towards the individual in letting them know the root cause of the issue and not being deceptive but courageous with the exchange of words, so that should there be any symptoms of being furious with the individual, you can remedy the current circumstance. As we discussed earlier, prudence should be the base form trait or the interior factor that drives the whole communication to mitigate situations and de-escalate the negative height of emotion from the other individual.
Charity as the defusing method and trait to engage with the individual regardless of whether they are in a negative or positive state. The ability to be calm and collected even if the other individual is irate and is constantly exhibiting a lowly manner. Also having an interior understanding that they are not mad at you but at the current situation itself.
We are to conclude the interior traits that are necessary, and formulate the exterior principles.
Firstly, courtesy as the primary faculty that is driving the tone of the conversation and should be identified in the speaking sound of the representative assisting the individual. Ultimately, it will affect the demeanor of the caller, and it creates a mental image of professional service while having a radiation of human connection.
Secondly, empathy, as the subordinate of the primary, must be practiced throughout the call in order to mitigate certain vices from the individual, such as the assumption of not caring about the concern raised by the caller. Empathetic phrases should be delivered from time to time and when necessary. It should be done according to the primary faculty which is courtesy.
Thirdly, altruism is the non-emotional baseline of the conversation. It is the practice of selflessness to do what is necessary to correct issues, answer concerns, etc. It should also be present throughout the conversation, as it is complimentary to the other exterior acts.
Concluding the discussion of the acts. We are to provide certain examples based on real-life examples from past experiences interacting with influenced individuals over the phone.
Lack of prudence affects the handling time of the conversation; not identifying the root cause of a certain issue in a timely manner causes the individual over the phone to be more prone to expressing dissatisfaction. It would compel the customer to believe that you are not qualified to handle the concern.
Digressing from honesty in order not to trigger a negative emotion from the caller has the possibility of making the issue wider. If the conversation lacks transparency, the caller would lean towards believing that you are covering certain information that they ought to know, which makes it more complicated than it already is. There’s also a possibility that they will believe that you are deceiving them, even if you have no intention of doing so.
Lack of charity makes the conversation lowly since you have a tendency to match the negative emotion of the caller, especially when they are furious. These are the ways in which the conversation can immediately drop, and dissatisfaction would be so great that it would entice the caller to speak with a manager or even leave a bad review through online channels, which would damage the reputation of the entity that you represent.
We have now addressed the opposite of having the interior traits. We have observed that they are vital in each interaction with individuals over the phone. Now, concluding this discussion, we are now going to give examples of the exterior acts.
One must have courtesy in answering the phone; without it, the conversation within the call will go awkwardly. As soon as enthusiasm dies down, the caller will sense it. Based on experience, they will have a tendency to assume a feeling of disaffection; subconsciously, the feeling of dissatisfaction has built the foundation due to it. Most of the time, their focus will only be on the negative exchange of words rather than the positive.
Without empathy, it breaks the human connection of the call; the caller will feel that they’re talking to a robot, which is contrary to the reason why they’re calling. They’re compelled to call because they want to speak to a human being that can answer their question; however, if the conversation is bland and they don’t sense a human touch, it could lead to pure dissatisfaction.
Altruism, should it be lacking, obliterates any other traits that are active. Customer centricity cannot be identified within the conversation; therefore, an excellent customer experience cannot be achieved. Patterns of lasting positive impressions won’t suffice. As human beings, we are quick to identify the negative rather than the positive. For example, the call was handled well in a regular manner; however, call satisfaction is premature due to a lack of customer-centric impression and urgency.
We have approached these practices from an idealistic perspective. Therefore, we ought to examine the daily influence of the representative species itself and how one can remedy the current situation to adhere to the traits discussed earlier.
We start the discussion by giving summarized examples of what could be the leading causes of failure to adhere to said traits. I’ll also provide examples that are relevant to the subject matter at hand.
Firstly, work place influence, whether it be remote or office setting, the constant micromanagement of superiors could cause the representative to not adhere to his prudence and courtesy in any given scenario, especially during customer interaction, since the cause of micromanagement from superiors contradicts the interior and exterior instincts of the representative subconsciously, causing them to not trust their instincts based on the nature of the scenario. Their analytical skills, which belong to prudence, will naturally be affected due to it, and enthusiasm won’t be identified any longer in customer interactions.
On the side of the representative, one should understand and apply prudence in absorbing information in order to practice courtesy at a higher level. The representative must familiarize himself with the process at hand, which parts go where, and all the solutions to the issues and concerns of each caller. We are to note as well that the representative will grasp the process over time due to experience and daily interactions with certain individuals, becoming sufficient and capable of handling concerns perfectly as time goes by. The representative should show his capabilities as well and have them documented, so that as soon as symptoms of micromanagement from superiors are identified, the representative can raise his capabilities subtly and in a non-confrontational manner to his superiors and justify them with key documentation of capabilities.
Secondly, the culture that is being penetrated to its representatives, the lack of communication that pertains to a certain goal, as well as the lack of resources needed for the representative to be self-sufficient in every interaction, cause them to not adhere to honesty and empathy. There are two components: first, since they lack the resources, the representative that is assisting the individual is more prone to dishonesty because they don’t have enough information to relay to the individual. Second, since dishonesty has already taken root, they’re prone to not empathize, or they can, but very minimally, just enough to have an exchange of words during the conversation. The leading cause is, of course, that they can identify the issue but do not have enough tools or information to rectify it.
On the side of the representative, they should take initiative in obtaining certain information in order to be well-equipped in interacting with individuals; this is to mitigate call dissatisfaction as sometimes the cause, as mentioned above, is a lack of information. Management should also keep their representatives up-to-date with certain information and changes in process since that is their primary task, and make sure that they are fully understood to avoid misleading information that could cause negative outcomes in conversations with customers.
Thirdly, the lack of showing appreciation from upper management to its representatives could cause a domino effect towards their nature, namely charity and altruism. Subconsciously, the representatives follow their leaders; however, if said appreciation is not active, it could cause the representative to also not show it in any given interaction with customers. A tendency to lower motivation to practice the traits due to a lack of recognition from superiors. The representative will assume that whether they initiate the given acts or not, the object will still be accomplished. In retrospect, a positive customer experience has already been affected by the cause; therefore, symptoms of a negative experience might be identified in the scenario.
On the side of the representative, self-discipline in showing both of the traits should be accomplished regardless of exterior influence; however, a complimentary remedy should be the appreciation of superiors towards their subordinates. Showing appreciation to the representatives could trigger a solidifying of one's own discipline. It strengthens the will to consistent adherence, eventually making it a habit.
In conclusion, we are to end our inquiry into behavioral attitudes towards interaction and to meet an excellent customer experience. We have determined that the traits discussed are critical in order to achieve excellent customer interaction. The thoughts discussed in this essay were based on several years of customer service, which leads us to conclude the subject matter and dissect the necessary traits and acts. We have established what could be the means to obtain the ends that we’re looking for.
We have discovered through our inquiry that one should establish a habit of consistently applying these acts, both interior and exterior, to immerse oneself in knowing the base principle of the object that we’re trying to achieve and for the representative to remove themselves from a state of awkward equilibrium between them and the caller. One should comply externally and do it constantly until it becomes second nature. The result still meets the desired outcome even with external compliance since it is not the end, which is an excellent customer experience, but rather the means to it.
Juan Paolo/Paul Granada