Can Call Centers Evoke Positive Emotional Responses From Customers?

Call center agents smiling

An article by Howard Lax states that emotional bonding between companies, employees, and customers is more important to loyalty and success than performance metrics. It’s true that companies need to meet customer expectations, but good performance isn’t good enough by itself to keep the business moving without a good emotional connection with customers. The reason for this is that people are more likely to remember a company if their experience with them had an emotional impact, where an experience that has good service but no emotional impact will most likely be forgotten. Lax’s theory is that a company that doesn’t have an emotional hook will leave their customers bored and more likely to go to a competitor who can offer great service and positive memories.

 

While the idea of emotions being critical for business success is valid, the issue Lax raises is that it’s very challenging to measure “emotion” like you would with any performance metric. The ways organizations best measure emotional response customers have from companies are through surveys and rating scales (asking them to describe their emotions or rate their experiences), neuro-measurements (learn more here), and implicit association measurement (learn more here). These measuring methods still have a way to go before being perfected, but they do provide insight into measure customers’ emotional response to brands. The overall point of Lax’s article is that companies need to strive to create lasting memories with their customers if they want them to develop loyalty and keep coming back to buy more products and services.

 

Can Call Centers Evoke Positive Emotional Responses From Customers?

Yes it can, but it takes work. Let’s be honest here, a lot of people contact call centers and end up getting more frustrated than they were before calling. There are a few things you can do to ensure your customers are receiving positive experiences from your call center.

 

1) If you plan on outsourcing in addition to (or instead of) your in-house call center, you cannot hire the right partner without properly vetting them first. Things you need to learn about potential call center partners include: 

  • Related experience to your industry
  • Vendor’s philosophy, approach, and culture
  • Staff Information – management, account, supervisor, phone, and turnover rate
  • Training procedures
  • Locations (onshore, nearshore, offshore)
  • Supervisory procedures – quantity and quality control
  • Account management and contact
  • Program change procedures
  • Problem resolution
  • Tracking capabilities (test calls)
  • Scripting
  • Reporting
  • Their systems – phone and computer
  • Data transfer and interconnection
  • And more

This seems like a lot of information to research about a company, and it is. We recommend using a Call Center RFP Template as a starting point.

 

2) Hire people for agent positions who are naturally empathetic, energetic, positive thinking, and eager to help others. After the right people have been hired, they need to be properly trained by using real-world examples of successful customer experiences handled within the call center. In addition, new agents should be given time to work alongside experienced call center agents so the new hires can properly learn the ropes and the company’s expectations.

 

3) Lead by example and always stay in your agents’ corner. It’s simple, but many companies forget to do it. If you want your agents to prioritize the customer and show empathy, you need to always be practicing what you preach by bringing up the significance of customer happiness and by showing your agents the same empathy you want them to show your customers. 

 

These are only a few of the ways companies and call centers can build positive emotional memories for their customers. There is often an emphasis on speed and hitting KPIs, which is justified. However, with many companies competing to deliver on metrics, it could really help you stand out to put the emotional experience as your company’s focal point.

 

This blog post is based on an article from CustomerThink. To read the original article, please click the link below:

R U Feelin’ It? Customers, Employees and Emotional Connections – Howard Lax

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About the author: Zach West