For any of us who run a call center it is easy to lose sight of an important fact. Yet this fact literally means the difference between a great brand and a dud. We can spend millions of dollars on a great ad campaign and still end up short of establishing a great brand if we have lost sight of this critical success factor.
Amidst schedule adherence goals, handling time goals or sales per hour goals we can easily forget about the fact that our customers’ first contact with us (after the initial purchase) is with a human voice (after your IVR of course).
Our customers’ experience with our call center is wonderfully centered on the voice of our agents whether we know it or not. Our employees’ voices become our “voice” which is part of our image which builds our brand. How does your voice score with your customers? What would Simon say?
What quality of voice should you focus on? That depends on your market, your customers. Whatever the type of voice you need, your recruiting process should reflect it. Each of our call centers may be unique in terms of the market we serve but we do share a great number of voice quality requirements. Voice qualities that exude empathy, appreciation for our clients business, voices that evoke a smile, voice that wrap the client with a warm caring sentiment. Our voices should also know how to express understanding and should also have maturity and confidence not to take anything personally. Our voices should be supported by a great customer service policy that allows the voices to do whatever it takes to fix our customers’ problems.
So much is at stake in your voice. Let’s consider our current recruiting procedures and redesign them to recruit people based on the qualities you are looking for. Perhaps you should even consider conducting your first interview entirely over the phone; why not? After all, we should experience the candidate’s voice as the first element to be evaluated. If a candidate does not win you over on the phone with their voice qualities when an opportunity for a job is at stake, how are they ever going to win over one of your clients? Make that first phone interview your secret weapon in building your voice, in building your brand.
Some of us have put great effort in looking for an IVR voice or a voice for a radio commercial yet we fail to do put the same effort in recruiting the voice that our customers will hear day after day. The true voice is the one within your call center – are you hearing it for the first time?