Contact Center Pipeline September 2022 September 2022 - Page 25

We ended up listening to the call , which was quite nerve-chilling towards the end of it .
From what I heard , the caller wanted Sabrina to reprocess a denied medical claim and pay it . The caller knew that this was an unreasonable request since it seemed that they had called in a few minutes before speaking to her .
The previous agent provided the reason for the claim ’ s denial , and so did Sabrina , but this time the caller took their frustration out on Sabrina .
We escalated the call to the provider ’ s field representative , who would reach out to their office manager for additional education .
I checked in with the agent at the end of the week and then the end of the month .
Here are some of the things I used to assist with the above situation :
• Give the agent some time to step away from the environment .
• Listen more than you speak during the conversation but direct the conversation where the agent finishes reflecting on the experience and then moves on .
• Highlight your call center ’ s disconnect policy , as I don ’ t believe agents should be punching bags for customers .
• Share your experiences with the agent after obtaining their permission but remember that the agent is the focus of this conversation .
• Set up timeframes to follow up with the agent .
• Provide the agents with additional resources to cope with the emotional stress caused due to the call ( s ) since there may be other situations that you may not hear about but are eating your agents up on the inside .
I recall receiving a call to listen to from the call center team lead in a different situation . It was an agent on my team .
The call was quite challenging to listen to , the caller was courteous and patient , but the agent was the opposite .
I recall listening to the agent at one point yelling at the caller , and then another where the agent snapped at the caller because he asked her to repeat herself .
I ’ ve thought this agent , Lenny , to be professional , polite , and customer-oriented . I also knew that she was going through some challenges at home .
But with this call , I wasn ’ t sure if this was the same agent I had known for over three years .
So , I decided to set up a meeting and Lenny accepted the invite .
At 2:15 pm , I join the meeting , and so does the agent . I tried to remind her about the call and requested her permission to play the call recording . At this point , she asked me if she needed to listen to the call , and I said that I would prefer that you listen to the call so we could identify what transpired .
I play the call , and Lenny breaks down crying after the call . She felt embarrassed about her conduct with the caller and apologized profusely .
She stated that she had some challenges with several things , such as her car having mechanical issues and not having the money to pay for the repairs , and not getting much sleep the previous night since she was worried . Also , the last caller before this call was rude to her and she was tired of going through the same thing again .
I told Lenny , “ I understand that you ’ ve got several challenges , and I appreciate your efforts to come into work and help us with calls . I also apologize for how you were treated on the last call , and yet I feel that the call we listened to , that caller didn ’ t deserve to be provided the level of customer service delivered .”
I paused and then continued , “ What can we do to prevent this from happening again ? I believe that this call doesn ’ t define you , and I know you can do much better .”
I stopped talking and allowed Lenny to speak . She mentioned she :
• Could take a quick breather before being ready to take the next call . That way , what happened on a challenging call doesn ’ t carry over to the next call .
• Would change the location of her work desk from the basement to a room in her house facing a window as she noticed herself feeling pessimistic .
• Would add an aromatic candle close to her desk to help her feel positive and clean up the space around her , creating her place of Zen .
I asked Lenny if she could find some positive quotes and place them close to her computer monitor , something that would allow her to get through challenges with a positive outlook . She said she had the perfect quote on Facebook that seemed to resonate with her and knew where to place the quote .
I also asked her what she does on her breaks , and she said that she sits at her desk eating snacks or looking through emails and chats . I requested that she leave her desk during breaks and lunch and go for a quick walk or something that gets her to move away from her computer .
And as usual , I followed up with an email stating that this was a documented coaching . I also summarized what took place during this discussion .
I followed up with Lenny a few days later and discovered that she was able to find someone to fix her car for less than what the auto shop was charging .
There ’ s that saying that no man can live like an island , and though the COVID-19 pandemic has created new opportunities , it has caused us to be alone with our thoughts .
If those thoughts are optimistic , they can lift us to new heights , but when they are pessimistic they can take us to unimaginable lows , causing us to say and do things to ourselves and to others that we wouldn ’ t do if we were thinking rationally .
Mark Pereira is a Trainer and On-Site Supervisor at Briljent LLC . He is a Certified Professional Trainer ( CPT ), Certified Customer Service Professional ( CCSP ), and Modern Classroom Certified Trainer ( MCCT ). Mark is a learning leader who applies what he learns to continuously add value to his team while also implementing proven teaching methods to improve retention while taking calls , effective coaching , engaging agents for increased productivity , and leading with empathy . Mark has a bachelor ’ s degree in Commerce ( B . Comm .), and currently lives in Indianapolis , Ind .