In the Communication Center, the time the employee spends on the phone with the callers or called parties is inevitably very short. There is little time left for emotional or relationship clarifications. Concentrating on the concerns of the conversation partner has the highest priority.
Professional conversation management
This results in a special requirement for the agents: They have to take themselves back and be completely on the ball – driven by the desire to empathize with the situation, the concerns and the feelings of their customers and to understand what it is all about and where they can help in an advisory or selling capacity.
The professional attitude of the employees puts their own needs in the background. The desire for empathy and insight dominates. That requires a special guidance and company by Coache or superior.
From the active perception of the customers facts flow from many discussions in the course of the day together. It is the task of IPM Systematik to turn these facts into usable facts, with which the usage data are further processed. One of the results is a reporting which serves to optimise further discussions in order to permanently improve the professionalism of the employees and superiors and to be able to respond to the customers better = better and better.
This avoids misunderstandings, lowers the average handling time and increases the success rates. As a “side effect”, the satisfaction of all those involved increases – especially the customers, who feel better understood by employees working in a concentrated manner. Their insight “I do a good job” is the natural result of their consolidating experiences. Initiating and promoting positive development processes is one of the essential tasks of IPM Systematik.
The Interactive Advice System (Snapshot) promotes the quality of conversations with regard to content and especially supports the emotional focus on the behaviour of the customer. This reduces the mostly unconscious tendency of employees to focus on their own communication needs. Job profiles, employee profiles and management notes support the assignment to suitable projects and the active accompaniment in the job.
Emotional visions of the agents
Emotional misunderstandings often block the path to success, mostly as a result of different personalities. For example: The superior wants security and the employee is looking for adventure – it can also be the other way round. The security person feels hindered by the adventurer: I constantly have to check your things – you just can’t be relied on. The adventurer: All this reporting and data stuff just slows me down unnecessarily. I want to make a difference and I can’t?
Such emotional issues are easy to deal with if you have mastered conflict management and know who the “emotional vision” of the employee is really all about. In addition, it is very helpful to know their personality profiles and to serve everyone in their own way.
The personality is determined by the dominant basic needs – and accordingly it is quite different visions that touch the individual positively. What helps the respective employee is shown in the leadership tips.
The superior, coach or trainer can take the time to adjust to the employee. Motivation becomes successful when one meets the deeper motives.
Depending on the context in which the customer finds himself, his different “emotional visions” control his actions and reactions. The demand to interpret the utterances situatively, immediately and correctly overwhelms (almost) all people. This task is performed by the “Interactive Advice System”.
Tune up to the customer
We trust the people we know when they take the time to listen to us and then respond in our “emotional language”.
Therefore, we complement the interest by adapting to the emotional language of our employees and customers. As soon as you try to empathize with the basic emotional attitude of a conversation partner and recognize how he thinks and feels at the moment, turn to him. In this moment you “automatically” withdraw yourself and your concerns and your interest becomes noticeable, even and especially if it is not verbalized. This is the first step towards building trust, by the way. Open and focused on the person you are talking to, you will not only hear what they are saying, but you will also feel very intensely how they are expressing something.
This kind of exact listening is a natural characteristic of all people. It is strengthened by the use of the IPM system and “automatically” practiced again and again. The snapshot mask, for example, prompts you to determine the way in which the person you are talking to introduces himself or answers.
To click on the right terms, you concentrate on the partner. As a natural reaction to the non-verbal affection of the agent, he reveals his current emotional attitude – expresses his concerns or objections (also a piece of self-revelation), to which the employee, without having to make an effort, reacts positively supportive. Like the opposite of the vicious circle, a very fast approach takes place, which makes trust possible.
This is intensified “to the customer to respond” by the communication references of the Snapshots. To make it easy, IPM starts with the four basic colours. With every click it is checked whether the behaviour and the type of argumentation are still appropriate. If the customer changes his inner attitude, he changes with it – which in turn strengthens trust. The fact that customers, after questioning, also regard such IPM-supported conversations as positive and the conversational partners as more trustworthy is a consequence of the appropriate way of talking to them.
The positive side effect has to do with the self-perception of the employees. One is supported in his task by a modern tool, can concentrate better on the customer, gets better feedback and avoids negative stress. With a good decision all involved ones profit.
Self-confidence is a good feeling. And it is highly interesting from an economic point of view. Whether inbound or outbound, security is contagious. It allows the customer to trust the statements of the employees. This makes conversations shorter and more successful.
Communication centers ensure that employees can make phone calls with this inner peace of mind. Among other things, it is helpful to involve the agents in the design of new projects at an early stage. An effective means of communicating the importance of customer contacts and thus the importance of the employee himself is to actively involve them in the design of IPM tools, processes and strategies.
Together with the project managers, IPM prepares the communication notes. They are then continuously reviewed and improved with the employees.
Employees are the real communication experts in their project – because they do this job for many hours every day.
What they sometimes lack is critical distance. But it can be trained. The effect is a feeling of acceptance on the part of the customer. They feel that they are being taken seriously and that efforts are being made to really understand them. This, in turn, the employee feels and his self-confidence grows.
Improve quality step by step
Quality is a consequence of the exact adjustment to the conversation partner. One is understood if one chooses the right language, verbally and non-verbally.
The individual personality of the client determines what is right and what is wrong, what has a positive effect and what has unpleasant side effects.
- Who talks at the customer past, wastes time and assigns possible chances.
- Who wants to deal with the customer, must know in the situation, which personality portion determines its thinking, feeling and acting.
- knowledge requires information.
The task of snapshots is to provide team leaders and coaches with this information in real time. The “enemy” of this professional communication is the tendency towards convenience. One is sometimes like that and sometimes like that. As a superior or coach, you need tools to be able to perceive such changes at an early stage. If the employee falls back into an unprofessional attitude, he doesn’t like that himself, by the way, because that makes side effects, like simply bad feelings about oneself in the job. But it is human – and it requires intervention in the interest of both sides.
In most communication centers, evaluation and reporting systems are available about the professional situation. This information supplements the IPM system with information on snapshot usage, so that the coach or team leader can be given feedback on changes in success and possible causes in a timely manner.
Promote agent well-being
An agent who feels emotionally good has a much more positive effect on the telephone. You trust a person who you feel is balanced in himself. Nonverbal the callers give a positive feedback – which is also confirmed in the results.
The success of the agents is highly dependent on the quality of motivation and leadership. Team leadership and coaching are the drivers of success.
Depending on the depth motivation of the employee one will
- serving positive curiosity: the need for knowledge is curious about interesting and unknown things about connections, backgrounds and structures. As media fit clear, graphic information. Give the employee access rights to internal information systems as far as possible and ask him for research on a case-by-case basis.
- with Provide stories: The empathic confrontation with your projects is stimulated by living examples, such as experience reports. Suitable media are narratives during personal contacts. Speak openly about your ideas and concerns. Use his intuition and imagination.
- Giving feedback: His need for individuality expects information addressed to him personally, in particular on questions of quality or technical features. Assign him to a large extent the professional, content-related responsibility. Ask him for his opinion.
- letting him mletting him participate: The need for integration wants to experience belonging in a joint conversation. It is pleased about references to other relation partners and about the chance on new contacts. Integrate it for example by Meetings. Just let him participate.
- >support with reliability: Security interests require stable organisational structures, guidelines, advice on sustainability issues, risk avoidance, hedging strategies or possible guarantees. Give him the feeling of consistency and show that you value his loyalty.
- >supplying him with visions: information about innovations, ideas for success, challenges serve his assertive interests. Use everything that helps him to “get an idea”. Ask him again and again to present his own ideas / visions – and give him the freedom to realize coordinated goals independently.
All participants should be doing well – supporting each other in this is a question of empathy and mutual openness. In successful Communication Centers, all participants show what matters to them.