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AM I A SCAMMER? The Existential Crisis in Call Center Reps

“Do you guys think we’re a scam?”

A colleague from a previous call center company once said those words after getting screamed at by a caller. I was a new customer service rep at that time and believe me, I’ve pondered on the thought at that time as well. Each rep was getting a huge amount of customer complaints on a daily basis.

The client company we were working with wasn’t known at all. It was a small company but has growing operations. It wasn’t as big as the telecommunications or credit card companies major call centers in the Philippines usually cater. It mostly relied on online ads and sold through the website and phone sales.

After some time, the thought of the client company being a scam just went away.

As it turns out, this crisis among call center reps might be more common than I have expected. Only recently, a new hire hit me with a question, “is this product legit?” This was during an orientation we are giving them.

Now, I looked deeper into the issue, put myself back in the shoes of customer service and reflected.

Here’s what I think are the major reasons why reps would doubt the product or services:

  1. The product and company is new to them
  2. They find the complaints and objections overwhelming
  3. They empathize with the customer in the wrong way

Now, if you are a small to medium sized company who manages a sales or customer support team, you might have this issue within your team. BUT, there’s a simple solution to avoid these problems.

There are three things you must have in your team to be able to combat this and raise the morale of your members:

  1. Know the Product Well –Whenever we’re signing up a new client for our call center services, especially if the product is new to us, we always make sure to ask if they are willing to have a training session with the team themselves. Not every client has the time though. If that’s the case, we simply ask if they can provide or recommend training materials, if there are none, we go the extra mile to do more research in addition to what we have already learned. This is to help us train the agents ourselves. Whenever I’m the one who gets to do the training I always say that the key to being effective over the phone, whether it’s selling or support, is product knowledge. I believe it all boils down to product knowledge.
  2. Make sure the team has a proper mindset –Once everyone knows the product, the key is to believe in the product. We can’t expect to have our employees actually love what they are selling. I mean come on, can you really expect someone to love documents preparation services or airline tickets? What matters is they believe, believe that the product they sell or service is and can be of value to the customer.
  3. Have a culture of customer service –Customer service isn’t just for customer service reps. Customer service is not a process. It should be a culture. This is where the team’s conviction for the product would manifest. Did you know that a lot of leading companies in very competitive industries keep ahead of their competitors because of their customer service? That’s a fact.

Being aware of this problem and being prepared to solve it could make the difference for the success of your customer service or phone sales team. In fact, we can consider the three elements of the solution to be the foundation of having a successful phone team.