Q. Dear Help Desk Coach:
When monitoring agent calls, I hear a lot of silence. It unsettles me and sometimes I hear the caller say “are you still there?” to the agent. What should my agents be doing/saying while trouble shooting a problem for a caller?
New at Monitoring
A. Dear New:
Agents are more likely to indulge in long periods of silence if they’re unaware of how they sound to callers during the call, and if they haven’t been trained in professional call handling techniques.
Speak to your agents about how unprofessional dead silence can sound to the caller. Agents can easily become absorbed in thought while problem solving, and lose track of time. However, the silence can be unsettling for the caller.
Suggest to agents they briefly mention what they’re doing behind the scenes, or say “I’m going to be quiet for a while as I concentrate on your issue.” The agent should frequently say something like “I’m still researching the issue” or “I’m testing a potential fix”.
Ideally, agents should self-monitor one call per day and identify one or two areas for improvement. Long silences will be noticeable. With suggestions on how to fill dead air space, agents can improve how they come across.
Remind agents to keep all ‘air time’ professional, as well as to not engage in idle chit chat with the caller, as that can sound unprofessional.
Help Desk Coach
© Donna Earl 2015.