Understanding Learning Styles to Improve Call Centers
Call center agents exist in most companies. They are the agents who handle incoming or outgoing customer calls within a business. They are the ones helping customers deal with locked bank accounts, setting up a speaker system, or finding that reset button on a device. Call center agents manage customer relationships by identifying needs, answering questions, solving problems, and building trust. They also up-sell products, get feedback, and gain insight directly from the customer.
Each instance a customer calls in is a critical interpersonal communication touchpoint between a customer and a business. One lousy customer call support experience might be the difference between a loyal customer for years to come or losing one.
We can all agree that call center agents are essential to keeping customers happy and vital to the success of any business. A small communication breakdown during a call is not just a one-star review. In the long-term, bad customer call support may hurt a business’ brand and bottom line.
Pain Points in Customer and Call Center Agent Communication
There is a long-standing pain point in providing the best service possible over a phone call. This is the limitation of voice communication within learning style preferences. If we compare learning style preferences, call centers are best suited only for auditory learners.
Auditory learners make up 30% of learners. These are people who best understand by their sense of hearing. They enjoy talking, listening, and asking questions. People who are auditory learners make great call center agents, as they tend to understand and provide great assistance to customers purely through speaking and listening. Customers who are auditory learners are great to deal with as well as they can describe their problems more clearly and understand spoken answers more easily. The problem is most customers and many call center agents are not auditory learners. This possible mismatch in learning preferences may cause unnecessary misunderstandings and time away from solving the issues for the call.
Understanding Learning Styles
Let’s explore the 4 main learning styles:
- Auditory learners: A person who prefers to learn by hearing and speaking. For example, having an in-depth discussion.
- Visual learners: A person who prefers to learn by seeing and observing things. For example, gaining understanding by looking at a picture or watching a video.
- Kinesthetic learners: A person who prefers to learn by doing and experiencing things. For example, getting hands-on with a project.
- Reading/writing learners: A person who prefers to learn by written words. For example, writing down notes or reading books.
Most people lean more towards one learning style over another. Preferences in learning styles greatly affect how much information people can understand and retain.
Missing the Visuals and More
The way people prefer to process information is important to help both the customer and call center agent get their points across. It is said that people can retain 80 percent of what they see, compared to 20 percent of what they read, and only 10 percent of what they hear. Limiting the information a call center agent can receive to only auditory information is asking for trouble from the start.
Taking into consideration that 65% of people are visual learners it is easy to guess where problems can come up.
How do you know if you are a visual learner? You are a visual learner if you are a person who:
- Learn best when information is presented visually like in a picture or design format.
- Benefits from visual aids such as film, video, maps, and charts.
- Like information shown as pictures and diagrams.
Visual learners need visuals to boost their level of understanding. Call center agents working with only spoken information are piecing together a puzzle with missing pieces.
The Move Towards Visual and Mix Learning Style Customer Support
The rise of video chat can be said to be a big improvement for businesses trying to improve their call centers. Video chat allows the customer and agent to see each other, improving how the communication is delivered. It adds to the conversation the ability for both parties to see each other’s facial expressions and body language. Video chat has a much higher level of personal touch, builds rapport, and a move towards replicating face-to-face communion.
Statistics show that 94% of businesses say video conferencing increases productivity. Think of all the Zoom, Teams, and GoToMeetings meetings we have sat in the last few years. The same idea has spread to call centers with the rise of companies like Talkative or Fonvirtual which allow for customer support via video chat.
Research by Webhelp found that 70% of customers in Europe surveyed have a preference for using video chat in a customer service setting. They also found that 27% of European consumers would switch to a different brand if they offered video chat for sales and customer service.
On the other hand, video chat, although more visual by nature, is still missing the visual aids. Having the ability to share screens, create drawings, add annotations, and send pictures is what visual learners benefit from.
There are many companies out there trying to cross the digital divide between customers and call center agents to bring visual learning to call centers. These companies understand that there are so many other types of learners out there who would appreciate live video chat and additional visual aids.
The Next Level of Customer Assistance
Here at Viewabo, we believe that the tools used for communication should be purpose-built. Viewabo is working to make the whole process of customer service communication the best it can be. Our team integrates ideas like learning styles, communication processes, and user feedback into Viewabo’s remote visual support platform. Our key feature allows customers to share through live video with call center agents exactly what they are seeing. Follow us to find out more (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook).