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4 Order Processing Best Practices for CSRs

In addition to answering customer service related questions and concerns, CSRs often also process orders. If that is the case for your business, here are some order processing best practices that will make the process  easier and more efficient.

Priority #1: Compliance

The first and most important practice is always compliance with the regulations that govern collection and usage of confidential customer data. When our agents ask for a credit card number and security code for order payment, they must follow three rules:

  • They must pause the call recording when capturing the card number. This assures that anyone listening to a recording of the call at a later time cannot hear the card number. It also assures the card number will not be stored in the system. Some contact centers now use technology that automatically redacts sensitive information without the CSR having to manually pause the recording.

  • The agent must never, under any circumstance, jot down card numbers or codes on scratch paper. This is a big deal, and failure to follow this rule is not dealt with lightly. Companies face heavy penalties and fines.  Best to ensure that no paper, writing utensil, phones, etc. are allowed at the desktop. Also, cross-cut shredders should be available in any areas where credit card data is handled so that in the event sensitive data is on paper, it can be shredded as quickly as it is identified.

    It can be tempting to make notes rather than trying to remember the number, but compliance rules, for obvious reasons,  do not allow using pen and paper. The best practice is for CSRs to enter the card number directly into the system as the customer speaks it.

  • It is preferred that agents not repeat back the card number or code to the caller—  because that could allow anyone else in the area to overhear. So, if the CSR does not hear the customer clearly, they must apologize and ask the caller to repeat the number — remembering to pause the call recording again. There are no exceptions to this rule.  Most software now completes a real time authorization of the card information so incorrect card data will be identified during that process.

Best Practice #2: Confirmation

When processing an order, we must always confirm the items, quantities, and other details with the customer. Our goal is 100% accuracy — no mistakes, no miscommunication, nothing omitted. While this does make the overall call a bit longer, it also reinforces in the customer’s mind that the company is committed to quality service.

Best Practice #3: Providing Proof of Order

Finally, once the order is taken and confirmed, our CSR must always give their customer an order confirmation number. The customer then has an easy way to track their order or reference it if a question arises. Providing seamless order tracking shows customers they haven’t been forgotten after they hang up. This further enhances the ordering experience and builds anticipation to receive their package.

Best Practice #4: CSR Compliance Training

Order processing best practices seem straightforward enough, but contact centers cannot afford mistakes. This is not an instance in which customer service reps can “wing it.” The only way to ensure they adhere to the rules is through training, frequent refreshers, and by making compliance a high priority when it comes to quality assurance monitoring.

The Bottom Line

Following these best practices without fail protects the company from legal risks and fines and ensures customer data is fully secure. Beyond that, proactive efforts to ensure order accuracy and completeness show customers that CSRs are both caring and careful. And that can lead to greater customer trust and loyalty.

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