4 Ways for Contact Center Agents to Capture Information more Effectively

When a customer calls into your contact center, an opportunity is presented to leave a lasting impression. To maximize these interactions, contact center leaders often focus on creating an efficient, high-quality experience for the customer to ensure they leave feeling satisfied. While a heavy focus is placed on customer experience when creating contact center programs and scripts, there are still basic pieces of information that need to be gathered from callers in order to document interactions. If this information is not gathered effectively, callers can be negatively impacted and leave the interaction feeling frustrated. This is why many of our clients come to us asking for guidance on how best to weave these requests into the conversation as seamlessly as possible.

There are so many ways to go about capturing this necessary information, and it may be difficult to piece together the specific language that is best fitting in these scenarios. Do you double check customer demographic information, or assume you heard it right the first time? Do you ask open ended questions or pose very specific ones so that the question isn’t misinterpreted?



One specific client recently requested guidance on how to enhance their specialists’ skills by exploring better ways to capture customer information. Andrea McCroskey, our Senior Clinical Operations Manager, shared four tips to help our client improve the experience for their customers:

  1. Readback: Confirm customer demographics by repeating information back to the customer every time to ensure accuracy.
  2. Call Control: When you need to capture large amounts of information, avoid using open-ended questions. Breaking up a large request into smaller requests can help keep the conversation on task and make it easier to type as the customer is talking.
            Example: Instead of asking, “Will you please provide your contact information?”, break it up a little more and ask for each bit of information separately: “Will you please provide your phone number?” and “What city and state do you live in?”
  3. Set the Expectation: Specialists should inform the caller upfront of the need to collect information, so they know what is needed and why. Let the customer know that you need to document information in your system as they speak. Specifically with adverse event and product complaint capture, it is important to give a clear explanation of the event capture process. A patient should feel confident knowing why their personal health information is being requested and what it is being used for.
            Example: “This is important information and I want to make sure I document all of it correctly so I may need to stop you to ask questions and confirm what I have captured.”
            Example: “Our drug safety department is very interested in hearing about your experience with our medication. This information is kept private and you can be anonymous for this report if you would like."
  4. Documentation: Lastly, use your tools! Consider capturing information in an unsaved word processing document or open text field of the system and transferring information into each individual data field after the call has ended. This can allow the specialist to focus on the caller and what they are saying instead of focusing on entering the data into the system.

In summary, it is important to be clear and concise when asking your customers for crucial information. Also, being transparent as to why the information is being collected will put them at ease and limit further questions. This customer information should be repeated back to the customer to ensure the highest level of accuracy, and, if allowed by your contact center, may be typed quickly into a free-text document rather than immediately into your database to limit dead air time and ensure the conversation remains focused on your customer’s needs.

At Centerfirst, we have been analyzing pharma contact center calls for years and have extensive knowledge on the best practices for your agents. As a third-party, we also provide transparency and unbiased insights while reviewing your contact center’s interactions. This allows us to provide the best possible recommendations for your specific contact center program. If you want unbiased transparency into your contact center, contact us.

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