With the advent of new call center software technology that enhances the customer experience and a movement towards companies being more customer-centric, caller’s expectations for customer service have recently increased and you can no longer afford to make the same call center mistakes.
Today, callers don’t have to tolerate sub-par service and are happy to take their business elsewhere when they feel service is lacking. If this intro has you shaking in your boots, it might be time to re-think how you run your call center. Keep reading for common reasons why your customers might be unsatisfied with your service and what you and your team can do to enhance the service they provide:
There is nothing worse for a caller than hearing those dreaded words, “Would you mind if I place you on hold while I…” These words are a red flag that the call is going to take much longer than expected. They are so painful that over 32% of customers think that they should never have to be put on hold.
Although this might not be an entirely realistic standard for your company, it is a goal that every call center agent should strive for. Can I sufficiently resolve the caller’s issue while keeping them on the line? If the answer is yes, than don’t press that hold button! Try talking with them while you search for information.
If you’re a call center manager and you have realized that your hold times are exceeding a few minutes, you absolutely have to find a way to cut back on them. It might just take a little troubleshooting and then enhancing training to reduce inefficiencies. Or perhaps it is time to streamline your processes so that agents don’t have to waste time looking through a mess of information for the one thing they really need.
Or maybe it’s time to upgrade your call center software so that your call center agents have access to comprehensive information about the caller from all of your integrated business tools available in the browser as the phone rings. Whatever the solution, you should do everything in your power to make sure that callers are put on hold for as short of amount of time as possible, if at all.
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Quick! What’s worse than waiting on hold? Waiting in a waiting queue for a long period of time! According to a survey by American Express, two of the most annoying phrases to customers are “We’re sorry, but we’re experiencing unusually heavy call volumes.
You can continue to hold or try back at another time” and “Your call is important to us. Please continue to hold.” Yikes! Don’t be another company that doesn’t care if their customers wait an obscene amount of time to talk to an agent, or worse, that doesn’t care if they lose customers to lengthy queues.
If your company is guilty of having ridiculously long waiting queues, you have to stop the madness! Maybe that means hiring more agents or shuffling around your schedule so that you have more agents on hand during your busier times. Or it could mean hiring on-call agents that work remotely during high call volume periods. Or if you want to be a really amazing company, you can treat your best customers to VIP routing where they can skip the queue all together! Never again lose a huge account because they had to wait forever to talk to an agent.
Another trend that drives callers crazy is when they cannot seem to reach an agent that can resolve their issue. So they get bounced around from agent to agent and, with each transfer, they become increasingly irritated. According to a recent survey, the most cringe-worthy phrase that a customer can hear when contacting a business is “We’re unable to answer your question.
Please call xxx-xxx-xxxx to speak to a representative from xxx team.” Results from this study suggests that the only thing worse than bouncing around from agent to agent is expecting customers to do the bouncing themselves.
There are a few ways to avoid this constant shuffling:
This is an annoying, yet still common, habit of call centers. Either while the caller is on hold or at some point during the call, an agent or an automated recording tells the caller to head to the website for faster service. This is one of the largest mistakes a company can make. The caller called you for a reason. They probably already tried the website, have a unique question or simply prefer using the phone. The solution to this one is simple. Just don’t do it. You can mention that the website is an option, but never try to push a caller in that direction.
If your callers have already entered information about themselves or told your agents information, do not make them repeat it. It shows that your system is inefficient and is just plain annoying. It also sacrifices efficiency and makes calls take longer than they should and longer than they need to.
One way to avoid this is by investing in call center software that keeps track of your callers’ data. When you do, your agents won’t even need to ask much at all. All of the data about a caller will be available at their fingertips when the caller phones in. This way, the agents can focus on solving the issue at hand instead of trying to gather the information they need. It will also help them avoid mistakes, increase response time and make the process smoother for everyone involved.
If you know that your agents are currently making some of these annoying call center mistakes, fear not! Many of them are easy to fix and well worth the time it takes to do so. Creating and maintaining a more efficient and helpful call center structure will help your company’s reputation, revenue and retention rates. And at the end of the day, both your agents and your customers will be much happier… and nothing beats a happy workforce and satisfied customers!