Contact Center Trends

5 common call center mistakes that drive your customers away

Celia Cerdeira

By Celia Cerdeira

0 min read

5 Common Call Center Mistakes That Drive Your Customers Away

A memorable experience is crucial to drive customer loyalty. Find out how to avoid the 5 common call center mistakes and deliver superior experiences.

Call center software technology is evolving fast to be more customer-centric. Customer experience can make or break a business and with caller’s expectations for customer service on the rise, you can no longer afford to make the same call center mistakes.

Callers expect nothing less than perfect customer service and are happy to take their business elsewhere when they feel they are not getting it. That’s even more so with younger generations, such as Gen Z. They have very high expectations for customer service and are less prone to mistakes. In fact, a Talkdesk Research™ report found that 54% have stopped buying from a company in the past year due to an instance of poor customer service.

Keep reading for the five common reasons why your customers might be unsatisfied with your service and what you and your team can do to enhance the provided service:

1. Placing a caller on hold for a long time.

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 customers should only be put on hold as the last resort. Patience is a virtue, but not one that your customers should experience in your contact center. They are taking time out of their jobs, families, and other important things to reach out to customer support. A long hold time jeopardizes customer satisfaction levels, and ultimately, business results.

Every call center agent should strive to solve customer issues as quickly and efficiently as possible. Can I sufficiently resolve the caller’s issue while keeping them on the line? If the answer is yes, then 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 agent 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. A knowledge base system that enables agents to provide information quickly and accurately does wonders to improve customer service.

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.

2. Lengthy call queues.

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 altogether! Never again lose a huge account because they had to wait forever to talk to an agent.

3. Shuffling a caller around.

Another trend that drives callers crazy is when they can’t seem to reach an agent that resolves their issue. So they get bounced around from agent to agent and, with each transfer, they become increasingly irritated. 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:

Cross-train agents. If callers are jumping from agent to agent, it may be because your agents don’t know how to sufficiently resolve their issues. By training your agents to handle a wide variety of questions or to be able to provide support and sales, the likelihood that they will have to transfer the caller reduces significantly.

Train specialized agents. If it’s not necessary for each agent to know the answer to every single question that a caller may have, consider having specialized agents who take on specific issues. That way, when one of those special issues arise, the other agents know exactly who to transfer the caller to.

Utilize conference calls. If your agents have tried everything in their power to resolve an issue, but they still need a little guidance, no worries! Conference in a more experienced agent, tech support agent, or manager. Adding an agent to the call will help reduce the frustration of being passed along from agent to agent and actually can make calls more efficient, as the first agent can help the new agent get to the heart of the matter.

Invest in smarter software. Some call center software solutions feature routing software that routes each caller to the agent that can most appropriately resolve their issue. They can route by agent department, skill, language, knowledge, or anything else that is unique to that agent. When your caller is routed to the agent that is most qualified to meet their needs, transfers will be a thing of the past.

4. Telling callers to head to your website.

This is an annoying, yet still common, habit of call centers that results in a broken customer journey. 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.

5. Asking for redundant information.

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. 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 agent application that keeps all customer data within the agent’s reach. 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.

Every second agents lose trying to access customer data costs you both in terms of contact center operational performance and customer satisfaction. A personalized agent desktop positively impacts the customer experience.

Closing thoughts on common call center mistakes.

If you know that your agents are currently making some of these call center mistakes, there’s still time to act! 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. Nothing beats a happy workforce and satisfied customers!

Get in touch with us today for a free demo of the Talkdesk CX Cloud platform and see how to solve the most common call center mistakes.

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Celia Cerdeira

Celia Cerdeira

Célia Cerdeira has more than 20 years experience in the contact center industry. She imagines, designs, and brings to life the right content for awesome customer journeys. When she's not writing, you can find her chilling on the beach enjoying a freshly squeezed juice and reading a novel by some of her favorite authors.