The knowledgeable customer expects the best – and if they don’t get it, they’ll take their business elsewhere. It may be time to re-think your customer service strategies in an effort to avoid these four mistakes that many call centers make.
1. Transferring the Caller
Sometimes, phone options (press 1 for Department A, press 2 for Department B) aren’t clear enough for the caller. It’s normal to finally get somebody on the phone and then find out you’re in the wrong place – in these circumstances, callers tend to understand that they’ll be transferred. Once they do reach the correct department, though, being shuffled around and having to reiterate their story over and over is frustrating. The correct IVR script, as well as cross-train agents, can handle a wide variety of issues. In addition, there are tools available to today which will help you identify where the call breaks down.
2. “May I place you on hold?”
That dreaded sentence is like nails on a chalkboard to a customer. Why? They expect to be on hold for much longer than a moment or two. It’s not always an option to resolve a problem without putting the caller on hold, but whenever possible, it is best to complete the call without making them wait or transferring them to another department. (First Call Resolution). Having information at the agent’s fingertips and smart desktops where information is readily available is helpful.
3. Heavy Call Volumes and Wait Queues
Placing a caller on hold is bad, but making them wait in a queue is worse. Just because the wait message says, “Your call is important to us,” that doesn’t mean consumers are convinced their time matters to the call center! If nothing can be done about high call volume (like utilizing live chat functions or adding common questions to a FAQ database), it may be necessary to have more agents available during busy times, or to have a callback scheduler or even have a BPO set up for seasonal heavy call volume. For your best customers, give them a special VIP contact number so they can skip the queue altogether.
4. Directing Callers to the Website
If a customer’s gone through the trouble of getting somebody on the phone, the last thing they want to do is go back to the website. May times they initially came from the website and now they are calling because their problem could not be solved with self-help. Your customer service agents should be prepared for more challenging calls.