Customer service is not just about addressing consumer needs, it also about providing customer experience that can meet, if not exceed, basic expectations. Call centers gear up for this task by investing in continuous agent training, coaching, and other quality assurance measures. Customer service representatives are also reminded from time to time about the different call handling strategies that they can use to better assist customers over the phone.
One good strategy to deliver effective customer service is knowing what mistakes need to be avoided when assisting customers. Here are some common call center mistakes that your agents should keep in mind to prevent customer frustrations from happening:
1. Failure to resolve issue at first contact
Making the initial call is already a burden to your customers. Hence, not being able to fix the problem at initial contact will only add up to this existing frustration felt by callers. Identify the reasons why customer issues can’t be resolved completely at first contact. Some factors, such as system issues, staff shortage, or incompetent workforce, can be remedied once diagnosed and acted upon immediately.
2. Lack of courtesy
Unpleasant calls are common in customer support because of frustrated callers. That’s why call center agents must always be polite when interacting with customers. Irate customers are more likely going to be appeased if the agents attending to their needs talk to them patiently. The goal must be to make the customers feel that their concerns matter to the company and will be attended to shortly.
3. Long hold times
For most customers, having to call the company to resolve an issue is something that they shouldn’t be doing in the first place. So, having to wait or being placed on hold for a long time can aggravate this frustration. Troubleshooting must be done in a brief and uncomplicated manner by eliminating unnecessary procedures, such as customer satisfaction surveys.
4. Cold transfers
There are times when it’s unavoidable for agents to escalate customer concerns to other agents or departments that can handle the situations better. When this happens, the responding agent must be briefed about the concern to save the customer from having to explain the whole story all over again. Customer relationship management (CRM) software solutions must also be used to give agents access to relevant information that they can use to resolve concerns faster.
5. Complicated procedures
All information relayed by agents to customers must be phrased clearly and presented systematically to avoid confusion. The last thing you want to happen is having a customer call back because he misunderstood the instructions given to him previously. Interactive voice response (IVR) systems must also have optimized call routing options instead of complicated menu options.
The overall customer experience may be affected by the impression your clients get upon reaching out to your company. It’s therefore important to assess the quality of interaction you provide at every contact point between you and your customers. Avoiding these common mistakes can be a great way to make your voice-based customer service platform impressive.