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How Contact Centre Services Work: 3 Ways To Happier Customers

Fix These Customer Contact Centre Turn-Offs

Working for and managing customer service centres is tough work. Contact centre employees who answer inbound calls don't have the advantage of seeing body language to gauge a customer's mood, health, or other visual clues. They rarely have control over wait times and the menu options customers are often required to navigate before they can speak to a human. It's up to managers to talk to customer service reps on the front lines to find out where problems arise and find solutions.

customer contact centre

Here are some recent findings on the most common complaints about customer service centres. Many can be resolved with changes in contact centre management practices and agent empowerment.

Most Customers Say Their Calls Are Not Resolved

In 2013, Virginia-based Customer Care Measurement & Consulting and the WP Carey School of Management at Arizona State University, reported on findings from a repeat of a 1976 study to see how customer service has changed over the years. They found that, on the whole, customer service hasn't improved much in terms of customer satisfaction and in many ways, there is more anger than ever. This is a serious matter, since today's customers will not stay loyal to a brand unless they are satisfied with how their problem is fixed.

Most tellingly, 56% of respondents to the study, which was conducted between 2011 and 2013, said their problems weren't solved during their first encounter with customer service. Just 21% reported that the problem was resolved during the first call, and 60% called three or more times. Between 2011 and 2013, the number of respondents who said they got absolutely no resolution from call centres increased from 47% to 56%.

customer contact centre

This applies to contact centre employees because in spite of the availability of websites and Facebook and Twitter accounts set up for customer service purposes, Americans still prefer to call in their complaints by a margin of 11:1. The problem is that while there are more call centre technologies, companies are "doing all the right things the wrong way."

Here are what customers say are the main problems:
  • Automated response menus are too complicated to navigate.
  • Agents aren't empowered to fix the problem.
  • Phones are understaffed.

Agents are Seen as Insensitive to Customer Problems

Customers also disliked the way agents spoke to them, and resented what was and wasn't said.
  • Just 35% felt they were treated with dignity.
  • Only 21% weren't assured that the problem would not happen again.
  • Only 23% received an explanation about why the problem occurred, and just 32% received an apology for the inconvenience.
  • 33% were thanked for their business.
  • 32% disliked the scripted approach agents used to speak with them. Instead of using a script, try using these best practice phrases.

Make Hold Time Less Painful

People who call customer service do not want to be forced to listen to elevator music, says US News & World Report. They also dislike being on hold for more than five minutes.

Well-designed and properly integrated call centre management tools can minimize hold times through queue optimization techniques that include automated call distribution and priority routing and skills-based routing. Because these require input from customers, options must be clear and not too numerous. Management should consult a service that can analyze past inbound calls and create a solution to manage inbound calls to ease the tension on callers and agents alike.

Consider getting rid of standard hold music. There are companies that create more interesting compositions for hold. Better yet, combine music with messages, advises Denwa Communications, a business phone systems provider in England. Providing information about other products and services is another avenue to reach customers. If upselling isn't relevant, mention the business website address or Twitter feed to break up the music.

Written by TeamSMF

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How Contact Centre Services Work: 3 Ways To Happier Customers Reviewed by Nicolas At SMF on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 Rating: 5
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