Unless your Call Center policies make sure to minimize, if not eliminate these mistakes, you have already lost 60% of your customers to hang-ups because of them.
One easy way to evaluate the quality of your customer service is to visualize yourself as a customer with a complaint or query, and go through the process your company puts callers through. Were you satisfied with the service? Was it a seamless process, or a nerve-wrecking one?
While a lot of call centers go through regular quality assessments, these weak points are often overlooked and their consequences are often underestimated. Here’s what can prevent these consequences.
MISTAKE #1 – YOUR CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVES HAVE INCOMPLETE KNOWLEDGE
Solution: Train your agents before giving them a headset
There’s no denying it – lack of information always shows. Whether the customer service rep tries to smother the customer’s cries for help with support lingo, or if he simply stays silent, it will be obvious. And it will affect call dropout rates.
Always have regular quality checks, and train your agents well enough to be able to handle the situation correctly. Or at least without having the customer jump from agent to agent, which is the next major mistake we’ll discuss.
MISTAKE #2 – CALLERS ARE REDIRECTED MULTIPLE TIMES
Solution: Your customer is not a kangaroo. Don’t make him jump from agent to agent.
Callers are already frustrated (which is why they called in the first place). Making them answer questions over and over again will not only put your company at risk of bad feedback, it also accounts for them switching over to a competitor.
Using a Call Center Software to keep track of previous complaints and data not only saves time (the agent can use this extra time to tend to the next customer, and the caller can also return to his tasks), but it also instills confidence. Take the following scenario:
Agent: “Good morning, this is the XYZ Customer Services Department. How may I help you?”
Caller: “I need to upgrade my services.”
Agent: “Let me help you with that. According to the information in our system, you have subscribed to the 3-in-1 Bundle since the 1st of March, 2016. Am I speaking to David?”
Caller: “Yes! I’d like to have the 5-in-1 Bundle for the next 3 months.”
Agent: “Alright, I’ve sent a command and you will receive a confirmation notification on your cell phone. Can you confirm if 612-3456 is the number you would like to be notified at?”
Caller: “Yes, thank you.”
Now imagine having to give out all that information including your name, subscription details, date of subscription, and phone number. Again, imagine having to give out this information every single time you call or are redirected to another agent!
This fact is underestimated because 74% of customers will hesitate to call again for the same reason, which can eventually lead to them abandoning your company abruptly. This is also a cue to focus on your First Call Resolution Rate.
MISTAKE #3 – PUTTING CALLERS ON HOLD
Solution: Stay connected with them during the conversation
Yes, you read that right. Before you think ‘That’s impossible!’, hear me out.
While 32% of customers say there should be no hold time at all, this does not mean the 68% likes to be put on hold.
Think about it: It’s much easier to hang up to a fancy musical tone that to hang up on a real person during the conversation. (Well, it depends on how frustrated the caller is. Huh.)
Instead of putting callers on long waiting periods, or even on short periods, simple reassuring phrases such as “Please bear with me while I look for a solution” or “Our computer is analyzing your account, this may take a while. Thank you for your patience.” keeps the connection going and makes the caller aware that someone is tending to his problem.
On the other hand, there’s more than one crazy assumption we’ve been guilty of making when we’re forced to listen to slow jazz or monotonic tunes. Did the agent really forward my complaint? Is he making coffee? What’s taking so long? Is he playing games on his computer??
You know how it goes.
MISTAKE #4 – PITCHING A SALE DURING THE CALL
Solution: Keep sales in the Sales Department, and customer service in the Customer Service Department
Remember, your callers are already in a knot. They don’t and won’t appreciate sales offers during the call. This also applies for trying to make them visit your website. The reason being that they probably already tried your website but still have unanswered questions.
If you really want to pitch a deal, you can forward a text message to their number after the call is finished. For example:
“Thank you for calling XYZ Customer Services. We hope your issues were resolved. You might be interested in our newest offers and discounts at $50 per service.”
This technique can be even better if you have different message drafts relating to the services they called about. If they are interested, you’ll know.
MISTAKE #5 – BEING THE ONE WHO DROPPED THE CALL
Solution: Select the correct equipment and underlying network to avoid mishaps from your side
This is the mistake that leaves both the caller’s and the agent’s heads shaking. If a company is responsible for choppy voice quality, lags, and call drops, they’re closing the doors upon themselves.
Call centers have to handle large call volumes, hence need the best voice quality they can get. This becomes much easier if call centers use a hosted network instead of buying the complete infrastructure.
This is helpful in a way that:
- the organization can use the money they saved to buy the best headsets and phones for their agents, instead of using that budget on on-premise technology
- they do not need to manage or repair the hosted servers themselves, reducing downtime and eliminating maintenance schedules and fees
- by using VoIP’s QoS (Quality of Service) option, the organization can prioritize a greater bandwidth to voice data, so the voice quality stays top-notch.
Though most of these mistakes impact the emotional part of a call, isn’t that what customer satisfaction is all about?
Take care of your customers, and your customers will take care of you.