As a business grows, a call center often becomes necessary to resolve issues, place orders, or make appointments for service calls. Depending on the type of business, a call center may deal with an excessive number of calls each day, making it difficult to reasonably staff enough people to provide an optimal customer experience.
In recent decades, businesses have begun outsourcing call center operations, both domestically and overseas. This means that new rules apply as you aim to provide high-quality customer service. Whether a call center is remote or on site, however, ensuring that all customers receive a top-notch experience when they call your company can be difficult. Here are a few things your call center should stop doing in an effort to maintain the high customer service levels you demand.
Customers understand that in order to reach someone with the specialized knowledge they need to resolve their issue, representatives sometimes must transfer them to another department. Sometimes this even requires a later call back, with the call escalated to the next level of support. If this transferring is effective, customers won't mind, especially if those results come quickly. However, if these efforts fail, customers will feel as though they're getting the runaround.
To avoid alienating the customers you're trying to retain, find ways to restrict the transfers within your call center each day. Through analytics, study those transfers and pay particular attention to those that aren't resolved within a short timeframe. You'll probably pinpoint problems within your system that could be driving customers away. Once you do, work with your team to resolve these issues once and for all.
Forcing Repeat Information
"Please enter your account number," the automated system says. The customer enters the account number then, as soon as the live operator comes on the line, she asks for the customer's account number again. Then the representative transfers the call to yet one more person who again asks for the account number.
Your system should be designed so that each person who picks up the phone has the customer information necessary to proceed. While a caller may be asked to verify his identity through a street address or the last four digits of his social, there's no reason he should have to repeat this information throughout the call. Leverage call center software with built-in CRM business tools integration like the ones at Talkdesk so that your team has access to comprehensive information about the customer when they call. When the agent can see the caller's name, phone number, address and interaction history in their computer in real-time, team members won't have to ask for this information over and over again.
The long, confusing menu options on phone systems have become the subject of sitcoms and stand-up comedy over the years for a reason. The problem seems to have only gotten worse with the inclusion of voice recognition software that seems to work ineffectively. As your organization grows, it can be easy for your menu system to become bloated and confusing if you simply keep adding items on.
To avoid your menus becoming a confusing maze of options, occasionally revisit the overall layout and consider new ways to group items together. Most importantly, call in occasionally and try to access popular departments the way your customers would. You might find that user experience exercise extremely enlightening.
Failing to Reward Success
There should be an incentive for your call center representatives to get real results. This is often accomplished through rewards and leaderboards. By gamifying the experience, you give your representatives something to shoot for as they take calls each day.
In addition to keeping track of the number of calls taken and resolved each day, your customers should be surveyed and their feedback should be used to reward employees who are providing top notch support. While you'll also use this information to retrain those who are performing poorly, you'll motivate employees more effectively by rewarding those who are doing well, which will give everyone else a goal.
Customers have come to accept call centers as a part of interacting with brands. Through providing an optimized customer experience, you can continue to build loyalty and boost your brand reputation.