Nobody wants to need customer service. We'd prefer that our orders ship perfectly, that are our credit cards clear flawlessly, and that our technology functions smoothly. But almost everyone eventually needs to deal with a call center to get issues resolved.
The typical response from a customer when asked about their call center experience varies greatly. Usually it's negative, an "Ughhh, sigh."
Despite the bad rap call centers have endured for decades, they are more than just cost centers. Truly successful contact centers care about improving the customer experience by focusing on quality assurance and caring about employees.
Think you know the call center world? Think again!
Here's 10 Call Center Myths Debunked:
Myth 1: No one uses the phone anymore
The number one channel for customer service is still the good 'ole telephone. Older generations prefer to talk to a real-person. This will change as younger generations arise, with preferences for live-chat and social media. But for now, the phone is here to stay.
Myth 2: Agents don't care about customers
Yes, they do. The average call centers spends nearly $9,000 to hire and train a call center customer service rep. Avoiding high turn-over that will cost the contact center millions of dollars is a priority. Recruiters tirelessly search for people they feel have the skills and behaviors to take care of customers efficiently and effectively.
Myth 3: Most call centers are offshore
Wrong. This was true in the 80s and 90s when call centers really functioned more like cost centers. But with the shift in technology, empowered customers are smart and demand higher quality. Most companies have brought their service centers back to the U.S. for more complex problems. If there is an offshore call center, it's typically used for tier 1 calls.
Myth 4: Remote call center agents aren't as productive
This one is for those old school managers who still think employees need to physically be in a seat with them to be useful. Studies overwhelmingly show that remote agents actually feel more valued, respected, and therefore are more productive. With new cloud-based software, having a remote (and engaged) workforce is 100% doable. And it will save the company a fortune.
Myth 5: Working in a call center is mindless work
Difficult and mundane maybe. But definitely not mindless. Many customer service reps multi-task two jobs, families, and school. They are energetic, positive, and patient people who know how to problem solve. And agents deserve credit for being the reason customers are loyal to the company they represent.
Myth 6: Managers care more about quantity over quality of calls
The age-old battle of the call center metric world: Resolve the Call the first time (FCR) OR resolve the call as quickly as possible (AHT). There's no easy answer. Both are important and really depend on the product and customer profile.
Myth 7: Working in call centers is for young people
Most call centers have a wide-varitey of ages, with the mean rising to people in their 30s. Salaries are comparable to teaching salaries in some states. Bonuses, incentives, and promotions are structured to keep employees engaged and wanting to stay for the long-term.
Myth 8: Email is dead
Nope. Ticketing-based support systems through email forms are actually on the rise. Self-support channels and the internet-of-things may be a major contributor to this. As well as younger generations not wanting to talk on the phone.
Myth 9: Call center executives don't care about their employees
Obviously execs must care about the bottom-line: profitability and return-on-investment of the call center. BUT, in order to keep customers loyal and actually make money, leaders must invest in employees and care about their happiness.
Myth 10: Robots will replace people in customer service
Technology serves to assist and enhance customer service, but the human experience will be needed for many more decades to come. Sure people will have to adapt to integrating technology, but it will not replace us completely any time soon.