Even if the real goal is to make customers happy and help them any way you can, it could be that customers still hate getting in touch with your contact center.
The hardest part about figuring out what needs fixing is that you might not be able to extract a straightforward answer from your clients, even with an effective VoC. It's up to you to see the bigger picture and analyze what needs fixing.
Below we’ll take a look and discuss the possible factors that could be creating a negative experience for your customers.
Badly designed IVRs
Sure, IVRs are meant to help clients by directing them to the appropriate agents. Yet often times, clients will give up and hang up before they even reach an agent.
The following issues could be the reason why:
- Poor voice recognition
- Too many options before moving forward
- An endless IVR that seems to never connect the client with an agent
These elements can make a client feel stressed and feel that they are wasting their time. They'll probably end up shouting back at the IVR system, and hang up and never calling back.
Link to a positive IVR experience article.
Agents that don’t understand clients' case
Picture this scenario:
A client calls a software company because they have been experiencing some technical issues over the past few days. They have looked through forums and tried to solve it on their own to no avail.
The client calls the customer service and explains the steps they took to solve the problem. The agent then proceeds to tell the client exactly what they have already tried to do. The frustrated customer becomes even more flustered.
Hands up if this has happened to you before. It wouldn't be the first time.
Agent training is such a vital part in building your customer success and brand loyalty, yet many organizations are unable to find the funding and organize themselves to train and hire a top notch team.
Customers have to repeat their issue over and over again
Not all customer issues can be solved through first call resolution. Sometimes, accounts need to be activated, agents need to check with their superiors, etc.
And more often than not, customers must call back as customer service doesn't offer a callback service or follow-up. So the next time the customer calls, not only are they speaking to another agent, they have to reexplain their case again and their issue was probably not even taken care of.
This is a clear sign of one of two things:
- An inefficient CRM system
- Poor note-taking skills and follow up from the agent's part
Wait line is too long
Your company: Thank you for calling (name of your company), the wait time is currently 25 minutes. We will connect you to an agent as soon as possible. Thank you for holding.
Client: Hangs up.
If a client has to wait that long, perhaps you need to consider hiring more agents. If the cost is too high, do some research and analyze the peak times and seasons to reorganize your staff's schedule to accommodate the high traffic.
Step up your game and offer to call customers back at a convenient time for them so they don't have to wait in line.
Agents are incomprehensible
Outsourcing call centers to developing countries have practically become the norm. However, many call centers poorly train their staff and/or don't hire well. As a result, agents have thick accents that are hard to understand and poor speaking skills.
Sure, every company is trying to run a lean operation and cut costs. And although that's fine, knowing which call center you will be working with can essentially make or break your brand. We shouldn't forget that call centers are the face of a company as they are the ones who have direct contact with customers.
So even if you are saving big time on call center costs, you are loosing sales and customers on the other end.
Unfriendly operation hours
Depending on your clientele, the big majority of them will work office hours. This means nine to five, plus the time it takes to commute to and from work. Based on this information, if you have similar operation hours to your customers work hours, this leaves them a very small window of free time to contact your customer service.
Add a long waiting time, a complicated IVR and any other factor listed in this article to the mix and you have the perfect recipe for a deficient customer service.
Customer is not king
Here're some common complaints:
Your client is not happy with their product, they didn’t receive it, or it broke after a few short days.
What’s your solution?
You stick to the strict guidelines and policies of your company and explain to them that their guarantee has passed, their product appears to have been delivered despite what they say, and it is now too late to provide a replacement.
Although customers might not be entirely right and some try to get away with freebies, many have legitimate complaints and the opportunity cost of sending a replacement, a new order or whatever it is that the customer wants is absolutely worth it.
Answers are generic
Not to sound like a broken record, but generic answers can only lead to a mediocre service. Teach agents how to personalize their interaction with your customers.
Generic and scripted answers are cold and impersonal. Let your agents' personality shine through and make the interaction more human.
Hint: Staying on a first name basis and empathizing can go a long way.
Creating a positive customer service is creating an environment where the customer actually looks forward to calling and speaking to one of your agents. Few companies are able to do this, but the ones that do are sure to reap immediate and long-term success.