Consumers have more power than ever today. The internet offers disgruntled buyers a valuable platform on which to air their grievances and influence fellow buyers’ decisions.
As a result, customers complaining on social media and review sites can have a serious impact on a business’ reputation.
You have to bear this in mind when managing your call center. Your agents are paid to deliver the best customer experience possible and represent the company at its finest. There are certain call center agent mistakes you simply cannot allow your agents to make in their day-to-day work.
1. Putting Customers On Hold for Far Too Long
All of us have had to contact a call center at one time or another.
We know how frustrating it is to be placed on hold for unfeasibly long times. This is one of the most common call center agent mistakes, subjecting you to minutes of silence or the same song over and over.
Even if call center agents have a valid reason to put a customer on hold, they should make every effort to keep it to a minimum. If they have to consult a manager or track down data for the customer, the agent should arrange to call them back rather than make them wait on hold.
Use QA software, like Playvox, to monitor customer interactions and identify when callers are being placed on hold. Make sure agents are aware of the call length and offer to call customers back so as to not keep them waiting.
2. Passing Callers From One Agent to Another
Another of the top call center agent mistakes? Being passed from one agent to another.
When customers call your center, they want to be connected to one individual who can resolve their issue with as little fuss as possible. That’s it.
When agents are passing customers from one person to another, it suggests nobody really knows how to handle their query — or to resolve it. The caller may become so irritated they hang up and never buy from the company again.
Make sure agents receive training in all possible situations a caller may present. Playvox’s Learning Product provides agents with ongoing training at their desk, without the need to pull them away from work.
Alternatively, consider appointing specialized agents trained to handle specific issues only. Their colleagues will be able to connect customers to them directly and help resolve the problem with minimal hassle.
Another option is to add other agents to a call. They will be able to work together to help the customer, and the first can get the second up to speed rather than requiring the caller to explain their issue multiple times.
3. Subjecting Callers to Unreasonable Queues
Nobody wants to be stuck in a call center queue for 10 minutes, 20 minutes, or even longer. People are busy. People have things to do.
To avoid one of the most common call center agent mistakes, you have to make sure any call queues are kept as short as possible. Customers could hang up before they even get through and post a terrible review online.
If you find your call queues are too long, perhaps the time has come to hire more agents. This means spending more money, of course, but the investment is well worth it to retain paying customers.
You may need to reschedule shifts and breaks to accommodate busier times. For example, if multiple agents tend to take their lunch during periods of high demand, start switching them around.
4. Expecting Customers to Repeat Details
This may seem like a small part of a call, but asking customers to repeat details they have already given is another of the most common call center agent mistakes.
Not only does this suggest the agent in question is paying no attention, but it also implies your system needs work.
Ideally, agents should have access to the customer’s information immediately so they can concentrate on resolving the issue instead of becoming confused by basic details.
You need call center software that will track customers’ data and equip agents with everything they need to deliver personalized, accurate service — without needing customers to repeat themselves.
5. Asking Customers to Visit Your Website Instead
Too many call centers request callers to head to their website rather than continuing with the interaction. This usually comes as a recorded message while on hold or during the call itself.
This may be one of the more overlooked call center agent mistakes, but it’s still unacceptable.
While this is an attempt to keep call center queues down and help customers resolve issues themselves, it’s unbelievably annoying to hear. Customers called you for a reason and are expecting to receive help. They have likely already visited your website but didn’t find the right information.
Make sure you remove this request from your agents’ scripts immediately.
6. Your Agents are Undermotivated and Unengaged
You want your agents to give 100 percent every day. You want customers to end calls feeling satisfied and happy to keep buying from the company.
However, it’s hard for agents to be at their best and satisfy callers when they feel completely disconnected from their role. Not enough businesses realize this is one of the common call center agent mistakes.
A little healthy competition and a rewards scheme can make a big difference. The Playvox reward program helps to keep agents aiming for top results.
Measuring each agent’s performance can help you identify specific issues that may affect their work. You can provide real-time feedback and encouragement to boost their results too.
7. Not Making Time For Ongoing Training
Ongoing training is essential to keep your agents up to date with the latest techniques, ideas and goals. If you simply subject agents to a day of dull training when they join your call center and basically leave them to it for the rest of their career, you cannot expect them to keep improving.
Playvox Learning allows you to send targeted training to agents to improve specific flaws, refresh their knowledge and keep them interested. These are interactive, with quizzes and engaging content to try.
Recognize that training should be part of the regular work routine, delivered in a more personalized way. It should not feel like a chore that causes agents to switch off.
Follow the tips above to solve common call center agent mistakes and maximize your agents’ quality of service. Believe me, your customers will feel the difference.