When was the last time you had great customer service? You probably remember it very clearly: one brand that stood out amongst the others as doing a fantastic job of meeting your needs in a courteous and timely manner. Really, it’s a shame that it’s so easy to recall that one specific instance, mostly because that means the general state of customer care as a whole is still pretty poor. Ideally, it would be rather difficult to pick your “best” recent customer experience because they’ve all been so great! However, with most people my age still inclined to want to clean toilets, change diapers, or do physical labor than contact customer service, it’s clear there’s still a long way to go for most companies. So, what is causing all of the frustration and, more importantly, what can you do about it?
Nothing frustrates customers quite like wait times.
Delayed responses or long hold times
Many of you probably assumed this, but delayed responses and long holds are still the number one most hated aspect about reaching out to customer service. People are busy, demand instant gratification, and have the expectation that their questions will be answered quickly and their issues resolved on the first try. However, many times customers are placed on hold, transferred to other agents, or never receive a resolution. Any sort of extended hold period can cause customers to get frustrated and even disconnect, so companies must do all they can to promote quick response times.
So what can you do?
Adopt a system that can handle large volumes and can route them successfully. Implementing a call-back feature for voice channel communication can also ease frustrations since customers would not have to remain on the line. Companies can always hire more agents, but more importantly, they can implement a system that enables agents to handle interactions remotely. By easing restrictions of agent availability, agents can work anywhere and anytime.
Explaining the same issue to multiple agents
This is even more relevant when customers have to wait forever in-between agents. They expect this process to be quick and efficient, but having to waste even more time re-explaining the issue and repeating your information is irritating. The pain of getting transferred repeatedly with no resolution is severe enough to cause customers to go elsewhere with their business.
So what can you do?
Implement a system that allows the first agent to store temporary data in order for the next agent to be already up to speed on the issue. By entering in customer responses, the next agent will already have the data and information necessary to reach a resolution without having to hash out all the specifics with the customer again. 50% of customers state that agents never resolved their issues, which is like nails on a chalkboard to those in charge of contact centers. Additionally, you can implement more modern customer engagement strategies to meet evolving customer demands. These include the use of bots, intelligent automation, text, chat, and social media communication channels. These allow for customer to interact on their own terms and eliminates “hold time.”
Dealing with inefficient or uniformed agents
Few things are more frustrating than spending a lot of time on a call and then hanging up with no resolution. What is the point of calling them if not for a resolution? Since 50% of people disconnect with no resolution, it is no wonder why customers will not do business with many companies again.
So what can you do?
Implement a system that makes data and information readily available for agents. If there is a question or issue that they are unsure of, they should be able to access a database with the relevant information to find an answer. The ultimate goal of any contact center solution should be to reduce customer and agent effort, so if you are seeing that is not that case, it may be time to re-evaluate you systems.
While all three of these scenarios are annoying in their own right, they often occur together and feed off of each other. After waiting on hold, you often have to continually repeat information to agents, which takes up even more time. The more inefficient an agent is, the more often you will be transferred and the longer you will be on hold. It is a vicious cycle, but if contact centers can even fix one of these issues, it will create a snowball effect and alleviate the strife in other areas. Luckily, there are plenty of resources and partners ready to help you transform how you engage, acquire, and support you customers this year.
Want to wow your customers with instant service and support? Start here..