The Human Side of Customer Service

Have you received a call from a very upset customer where you can actually feel the anguish down to your bones even if he/she is not really in front of you? Your customers actually knows that your product or service is not perfect and it’s not what really angers them. It’s no secret that most irate (upset) customers are upset because of long holds, tons of automated messages advertising the brand before they can actually talk to a live person only to find out that the representative they were able to get hold of cannot help them and they need to be transferred to different other departments where they’ll have to explain their concern over and over again. If you’re the last representative to receive the call, then you need a BIG GOOD LUCK because you will suffer the wrath of the universe!

Truths about customer service and call centers

  • 72% of all customers believe it takes too long to reach a live agent – Harris

  • 94% of customers do not want to be transferred to another representative more than once – Mobius Poll 2002

  • 84% of customers are frustrated when a representative does not have immediate access to their account information – Mobius Poll 2002

  • 69% said they were on hold for too long – Harris

  • 85% of consumers are dissatisfied with their phone experience – Gartner

  • It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience – “Understanding Customers” by Ruby Newell-Legner

  • Research shows that a 10% increase in customer retention levels result in a 30% increase in the value of the company – Bain & Co.

Now let’s review how we are providing solution to these problems. I’ve seen supervisors and managers who judges their agents by the metrics (Management by Spreadsheet). Brands pressure’s their agents to pass the average handling time which is sad to say, sometimes unrealistic. Encourages their agents to empathize to their customers by providing them word for word scripts and punishes them when they do otherwise. Highlights the importance of first call resolution but fails to provide all the information that their agents need.

You mights say I’m a little pessimistic especially for someone who works in a call center but do you think the customers dissatisfaction mentioned above just sprang up from nowhere without any reason at all? Contrary to what you maybe thinking, I love my job, I honestly do. What I am saying is that there are loopholes in the current customer service process and those holes will continue to get it bigger and bigger if not solved. Customers are getting more and more upset each day for those who continuous to be adamant in the matter. But for those who will get it right will surely gain a lot of loyal customers and brand advocates and will be the next big thing in the world of business.

Today we have a lot of crm systems and call center software’s that provides huge amount of data that will enable us to predict customer behavior, develop better trends and practice in customer service, strengthens our workforce management strategies, provides real time performance data, suits our business needs in a lower cost, etc. There are also huge amount of information circulating online on how to retain customers and attract new ones. Like reward your loyal customers. Give them freebies and perks for signing up to you and a discount if they renew their contract. Don’t make it difficult for your customers to contact your customer service department and make sure you have enough representatives to help them with their concerns. It may cost your business a little but as a marketing strategy, it’s free! I’m sure you would really love to see more customer advocates that refers your product or service to their friends and relatives like you’re more controversial than Gossip Girl. And all these because your customers know that YOU never stop trying to provide the best customer experience to them.

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