Phone calls are essential to customer service. 37% of customers would choose phone conversations with a live agent over any other channel if they want to get a problem solved quickly. As such, organizations need to ensure that the calling experience is painless – if not even pleasant – for customers who call in. Plus, adding multichannel customer communication such as text, live chat and email will alleviate some lengthy call wait times. Here’s what customers hate about customer service phone calls:
1. Confusing Phone Menus
When customers call you, they do not want to listen to long prompts that are hard to follow or navigate. A poorly designed phone menu can drive customers to be hostile by the time they reach an agent. Frustrated, they may repeatedly press ‘0’ trying to reach a representative or hang up and complain about your company’s bad service on Twitter. Ensure your phone prompts are brief and allow the customer to self select options quickly without going through more than three levels of prompts. And enable that “0” to talk to an agent at any time. That’s what customer service is all about!
2. I can’t talk to a real person
Today’s computer-savvy customers have most likely searched for a solution themselves and failed. They reach out to your company with more complex problems, and it doesn’t help to be redirected to your FAQ page when they are already aware of that information. To avoid this customer complaint and potential customer churn, ensure your customer service phone number or live chat is featured prominently on your website. And don’t present your customer with countless menus to navigate before they can reach a representative (see #1).
3. It takes too many calls to resolve an issue
If the first customer experience is bad enough, many customers won’t give your company a second chance. The first step toward attaining a degree of gold standard service is deciding whether it’s a priority for your business. Contact centers were created to meet the needs of customers. And customers care much more about getting their problem solved right the first time than how long it takes.
4. Getting passed along without a warm handoff
It happens. A commercial customer landed in a residential queue and the residential agent can’t help them, so the customer is transferred to the right agent. We get that. But the first agent needs to ensure the customer gets the right help quickly, without transferring them into another wait queue, and the next agent in line is informed of the reason behind the customer’s call. Why should it fall on the customer to repeat their problem? Adding a warm handshake between agents when a customer is passed along diminishes customer frustration and ensures the custom is taken care of quickly.
5. The company takes too long to respond
Did you know 46% of all consumers expect companies to respond in four hours or less? And 12% of consumers expect a response within 15 minutes. To resolve this issue and to keep customer satisfaction high, understand customer expectations by channel because they are very different. If the channel is email, send an acknowledgment email to show you’re aware of the problem and are working on it. Did the customer text? If so, respond quickly, briefly and let them know the status of their inquiry. Long wait times as callers stack up? Offer an automated callback option instead of keeping someone on hold.
6. The customer representative didn’t care
Train your customer service team to show empathy and listen to what the customer needs. Something as simple as “I’m sorry” or “Thank you for your patience” can go a long way in calming down an upset customer. Your staff should be sensitive to the customer’s needs and feelings and tailor their approach accordingly. Customer service representatives are people too and might need to decompress after an intense customer interaction. Allowing them to switch between channels gives them a chance to calm down so they can give each customer their best.
7. The customer service person couldn’t resolve my problem
Companies with the best customer service reputations authorize staff to go above and beyond to please the customer. An excellent online knowledge base, containing all the information reps need to solve customer problems, will ensure they feel supported. Your agents should be empowered to offer some solutions without a manager’s approval. In order to keep loyal customers and maintain positive customer feedback, solving the problem should be easy for your team.
If your business is struggling with call center limitations, consider adding more collaboration tools to your representative arsenal like live chat, texting and email. Today’s modern CCaaS solutions have reliable and fully integrated multichannel user interfaces that allow agents to switch back and forth, effectively managing multiple customers and minimizing wait times. Global CTI can help craft the right call center solution for your operation. Vist our Contact Center page to earn more!