How do you measure performance for call center agents?
Last year, more than half (57%) of America’s customers have have hung up their phones in frustration— their complaints still unresolved*.
Something is wrong with how call centers are addressing their customers
We outline 5 such somethings. And then explain how
Small businesses can work around these:
It’s taking too long to get to a live person.
You’re already mad at being put on hold. But when that automated voice keeps returning, asking you to dial in yet another number, you really lose it. And you’re not alone. Far from it: Three-fourths of American customers share your pain.
75% confessed to being highly annoyed they can’t get a live person on the phone. 66% are frustrated by long hold times. And 66% complained about too many phone steps.
1. Keep hold times short. Your intelligent call routing should take care of long queues. And our unlimited agents pricing ensures you aren’t understaffed. Use reports to plan for peak hours and check your hold times. Ensure its 30s or under. Keep checking to ensure you get there.
2. Have a simple IVR. IVR is invaluable. It ensures the customer is answered immediately, and lets them know they’ve reached the right place. But your IVR should be well constructed. Too many steps will put off the customer. Plan your teams carefully and limit them to 2 or 4 teams.
3. Let them opt out of hold. When call volumes are unusually high you can and you cant avoid longer hold times; let your customer know that you’ll call them back if they disconnect at any time during the call. Or they can drop in a voice message. You or a staff member with admin rights can login and check reports. Assign call backs for all dropped calls and voice messages when call volumes go back to normal.
The scripts are hitting the wrong notes
Parroted scripts put consumers off. 50% want to be talked to in everyday language, not scripts3. 75% are finding customer service rude. It’s time to change the language customers hear.
1. Use recordings to listen to how your staff answers calls. And hold regular training and discussions.
2. Train your staff to use positive words, empathetic words, reassurance, personal pronouns and active words. They should convey immediacy. And above all be authentic.
3. Encourage your staff to take ownership of the problem. And as your business representatives, to own up and apologise for mistakes made.
4. Remember, 66% of consumers want assurance the problem will not be repeated. 3
5. And ensure your agents are NEVER be caught saying these:
That’s our policy (enraged 75% consumers 3)
Please give me top scores in the after call survey (bugged 80% consumers 3)
May I get your account information again? (Also see, problem 3)
They’re being asked to repeat, repeatedly
“May I get your account information again?“ Customers don’t want to keep repeating. 66% of customers are getting put off by having to repeat themselves2. The point of automation is that every agent who answers should have the customer’s history — automatically.
1. Activate your CRM lite. (Its pre activated by default) Now every time a customer calls in, their call history will be at your agent’s fingertips.
2. Also let each of your team members have their own extension, which they can share with customers. Customers feel much more comfortable calling in the representative they last spoke to.
The problem solver is unavailable
The problem with big call centers could be that the people they hire to answer calls are experts at handling the call center software rather than people who know the product and company well. So it’s not surprising that 70% of America’s consumers feel they’re being transferred to the wrong agent— one who cant solve the problem. Large contact centers have got tangled in too many layers.
1. Luckily, small businesses can now run call centers within their own set up. Our easy dashboard means that they don’t need any specialized staff. Your regular employees — the ones who know the product and service well— will be the ones to answer.
2. Unlimited agents mean you can get everyone on board. Give everyone a login. They can take calls from their own browser. So no matter what the problem, chances are the problem solver is at hand.
Complaints are being ignored
63% customers are enraged that their problem remained unsolved.
Just login regularily. Thanks to our customer mood indicators—one look at your dashboard will let you know what customer mood is. Encourage your staff to treat angry and irate customers as valuable feedback providers. Let them use the red emoji to mark these calls. You or your manager could go through the recordings and find patterns you have to change. You also have the opportunity to follow up on the customer and ensure their complaint is answered.
So, Yes: You can run a call center right within your small business setup.
And, No: It needn’t be as good as large multinational call centers.
It can be far better..
1 Fifty-seven percent were so steamed that they hung up the phone without a resolution. Consumer Reports National Research Center
2 Consumer Reports National Research Center
3 National Rage survey, 2015, CCMC