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Source: Todd Ehlers

“Press 5,483 if you’re calling for customer service

Whether you get the runaround by having to wade through endless options before finally hearing the prompt matching your needs or by discovering that pressing zero will not, in fact, connect you with an actual human being, it is all equally frustrating and shows a lack of empathy for the customer in the call center’s design.  And yet we have all encountered these very problems when contacting both large and small companies.

While automated attendants may assist in properly routing calls, there is a widespread perception that they are instead a roadblock to a customer’s problem resolution.  Avoid this pitfall within your own company by using menus sparingly and save the minutiae for human representatives.  Also, utilizing the zero option as a default way of reaching a customer service representative will save the customer who is pressed for time from the added frustration of being forced to use the automated attendant when they need a more immediate option.

“Your call is very important to us…

Just hearing those words probably sent your blood pressure up a notch or two as we’ve all spent a Saturday or two hearing them repeated over and over and over again while trying to reach a company’s customer service department.  While reminding a customer of their value to you is a nice sentiment, it comes across as disingenuous when they are simultaneously being forced to wait to speak with someone.

Properly staffing your call center to accommodate a realistic case volume makes a world of difference in customer satisfaction (consider Land’s End’s mission to answer their calls in under one ring as a shining example) because it immediately sends the message that contacting your service team is not a marathon task that must be endured.  Alternatively, utilizing a call-back service to relieve the customer from needing to remain on the line for the next available representative can also make the experience more pleasant for your customer.

“Let me transfer you” <click>

We’ve previously discussed empowering customer service representatives to resolve issues without needing to transfer a call, but there are certainly times when a transfer is unavoidable.  One way to earn the ire of every customer, though, is to improperly complete the transfer and disconnect the customer (who may have just endured the aforementioned pet peeves only to be hung up on).

Properly training your customer service representatives in all aspects of the internal systems they will need to utilize (in addition to FuseDesk) will save headaches for both your customers and your representatives.  In addition to training, some useful “belt and suspenders” approaches to unintentional disconnects are to ask the customer for his phone number so that he can be reconnected in the event the call is dropped and to provide a direct number for the department or person he is being transferred to.

All of these pet peeves have a single commonality: they make it difficult for the customers to connect with the people who can solve their problems.  By removing these roadblocks, you will be enabling a happier, more streamlined customer service experience.

Are there any pet peeves you would like to add or solutions you’ve created to avoid them?[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]