Call Center Mistakes to Avoid to Help Reduce Customer Effort
According to Gartner, organizations should strive to deliver low-effort customer experiences because simplicity is the most significant driver of loyalty. In fact, 96% of customers who experience a high-effort interaction become more disloyal compared to just 9% who have a low-effort experience. To help companies improve their Customer Effort Score (CES), we’ve compiled a list of 10 call center mistakes that often result in high customer effort. By avoiding these errors, businesses can drive the shift towards frictionless interactions and enhance the overall customer experience.
10 Common Call Center Mistakes that You Might be Making
Wasted hold time
When customers are frustrated about their issue, the last thing they want is to have to wait for their call to be answered. To combat extensive hold time, contact centers can use voice recognition or simple IVR to determine the nature of the caller’s issue and engage customers immediately. Automated callback options and call queuing solutions that keep customers up to date on their queue position are also becoming increasingly popular and help to temper customer stress levels.
If customers must wait on hold, why not make good use of their time? By implementing the right systems, you can add value to the interaction and reduce customer effort once the agent comes on the line. Examples include:
- Automated customer identification processes
- Personalized promotions during wait times
Getting off on the wrong foot
Customers want to know what’s going to happen, how the agent is going to help, and how long the whole process is likely to take. Setting clear expectations is an obvious, but often overlooked way to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Ignoring customers’ feelings
Asking a customer to briefly describe their issue at the start of an interaction can enable companies to use NLP technology to instantly gauge the nature and urgency of the problem – in objective terms and in relation to the customer’s level of frustration. The up-and-coming field of emotion analytics analyzes an individual’s responses in order to understand their mood or attitude, creating valuable opportunities for companies to connect with customers on an emotional level.
Single contact resolutions are the contact center equivalent of one-click ordering. When agents achieve First Contact Resolution (FCR), it means that they properly addressed the customer’s needs the first time they contacted the enterprise. This eliminates the need for them to follow up with a second contact to seek resolution. Having the right desktop tools and resources can turn any agent into a multiskilled product expert, enabling them to resolve the issue at the first time of asking.
Sometimes escalations are inevitable. That’s why it’s vital to make sure Tier 2 agents have access to the same customer histories – ideally visual resources. Customers hate to repeat themselves – it increases customer effort and drives up Average Handling Time (AHT). Intelligent routing is also key, since one of the worst call center mistakes is making a customer wait for a supervisor, only to direct them to the wrong department.
The devil is in the details. One unclear instruction, misleading image, dead link or outdated article can ruin an entire customer episode. Artificial Intelligence holds the key to analyzing huge data sets in order to facilitate QA testing and to identify any high-effort hiccups that might damage the customer experience.
Don’t overburden the customer with too many options. They want to resolve the issue as quickly and painlessly as possible, without exerting unnecessary mental effort on complicated choices. There might be many routes to the same end, but the contact center should be there to guide the customer by recommending the best way forward.
Call deflection to self-service ensures customers receive the answers they are seeking in the most efficient manner. It also reduces the number of inbound calls routed to human agents. Instead, enquiries are rerouted to self-service channels such as FAQs, live chat, community forums, and knowledge center databases. However, these channels must be easily available and flawlessly designed to ensure they actually reduce customer effort.
Being reactive, not proactive
Anticipating a problem before it becomes a crisis is the key to happier customers, reduced customer effort and lower contact center volumes. While the concept of predictive maintenance has been around for decades, advances in AI have only recently enabled organizations like Vodafone to take advantage of the possibilities, by analyzing any potential issues and automatically contacting customers before they need to contact customer services.
How to reduce customer effort by putting an end to call center mistakes – conclusion
When striving to deliver effortless service, avoiding these ten key call center agent mistakes is critical to creating low-effort customer experience. Paying close attention to negative customer feedback is much more useful than positive “thumbs up” responses as they can identify the exact moments in a customer episode that must be improved.