Customer service is essential for any successful business.
Though contact centers have a well-developed training program and agents who demonstrate high standards, it is still unavoidable to make mistakes.
Well, we’re humans, after all. On the other hand, that doesn’t mean that we can’t do anything to improve. There’s always room to boost contact center performance.
There’s a saying that goes, “To err is human.” Note that customer service mistakes are very dangerous. Negative customer experiences can significantly impact your business’ success and reputation. According to a report, bad customer experience causes customers to abandon intended purchases, costing the United States an estimated $62 billion in lost sales.
You should pay particular attention to the most prevalent call center errors to minimize their occurrence among your personnel. Strong customer relationships begin with excellent customer service.
Learn about the contact center mistakes to avoid and how the pandemic changed the customer service industry.
How The Pandemic Has Changed Customer Service
The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken our world to its core, and customer service is no exception. Businesses have been forced to step up and assist customers while trying to accommodate new ones without risking social distancing rules. When health concerns, economic insecurity, social isolation, and other issues are factored in, difficulties like late delivery and changed vacation plans have worsened exponentially.
For example, clients hope that they have everything they want before the pandemic. Now, customers expect you to have precisely what they want. If the bar continues to rise, there is a need to strive for new customer experience values in the B2C and B2B contexts. Customers today want frictionless, anticipatory, relevant, and linked experiences. In other words, they are only concerned with obtaining what they want whenever they want it.
Additionally, the pandemic has had various effects on customer relationship management, both in the B2C and B2B industries. Why?
To begin, enterprises have encountered limitations in their ability to communicate with their customers during the sales process. It proved to be an even bigger challenge to overcome, especially due to enforced lockdown across countries.
Without the option of face-to-face engagement, the possibilities and milestones that could’ve been unlocked in product design and improvement was significantly hampered.
Second, the lockdown has disrupted retailing activities in brick-and-mortar establishments. It left a negative effect on businesses that do not yet have eCommerce stores set up.
Third, the restriction on international mobility has posed difficulties for enterprises operating in global markets. They had to dramatically shift to online and contactless resources to continue keeping in touch with existing buyers and spreading information on their products to potential customers.
All of these pressing business challenges made contact centers even more crucial in sustaining big and small operations.
Now, more than ever, it is crucial that your business implement and stay current with customer service trends to avoid being left behind by competitors. Even if another crisis occurs; your company will always be ready.
7 Common Contact Center Mistakes
Today’s marketplace remains supremely competitive. The key to staying relevant as a business lies in the services a company can offer, the quality of the products it offers, and the size of its customer service ecosystem.
Below is a list of seven contact center mistakes that companies must avoid if they want to enhance their existing customer contact channels and meet their target audience’s demands.
The awareness of fatal errors in call centers allow businesses to ditch outdated practices and adopt more easily into delivering contactless and flexible assistance. In turn, their efforts will hopefully lead to higher brand loyalty and increased customer happiness.
- Inadequate Agent Training
Customer support agents are frequently tasked with independently consulting the user manual or knowledge base articles. A customer service team that lacks the capacity to ask the right questions to ascertain customers’ demands and respond timely is driving the entire business to fail.
Without a doubt, the greatest solution is to provide customer service training. Provide appropriate and systematic training to keep your personnel on their toes. It must be a continuous and dynamic process. Assist your team in their areas of weakness. They can be supplied with a record and a playbook to help them recognize and correct their errors. In this manner, your staff can anticipate and avoid future issues and discrepancies in your customer service practices.
- Transferring the Caller to a Different Agent
Callers do not appreciate being transferred from agent to agent because it means having to reiterate their issue each time. It also means spending more time on the phone or having to wait for a written response (via a follow-up email) just to have their concerns resolved.
Call transferring tends to lengthen the idea and required time to remedy an issue.
As such, it is important to train your agents continuously so that they will learn how to manage concerns of varying levels of difficulty. It would also be favorable if you brief new agents about your business, your products, policies, and core mission. You will also need a system that automatically routes calls to the agent best qualified to handle them.
- Providing Consistent Updates to Customers
Most callers hang up after 60 seconds and do not return calls whenever they are put on hold. The issue becomes worse when initial call resolution is one of your call center’s major success criteria.
Your agents must be trained to minimize hold times. Should the agents need to verify additional information or consult with their supervisors, they must inform the customer and provide an exact estimate of when they may expect a response. Doing so assists in setting fair expectations for customers, thereby extending their patience as they wait for an answer.
- Not Maximizing all Available Contact Channels
Companies that offer omnichannel assistance retain an astounding 89% of their existing customers, compared to companies that do not provide omnichannel help, which retains only 33% of customers.
That said, multichannel customer support is supposed to help ease the volume of calls and messages sent to your support hotline. If these channels are not maxmized aptly, then it will only cause a larger rift between your business and your customers. Customers may even end up seeking a more company with faster and more effective customer service hotline.
Place your business’s contact information where customers can readily find it. For instance, if you have a Facebook page, make sure you have complete contact details on your About tab. Cooperate with your team to ensure that all channels are interlinked to keep customers from repeating their queries.
You will need a quality assurance system that centralizes customer data, monitors agent performance, and discovers agent errors across all channels. It simplifies resolving customer complaints, rewarding and monitoring agent performance, and providing constructive comments and additional training to agents to enhance performance.
- Failure to Add a Self-Service Option
If you currently do not have enough customer support manpower to balance sudden surges in customer queries, adding a self-service option is an alternative.
Develop a knowledge base (something like a FAQ page) or a help forum. The self-help option is suitable for customers whose questions involve basic details about your service or product. Also, some customers prefer to seek the answers to their queries on their own. A satisfied customer gives you an opportunity for a referral. Highlighting unique needs of your target buyers is instrumental in generating more potential customers.
- Collecting Payment Information Incorrectly
Your agents must adhere to strict guidelines while collecting and maintaining payment information. Otherwise, your call center may be subject to fines or other penalties for noncompliance.
Miitigate this risk by establishing policies and training your agents to properly gather and store customer payment information. Include the potential repercussions of not adhering to the standards. Additionally, give your agents a script to follow when making incoming or outgoing calls to ensure compliance.
- Not Obtaining Consent for Call Monitoring
Contact centers rely on metrics and data collected from several channels to improve customer service and develop a rock-solid customer experience strategy. As such, recording calls makes sense. However, does recording calls imply a legal risk?
Your contact center team must adhere to all applicable laws and regulations to safeguard your clients and business. This involves obtaining agreement from customers to monitor their calls.
You should have a mechanism that automatically informs your customers that their call is being monitored and recorded. If not, your representatives must inform your customers that they are being monitored before initiating a conversation. Provide an incoming and outgoing call script that prioritizes customer consent.
As contact centers strive to provide a more seamless client experience, the seven contact center mistakes enumerated above must be avoided and replaced with countermeasures that adhere to ongoing industry changes and buyer demands. Correcting these typical erroris is crucial to delivering the most pleasant, effortless, and enjoyable customer experience possible.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic pushed businesses to stay aptly equipped for any massive future crises that could potentially occur anytime in the future. Experts anticipated that in the future of customer service, 85% of all contacts will be handled completely by artificial intelligence. Businesses who have started employing AI to augment and replace human workers in customer support are proof.
We are in an era defined by personalized customer service and advanced customer experiences. AI has now streamlined customer service departments’ labor and automated repetitive tasks.
As a result, agents can concentrate their efforts on more complex issues. Simultaneously, chatbots and other AI-enabled technology can take on background tasks such as routing calls, assisting customers, and gathering relevant customer data. While avoiding the aforementioned contact center errors, your firm must leverage AI to personalize customer support and advanced customer experiences.
Make 2022 the finest year yet for your contact center!