22 Sep Call Center Automation and Cranky Customers
Let’s talk about something that often doesn’t get covered enough within telecom circles, the downside of automation within call center services and the frustrated customer.
Call Center Crankiness…
We’re all pretty familiar with the scenario, a customer calls a company with a concern only to have to jump through endless menus. This usually ends one of two ways, either a customer gives up completely, leaving a bad taste in their mouth and the desire for a new service in their mind.Or more often than not…
The customer faces the gauntlet of menus head on with each conquered menu adding to their growing frustration until they get to vent that frustration at whatever poor employee is unlucky enough to receive the call.
Either outcome is not serving anyone involved.
When we look at the purpose of the customer service call center and the intentions of automation, viewing it through the lens of the above scenario, we’re left with something that has obviously strayed from the set path.
Certainly no wants to scream at a computer system for any length of time and no employee deserves to spend their days being berated by frustrated customers.
So how do fix this obvious problem that is seemingly only getting worse as automation becomes more prevalent?
It’s a little more simple than you might expect.
Anticipating and Understanding the Customer Experience with Enterprise Empathy…
Generally speaking, as a small business owner you’ll come across two distinct groups of customers looking to reach out to you and your team.
There are those with a question and there are those with a complaint or concern.
The first group is easy to satisfy and can be swayed from making the call in the first place if answers are readily available, be it through a chat bot, visible FAQs section within a company website, or explainer video.
The latter is where the main focus of anticipating the situation and creating an environment that handles said situation should rest.
People with complaints or concerns must have those grievances addressed, so more often, they’ll be willing to place a call to fix the problem they’re experiencing.
Knowing that the reason they’re reaching out to you is beginning in a less than ideal place, the obvious answer to limiting their frustration is making every experience after they decide to call, as smooth as possible.
This is where empathy as an enterprise comes into play.
So how can a small business put empathy into practice while still benefiting from automation within their phone systems?
First and foremost, design your IVR menus to have an option to opt out of the system and reach a human being at every point of the call.
This way, if at any time the customer feels that the system is failing to meet their needs in some way, they can directly reach out to a person to help them out.
Secondly, always look at the structure of your IVR menus from the point of view of the customer and their experience.
For example, someone calling to check status of a payment can more than likely deal with more menu levels than, say, someone looking to lodge a complaint about a service. Knowing this, you can begin to design the structure in way that addresses the customer’s entire experience while not having to do away with automation as a whole.
Lastly, reduce the amount of time a customer needs to be on the phone with your business.
Honestly speaking, no customer wants to spend precious moments of their day waiting on hold. That’s no one’s idea of a good time.
So work to reduce wait times for connecting with a representative of your company.
This means you can hire more people on your team to dedicate their hours and your resources to connecting with customers or…
You could simply choose a communication solutions provider that handles small business call center features for you.
Given, that we here at Steady Connections do just that, you can guess which answer we’re a bit more fond of employing.
Well, there you have it, a simple approach to address a major concern for small businesses everywhere.
That said, if you’d like to learn a bit more about making your phone system work for you, give us a call or send us a message.
We promise we won’t make you scream at robots for too long!