Important Call Center Customer Service Tips

Well, I’m going to talk more about call center customer service tips. Because like I’ve said many times in the past, I will continue to hammer this point home until I see call centers actually heeding this very sensible advice. I deal with call centers on a frequent basis, and so I will likely see it when they finally realize that changes like these need to be made.

The whole concept of a call service is a double edged sword anyhow. While it’s important to be able to communicate in realtime with a human being, at the same time, this model for it is archaic and rather … awful. But, for now, it’s the most present infrastructure to facilitate it, so it’s just the default go-to for the solution. Soon, TCP/IP services may usurp this, and I’ll once more be talking about some ways to digitally alleviate some of the congestion briefly here.

But, here are the most important call center customer service tips that every single support center in the multiverse needs to heed. I don’t care who you are, you’re doing these things wrong and you need to knock it off.

Hold Times: Because We’re immortal, Right?

Hold times … oh where do I start? I’ve been harping about this through publication for years now, and every time I discuss this, I feel the same passion I did the first time. Hold times are a hellish experience for customers. Going in, they already feel put upon first due to the issue they must call about. Second, getting on the phone is actually kind of a dissociative experience, impinging on whatever else we’re involved in at the time. So, when we must sit on hold, it’s even worse. Usually, we can’t watch TV, read or do anything else, even if our phone is hands-free. The looping music, adverts and recordings keep us too distracted to just live our lives while waiting.

My point here, though is actually that nobody hires enough people. Hire the people to support the volume of your incoming clients. Hire locally, so the call center people speak the customer’s language natively, and understand the culture they are part of, too. I’ve no problem with people from other nations, but if their culture and language is too different, communication with flustered customers who are less than eloquent at the moment may … be difficult.

Alternative Channels: One Size Doesn’t Fit All

I’ve talked about this before, but this is one of the more important call center customer service tips everyone utterly ignores. At least some of you are starting to shape up about hiring enough people who are compatible with demographics. But, why is nobody using alternate channels for things that don’t need to be handled on the phone?

Simple technical issues, questions, payment systems and account status things don’t need to be handled by a call center. Self service systems, or even social network infrastructures work fine for this. It’s convenient, since everyone’s permanently wired into the internet now anyhow. On top of this, it wastes less of everyone else’s time, both the call center agents and the poor souls in limbo on hold because someone wanted to quadruple check their billing statement on the phone instead of online.

Why is nobody using this? Well, start, folks. Remember that your company will in the long run be judged for your customer service more than anything else. This is not a place to drop the ball like this. If you must use archaic systems, find ways to offload unnecessary tasks from them, and actually heed call center customer service tips knowledgeable people present to you.

 

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Kevin Goldberg