22 Aug 5 Ways You’re Losing Customers Because of Your Contact Center/Call Center
Kym has a problem. He was supposed to have an automated monthly payment with his shaving club, Smooth Shave. Something went wrong. The charge went through his bank but isn’t reflected in his account. The whole reason Kym went on automated billing was to make things easier and faster. Set it and forget it, right? Kym could throw a tantrum, write a blog complaining about businesses losing customers or do an interpretive dance expressing his frustration. None of these are likely to solve the issue. Kym realizes he may have to make the dreaded customer service call <Sigh>
Here are 5 Ways You’re Losing Customers because of your Contact Center/Call Center
1) Not Matching or Exceeding Customer Expectation
Kym lives in a bustling city, works full time, has many personal and professional responsibilities on top of multiple hobbies and interests that fill his spare time. That’s why he likes to automate repetitive tasks as much as possible. A 30 minute conversation with customer service after a 15 minute hold is a real wrench in his day.
Kym would prefer to send an email about his customer service issue but Smooth Shave doesn’t offer an email resolution option. On top of that their call center is only open during his working hours.
Customers like Kym expect the companies they buy from to use their preferred communication modes. Companies that realize this stay ahead of the communication curve to build strong, lasting customer relationships. Companies who don’t stay on top of communication will be losing customers.
If Kym has to wait for a day where he has a spare 45 minutes to spend on a customer service call it may never happen. Being unable to access Smooth Shave during his free time also delays resolution.
Automated systems have limited options. That means customer issues not being addressed resulting in the customer giving up or eventually being routed to a human agent.
Instead of associating Smooth Shave with a great shaving experience Kym is beginning to associate their brand with frustration. Kym is generally a mild-mannered guy. However, after multiple automated menus not addressing his issue and a hold for ‘the next available agent’ longer than the 30 minute lunch break he is using to make the call, ‘mild’ is no longer applicable to Kym’s manner.
2) Not focusing the varied channels of communication
What if Kym could contact Smooth Shave via email, or chat, or phone, or social media? Smooth Shave doesn’t have a structure in place to funnel data from all sources so Kym’s issue gets lost in the shuffle.
Smooth Shave said they provided autopay service, in addition to the closest shave Kym would ever experience. It’s frustrating that the autopay did not work. Kym’s email attempting to address the issue being lost or delayed adds insult to injury.
Having a contact center with communication methods that suit client needs is useless without the means to manage it. Customer service agents are overwhelmed with requests from customers and expectations of the companies they work for. Channels of communication must be organized so issues are funneled to agents quickly, and with a method of addressing said issues. Departments for specific types of problems and tools to filter each communication format to those department is one structure. Departments dedicated to specific communication formats, like social media customer service, is another.
3) Not Listening to the Data
Kym’s autopay issue is not unique. Smooth Shave was notified about this issue repeatedly, but haven’t acted. They aren’t addressing their customers’ requests for multiple lines of communication and extended hours either. This hurts both their customers and the Smooth Shave brand.
If Smooth Shave was quantifying the customer data it received from the beginning Kym’s autopay would be fine. Then he, his hair-free jawline and Smooth Shave would live happily ever after. Instead, their brand is tagged with #SmoothShaveStubblyservice trending on social media.
4) Using Too Many Different Software Tools
As Kym waits and waits for the agent to resolve the error, the agent is busy switching between eCommerce tools, billing tools, tracking software, and more. Too many tools use up valuable time which could be spent helping customers like Kym. #2manytools2muchtime #CustomerServiceFail #TheWorst
When contact center tools aren’t integrated, data is shifted from tool to tool. An agent downloading data from the CRM software then uploading it into email software on top of having to create tickets, for example. Each time a new tool is introduced or upgraded more time is taken away from handling customer issues. The more disparate the data and teams are the less likely any one part has the full picture. For the company to be successful, customer service should be as smooth as their shave otherwise they are losing customers.
5) Agent Turnover
To Kym, the problem with his autopay is new. To the customer service agent who fields Kym’s complaint, he is just one more in a long string of complaints. The familiarity with the issue may make the agent more effective in resolving it, providing the right tools are in place to assist the agent.
Alternatively, the constant repetition of the same problems, same tasks, day in and day out may cause an agent to stand on his desk in a dramatic fashion declaring loudly where Smooth Shave can put their job.
If Smooth Shave cannot keep their contact center employees happy, those employees won’t be there to help keep Smooth Shave’s customers happy and well shaven. Contact centers benefit from systems that take some of the repetitive load off and simplify the process.
It’s expensive to train a new employee. Absenteeism and a reduced workforce stress the employees that have to take up the slack. In the end, customers like Kym have either poor resolution of their issue or none.
Kym thinks Epic Jaw Craft may give him a closer shave after all. Before he checks them out he is going to vent on Twitter. #SmoothShavebumpybilling.