How to Improve Call Center Experiences
Despite the popular saying, distance does not necessarily make the heart grow fonder.
Just consider the hand signals and language motorists’ use with one another. This kind of bad behavior is far less frequent among people who are face to face. And it’s a lot less likely when we can’t escape at a high rate of speed.
And take a look at customer service. Sure, people sometimes express their frustration to clerks in stores. But it’s rare that shoppers use rough language, yell, or try to belittle in-store workers. However, it’s easy to forget there’s a human on the other end of a phone. So when people in need of customer service over the phone get angry, they sometimes really let the agents have it.
Reports of such behavior are widespread. And, as a confessional by a former call center agent notes, “It’s not so pleasant.”
“People need to understand, you’re getting beat up all day, every day,” this person wrote. “You have to stay on the phones, you definitely can’t hang up. And a lot of times people are screaming at us when we have no control over what’s happening.”
That said, it should come as no surprise that agent attrition is one of the top challenges for call centers. Absenteeism and keeping morale up can also be tough in these environments.
But there are steps call center operators and managers can take to improve things on this front. That includes providing agents with competitive pay and benefits, flexible hours, recognition and rewards, and training. It can also be helpful for agents and customers when you provide workers with the ability go off script to solve problems when appropriate.
Narrowing the number of different tools and interfaces agents need to use to access the information they require to solve caller problems can also be very helpful. It reduces stress on the agents. And it allows for faster results for callers, and shorter average handle times for the call center. Integrating different vendor solutions can help with this.
Edited by Mandi Nowitz