At the moment there is lots of discussion about AI and we have more technology and tools than ever before to measure customer service. But still, on average, most contact centres still seem to fall consistently short of customer expectations.  Is it time to get back to basics and understand what customers really want when they call into a contact centre?

Here are five things that explain why customers get frustrated:

  1. Listen to me

Customers want to be heard, respected and valued and one of the easiest ways to do this is to call them by name. Then they are no longer just another number in a queue but an individual customer that is made to feel important. Statistics show that on average only 52, 5% of agents ask for a customer’s name. Given the increasing trend in customer service towards personalization this is alarming.

Using a person’s name lets them know that they are valued and that you’re listening to their query so that you can help them resolve it. It can help calm an angry customer, because when they feel that you’re on their side, they’re less likely to lash out at you. Personalization means engaging with the customer, introducing yourself and talking them through how you’re going to help them solve their particular query.

  1. Don’t make me wait

The reason many customer choose alternative customer service channels is that they offer a quicker route to finding answers. But sometimes a query is complex and requires an explanation that is easiest done on the phone. Even so, nobody likes to be kept on hold. It’s the one thing that feels like a complete waste of time.  So what is the solution? Focusing on AHT is a good idea, but you also don’t want agents rushing through calls.

One idea is to use call hold voice recordings to direct customers to alternate channels where they can find answers without having to wait to speak to an agent. Another solution is to signpost customers, letting them know what information they need to have ready so that when their call is answered there aren’t any further delays.

For managers it’s important to monitor call volumes. If a contact centre is getting overwhelmed or has specific peak call periods then more agents should be made available to answer calls so that customers aren’t kept waiting.

Knowledgeable, trained agents are efficient agents that can assist customers properly and professionally without appearing rushed. Never underestimate the value of investing in training your staff.

  1. Make my life easier

How many layers are in your IVR and how easy is it to navigate?  As a customer, there are few things more frustrating than to be kept on hold for ages only to find out you’re through to the wrong person and be put back on hold again. When customers call in, it is because they already have a problem, they are looking for help and for someone to make their life easier, not complicate and frustrate it.

Choose technology that helps to simplify the customer journey and offers assistance and access to accurate information along the way. The more you go out of your way to make customer’s lives easier, the more you will win them over and gain loyalty for your business and your brand.

  1. Give me the right info

Poor technical knowledge defeats the purpose of having a call centre. Agents are there to help and need to know the company’s products and services inside out if they are to be effective. Fortunately this appears to be something that UK call centres are brushing up on with statistics showing that 97.7% of customers had their queries completely resolved.

  1. Don’t bomb out on me

It is up to companies to ensure that their technology is working to serve the customers. Systems that go down or calls that are dropped only serve to frustrate customers, and customer service agents for that matter. Technology can offer contact centres many tools to make them more efficient, but if they aren’t integrated properly or aren’t reliable it can seriously damage a company’s reputation. Customers have gotten used to getting information instantly and expect companies to be online and available when they need them.

Too often we get caught up in the complexities of trying to get customer service right, when really it can be so simple. Certainly customers are all different and they can be demanding but at the heart of it they all really want the same things. Companies that listen to customer trends are the ones that will win their loyalty.

For more information on how we can help you push your customer experience to the next level contact  or call 020 7871 9797