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Aspect’s Halloween Special: Our Favorite Contact Center Horror Stories

Christine O'Brien | Oct 30, 2013 74 views No Comments

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Is there anything better than giving yourself a good scare on Halloween? I know we’re a day early, but go ahead and rip open that bag of fun-size bars you bought for the neighborhood kids and grab an extra flashlight in case the lights go out. Things are about to get real.

Have you ever considered what would happen if nice folks like you suddenly shut off their porch lights and started withholding all the Halloween handouts? In a couple of hours, groups of costume-clad kids ringing doorbell after doorbell in earnest without the expected results would quickly devolve from sweet, smiling mild-mannered little beggars into angry hordes ready to hurl raw eggs and toilet paper at anything that fails to deliver.

What does any of this have to do with the contact center? It could be the potential for ending up with egg on your face.



As much as customers will advocate for brands they love, they also won’t hesitate to badmouth a business that falls short on meeting their expectations – and these are the “horror” stories that thrive on social media. They die slowly, are difficult to combat, and spread like wildfire. It’s far easier to prevent a bad customer experience than to try and tackle the aftermath.

Consider these classics, and what might have stopped the madness:

“I was on hold for two hours! It was impossible to talk to a live human.”

Effective call routing can help deliver a call to the first available resource and eliminate unnecessary hold times. A sophisticated automatic call distribution (ACD) system can even segment callers, prioritize service, and deploy agents from diverse locations to address variations in call volume and keep costs low.

“I kept getting transferred to different reps, and had to repeat my issue over and over.”

Seamless engagement across channels, including from self-service to assisted service, is considered the way forward for delivering a consistent customer experience that will set your business apart. Once a customer has provided his or her information, this information should be visible to any agent handling the call.

“Just when I thought I was getting somewhere, my call was dropped. I had to call back and start over.”

High availability system performance is considered a best practice among next-generation contact centers. Systems that operate according to “five nines” or 99.999% uptime can help ensure that no active conversations between agents and customers are dropped, no customers on hold in queue are lost, and statistics are retained for reporting.

“Nobody at the company actually knew how to help me. They just read from a script.”

Knowledgeable agents and subject matter experts are becoming a critical asset to the modern call center. Agents can leverage unified communications Ask-an-Expert features to search for experts with specific knowledge or skills while engaged with a customer.

If you’ve ever donned a mask and rang a doorbell hoping for chocolate only to be handed a box of raisins, you know how quickly expectations can turn to bitter disappointment. On the other hand, remember those houses that gave out the full-size candy bars?

Be that company.

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