Is your call center customer experience shocking or numbing?


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Like many of you I am frustrated when I make a customer service call and I am asked for my account number (and other information) by the IVR, only to be asked to repeat it when I make it to a live call center agent. We’ve become numb and expect this sort of inefficiency as the norm, so much so that I was shocked when last week I called into my insurance company and found the opposite to be true. When I made it to a live agent she had my account number, my name and the date of the procedure, all there in front of her – just as it should be.

What is the experience for your customers? Do they have to repeat information when they get to one of your call center agents? How much agent time is wasted either a) explaining to the caller why they are asking for the information again, or b) actually taking the information again so the request can be resolved. How big of a deal is this wasted agent time to your call center? Is this wasted step a big deal to your customers?

You probably have a feeling about the answer, but the true impact is difficult to quantify without using Speech Analytics. Most companies we work with have to simply say “I don’t know.” They cannot quantify the impact because they are unable to analyze the whole call – from dial-to-disconnect (not available to all Speech Analytics Software) – to prove where resources are wasted and at what point the customer starts to feel pain.

The pain you have taught your customers to expect sometimes does not come! I had been putting off a call to my insurance company for weeks because I expected it to be such a hassle. But it turned into a total breeze because they had made changes to improve the customer experience and I certainly noticed! Here are some examples where the customer experience was impacted in a positive way:

“I’m always quick to press ‘0’ to get to a live call center agent but this time I keyed in my information and the automated service retrieved my order and told me an email would be sent within 15 minutes confirming my refund. And sure enough, that’s exactly what happened. No muss, no fuss.”

“For the first time in my life I called in about a product warranty, entered in the product number and my order number and to my surprise when the contact center agent answered the phone he called me by first name, said, “I see you’re having an warranty issue with product xyz, how can I help?” I almost fell off my chair.

“I’m reluctant to participate in any survey but was so pleased with my call I decided to do the post-call survey. Within moments of me filling out the survey an email was generated to me thanking me for answering the survey so honestly. Maybe it’s a bunch of hooey, but it made me believe they were actually using my responses for something!”

Happy Monday!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jodie Monger
Jodie Monger, Ph.D. is the president of Customer Relationship Metrics (CRM) and a pioneer in business intelligence for the contact center industry. Dr. Jodie's work at CRM focuses on converting unstructured data into structured data for business action. Her research areas include customer experience, speech and operational analytics. Before founding CRM, she was the founding associate director of Purdue University's Center for Customer-Driven Quality.


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