The Crazy Things Contact Center Agents Value Most


Share on LinkedIn

Photo Credit: Quinn Dombrowski

Photo Credit: Quinn Dombrowski

This post was originally published on the FCR blog on September 1, 2015.  Click here to read the original.

In a recent email poll, I asked my colleagues for their honest and open feedback regarding our QA process at FCR.  My goal was to gain a better understanding as to the qualities they aim to put into practice on every customer interaction.  Oh by the way, I also threw in a little icebreaker question out there to find out the craziest thing they’ve ever eaten.  For those of you familiar with the contact center crowd, you won’t be surprised in the least with the responses.  But, you’ll have to wait until the end to find out about the crazy food.

In the meantime, I received a total of 66 responses to my poll.  This uncovered several interesting, albeit not surprising, trends that I want to take a few moments to highlight.

Empathy and The Human Connection

27% of colleagues specifically said that they aim to use empathy in every interaction with customers.  This was significantly more than any other value.  At the core of empathy is recognizing and identifying with the emotional state of another person in a way that builds a meaningful connection with them.

Speaking of connections, 30% indicated that they wanted the customer to know that there was a human being on the other end of the line.  To come up with this number, I combined values like:

  • Personalized service
  • Treating others the way they want to be treated (Platinum Rule)
  • Positive and friendly attitude
  • Learning the customer’s name
  • Building rapport
  • Actively listening and understanding the problem
  • Building a connection with the customer

It’s amazing the walls that can be broken down when a customer calls in angry or sad but then makes a real, meaningful connection with another human being.  In all, 57% of our colleagues said that their number one goal is to build that human connection on every customer contact.

Solving ALL of The Problems

The other major theme in the responses was centered around the importance of solving all of the problems the customer called about.  41% of colleagues responded with something like the following:

  • Accurately understanding the issue the customer is having
  • Anticipating and answering the questions the customer didn’t ask
  • Resolving the issue correctly and on the first contact
  • Working efficiently
  • Doing everything within their power to resolve the issue
  • Communicating clearly
  • Taking complete ownership of the issue and demonstrating willingness to help
  • Reducing customer effort

Great contact center agents are some of the best and most innovative problem solvers I have ever encountered.  Present them with a problem and they will work tirelessly to find a solution.

Representing The Brand

While this wasn’t a dominant theme, it’s worth mentioning that three responses centered around improving customer satisfaction and building the company’s reputation for great customer service.  This is noteworthy, especially in the context of a customer service outsourcer.  As I’ve gotten to know our colleagues, it is clear that while they are employees of FCR, they also deeply identify with and champion the brand of the client they are supporting.  The client’s customers are their customers.  The client’s success is their success.  There’s no sentiment of us versus them.  It’s all about the team.

The Crazy Food

Alright, I told you if you waited until the very end, I would tell you about all of the crazy things my colleagues eat.  There were several mentions of creatures like alligator, kangaroo, llama, frog legs, crickets and various forms of sushi.  Under normal circumstances, those would be crazy but due to the frequency, crazy became normal.  I really want to highlight the flat out weird ones.  To name a few:

  • Ant egg paste
  • Cow brain tacos
  • Eating the entire apple (including the core)
  • Egg sacs (from unknown creature)
  • Frosted animal crackers with Kraft Easy Cheese
  • Garbanzo bean jello (probably not jello)
  • Mountain Dew with jalapeño juice
  • A friend’s goose
  • A “salad” comprised of taco shells, cottage cheese, syrup, hot sauce, peaches, relish and fish.

I told you they wouldn’t disappoint.  So now I ask you.  What are one or two things you aim to do on every contact with customers?  Also, what the craziest thing you’ve ever eaten?  We would love to hear from you.  Leave us a comment or drop us a line on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jeremy Watkin
Jeremy Watkin is the Director of Customer Support and CX at NumberBarn. He has more than 20 years of experience as a contact center professional leading highly engaged customer service teams. Jeremy is frequently recognized as a thought leader for his writing and speaking on a variety of topics including quality management, outsourcing, customer experience, contact center technology, and more. When not working he's spending quality time with his wife Alicia and their three boys, running with his dog, or dreaming of native trout rising for a size 16 elk hair caddis.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here