Your agents are only as good as the processes behind them; so what’s wrong with your processes?


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Being in the industry makes me hyper sensitive to call center service when I am a caller. I’d classify myself as a good customer because I try to set them up to be successful. I try to never raise my voice and I always remember that they are only as good the processes that are behind them. But there are times when there’s no choice but to feel the same pain that other customers feel.

Recently, the first call center agent I talked to seemed knowledgeable enough but the call got disconnected. Okay, but the first thing she asked me when we started the call was for my number in case we got disconnected so she could call me back. I waited 15 minutes but no call back. So I called back. I reached someone new this time. I started my story over with this new agent. After about 30 minutes he said he’d have to transfer me to his supervisor who had more experience. I had to start my story over a third time with the supervisor only to discover that my issue was complicated and would require that a case be opened.

You are probably thinking the same things that I did: Why didn’t they call me back when they made me feel like they would? Why did it take so many agents and so much of my time to figure out a plan? Why is the knowledge base so ineffective? What are they doing to address their poor first contact resolution rate?

In our research, we hear from customers who are dissatisfied because of poor first call resolution:

“Why was it so difficult to find someone – anyone – that could answer my simple return question? I had to be transferred four times!”

“I was trying to return a piece of furniture to X,Y,Z and was paired up with the worst call center agent in the world. He was rude and after 30 minutes hung up on me!”

“Just once I’d like to call into my bank and speak to ONE person and get my issue resolved instead of being transferred over and over again. It’s incredibly frustrating.”

“It turns out that I am smarter than your agent that I talked to yesterday. I’m glad that I called back today to go over this again with someone else. Now we can fix our problem! I hate to think about what would have happened if I didn’t call again today.”

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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