1. MIXED SATISFACTION WITH CALL CENTERS
It is well-known that many customers have generally low levels of satisfaction with their call center experiences. Almost 40 percent of respondents stated that they were either dissatisfied or extremely dissatisfied when speaking with call center agents. But a significant minority of almost 30 percent of respondents said they were satisfied or extremely satisfied in their general dealings with call center agents. Almost a quarter of respondents were neutral in their attitudes. Surely customer attitudes toward call centers and call center agents are nowhere near as negative as widely reported by the media.
2. WHAT MAKES A BAD EXPERIENCE
The main reason for a bad customer experience is repeatedly being transferred and forced to re-explain the reason for the call. More than a half of respondents cited this behavior as their biggest call center frustration. Still, there is no reason for this type of incident to continue to occur, given the availability and easy integration of call center systems with call transfer and case tracking capabilities. Operators of call centers who are not currently using such systems should examine inexpensive and quick-to-implement on-demand call center solutions.
There is another leading cause of dissatisfaction with call center service - agent ignorance of the products or services being sold, and therefore inability or delays in resolving issues. Here, half of respondents mentioned this as their leading frustration. Given the availability of embedded solution management systems and knowledge-bases in CRM systems, and problem resolution scripts in call center systems, this should not be as widespread an issue as it currently is.
3. HOW TO IMPROVE THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
All respondents were fairly evenly split on how to improve their interactions with call centers. More than a third mentioned more knowledgeable agents and correct first-time routing to the right agent to answer their questions. Integrated call center systems companies should make sure their interactive voice response (IVR) selections are appropriate for the range of needs of their callers, and that their automatic call distribution (ACD) and skills-based routing are aligned with these, so that calls get correctly routed to the most appropriate pool of agents.
The results suggest that companies that already offer 24x7 customer service and support should feature it as part of their product marketing and messaging, and those companies that do not currently offer such support should investigate affordable ways to deliver this to their customers.