Guest blog post by Daniel O’Callaghan from Telax.
Even the best, most accommodating and conscientious companies will do something that irritates and thus creates the occasional angry customer. It’s inevitable. At the same time, it’s in every business’s best interest to minimize these occurrences as much as possible. With that in mind, it’s wise to look at unhappy, dissatisfied customers not as examples of failure, but rather as opportunities to learn more about, and improve, a company’s customer service in order to create a more satisfactory overall customer experience. And to look at ways of leveraging the right technology, such as Hosted Contact Center services, that can help companies rise to this challenge with intelligence and agility.
Using the contact center to drive trust and loyalty
The primary goal for engaging with a frustrated customer is to calm the individual down and, if possible, resolve the problem that led to this state of affairs. With the ultimate goal of holding onto their trust and loyalty. But a close secondary goal must be the discovery of the cause behind the customer’s anger.
“When you end an interaction with an upset customer without really knowing why they were unsatisfied, you’ve missed an opportunity to learn and improve in the future.”
This may seem like an obvious point, but many contact centers focus heavily on appeasing their customers and fail to dive deeper and explore the underlying factors. In other cases, the contact center managers simply lack the tools or resources to conduct such investigations.
Whenever a company ends an interaction with an upset customer without really determining why that person was dissatisfied, they’ve missed an opportunity to prevent future incidents. This undiagnosed problem will likely lead other customers to an even more damaging reaction: taking their business elsewhere. Which is where a full-featured, flexible Hosted Contact Center solution can make a true difference.
The answer is in the analytics
There are many factors that can lead to customers being angry and frustrated. The question for contact center leaders is how to identify these issues. Unfortunately, an irate caller is not necessarily going to be a reliable source of information, or may provide a less than complete picture of the situation.
This highlights the importance of evaluating contact center processes comprehensively. Only a thorough audit will identify potential sources of frustration. For one company, a confusing or seemingly irrelevant interactive voice response (IVR) system may be the issue. While another company’s angry customers may simply be a result of lengthy hold times.
To maximize the effectiveness of such reviews, analytics – the type a flexible hosted contact solution can offer – are key. Such analytics can provide managers with insight into the customer experience that would be otherwise unavailable, including a more complete overall picture.
For example, a customer calls and is angry since he’s been on hold 15 minutes. The obvious conclusion is the company needs to add more service agents or otherwise revamp its processes to reduce wait times. However, analytics may reveal the root of the problem goes back further. Perhaps this customer has contacted the company three times to resolve the same issue, and while each time the issue was noted to be put to rest, this was clearly not the case. The long wait was the final straw that pushed the customer over the edge, but it was not the root of the problem.
At the same time, analytics can help contact center leaders to better understand how well their individual agents are performing in surprising ways. While a customer’s outburst is often directed at whichever agent receives his call, analytics can reveal if other agents improperly handled that customer’s problem earlier, setting up this current debacle. They can also allow you to compare agent performance on similar calls to identify and reward your own best performers.
Finally, analytics can help a company identify problems with the company’s self-service customer support offerings, such as the previously mentioned IVR system. If a customer is put off by such an interaction, it will add to his or her resentment. It may not be the primary cause of their anger, but it certainly should be an important source of irritation.
By viewing interactions with angry customers as learning opportunities, contact centers can become more effective and accommodating for clients far into the future. To make the most out of these and other metric driven techniques, be sure to look for a hosted contact center solution that supports the application of analytics across your organization. You and your customers will find the resulting experience to be positive in more ways than one.
Photo Credit: community.cxpa.org
Improve Customer Experience with Hosted Contact Center
With HCC, you can seamlessly manage customer contacts across multiple channels, including voice, email, chat, and social media. So you can quickly route customers for faster resolution and greater satisfaction. Watch Video
Telax works closely with EarthLink’s Voice and Unified Communications group to gather client requirements and develop custom contact center solutions that are fully aligned with customer business needs. Together, we work to leverage Telax’s cloud-based call center technology, in combination with EarthLink’s high performance network services, to create an industry leading cloud contact center solution with a single point of contact that is customizable, easy-to-use and provides businesses all the tools they need to offer a world class customer experience.