The customer is always right. Of course, any experienced call center manager knows this isn’t always the case, but that doesn’t mean call center agents shouldn’t give this impression to customers. After all, a recent study from NewVoiceMedia found that 44 percent of Americans will turn to the competition after a bad customer service experience, with almost 60 percent opting to never use the company again.
Unfortunately, all it takes are a few misguided words from your call center agent to offend a customer—a customer who more than likely was already irritated due to the problem that prompted the interaction in the first place. As managers, you not only need to teach your call center employees what to say but, just as importantly, what not to say.
Here are three things your customers never want to hear:
“I’ll just put you on hold for a moment.” No one likes to be put on hold. As consumers, we all know what a moment can turn into. Instead, have your agents explain to your customer specifically what needs to be done and how long it’s expected to take.
“I’m going to transfer you now.” Customer’s interpretation: “I don’t want to help you anymore, so I’ll transfer you into oblivion where you can wait on hold for another 20 minutes.” This may be a slight exaggeration, but what it really comes down to is your customer wants your agent to be accountable. The solution: Make sure your agents explain that they want to help, but that there’s someone else who can resolve their issue much faster. Also, agents should assure the customer that they’ll stay on the line until the other specialist picks up.
“I appreciate your feedback.” If your customer has an issue that can’t be resolved, don’t let your agent add insult to injury by telling the individual they appreciate their feedback. Firstly, this sounds like a scripted answer and, secondly, it comes across as if the agent doesn’t really care whether the problem is unresolved. Instead, agents should let customers know they understand why they’re upset; compassion can go a long way in soothing ruffled feathers.
So, work with your agents to make sure these statements never pass from agent to customer again. Everyone involved benefits in the long run.