Do you tend to avoid a business after receiving poor customer service or have heard a horror story from others? Why should anyone spend their money and not be treated with the respect?
In the US, Forbes reported that businesses lost $75 billion due to poor customer service last year*
In the UK, a well-known commercial airplane firm was voted worst for its customer service for the sixth year in a row. The survey carried out by Which?** asked 4,000 people how they felt about the company's service, from how they were made to feel to how well their calls and complaints were handled.
When it comes to handling calls, there are plenty of solutions that can improve customer service. According to Brevet***, 92% of all customer interactions take place on the phone, so they are worth exploring.
Call agents will be told to speak clearly and to address the caller and their needs in a professional manner. They may be tasked with answering a call by the third ring and to quickly and positively identify themselves and the business name. However, no matter how many rules you follow, if the caller has already been met by the engaged tone or has been left waiting for their call to be answered, their opinion of the business is already adversely affected.
Call queueing, on-hold messages and an automated attendant can evoke a positive experience before callers have even spoken to a you.
Call queuing gives your business the ability to handle more calls than they have lines, extensions or staff to deal with them. Callers will be placed within a queue, rather than being met with an engaged tone, so your customers know their call will be answered in time.
On-hold messages can broadcast a comfort message to your customers assuring them that their call will be answered. You could also choose to give them details of offers, upcoming events or other customer service messages. In some cases, customer queries could even be answered by listening to these messages. When surveyed, customers who hear on-hold messages feel increased caller satisfaction and feel as if their wait time is shorter. ****
An automated attendant can greet each caller with a personalised welcome message and direct them to the right department without having to rely on busy receptionists. This can significantly improve your customer service rating as nobody likes being transferred from pillar to post and made to feel as if their query is a burden that no-one can deal with. Your automated attendant options could include: “Press one for customer services, press two to follow up on an order, press three for accounts or please hold to speak to an operator.” Callers can quickly decide which route they want to take to reduce overall waiting times.
An upgraded telephone system has the capacity to integrate with your company's existing CRM too. Agents receive a ‘screen record pop’ of all the customer details and contact history when they call in. This aids the verification process and helps agents engage with them properly. According to Forbes, 86% of surveyed customers said they would continue doing businesses with a company if they had received an emotional connection with a customer service agent. However, only 30% of those surveyed felt that companies had made a connection with them when contacted.
If you believe that your customer call handling would benefit from any of the above features, please do get in touch.