Call Center Mistakes to Avoid to Retain Customers and Improve their Experience

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Call Center Mistakes to Avoid to Retain Customers and Improve their Experience

A positive experience is a key component of customer loyalty. Steer clear of these 10 call center mistakes that could be turning your customers away.

According to Gartner, organizations should strive to deliver enjoyable, low-effort customer experiences because simplicity is the most significant driver of loyalty. In fact, 96% of customers who experience a high-effort interaction become more disloyal compared to just 9% who have a low-effort experience.

10 Common Call Center Mistakes for your Company to Avoid

To help companies improve their Customer Effort Score (CES), we’ve compiled a list of 10 call center mistakes that often result in high customer effort. By being aware of and avoiding these errors, businesses can drive the shift towards frictionless interactions and enhance the overall customer experience. This in turn will lead to higher brand loyalty and increased customer happiness.

1. Sluggish response

When customers are frustrated about their issue, the last thing they want is to have to wait for their call to be answered. To combat extensive hold time, contact centers can use voice recognition or simple IVR (Interactive Voice Response) to determine the nature of the caller’s issue and engage customers immediately. Automated callback options and call queuing solutions that keep customers up to date on their queue position are also becoming increasingly popular and help to temper customer stress levels.

2. Wasted hold time

If customers must wait on hold, why not make good use of their time? By implementing the right systems, you can add value to the interaction and reduce customer effort once the agent comes on the line. Examples include:

  • Automated customer identification processes
  • Personalized promotions during wait times

3. Getting off on the wrong foot

Customers want to know what’s going to happen, how the call center  agent is going to help, and how long it is likely to take to resolve their problem. Setting clear expectations is an obvious but often overlooked way to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

4. Ignoring customers’ feelings

Asking a customer to briefly describe their issue at the start of an interaction can enable companies to use NLP (Natural Language Processing)  technology to instantly gauge the nature and urgency of the problem – both in objective terms and in relation to the customer’s level of frustration.

The up-and-coming field of emotion analytics analyzes an individual’s responses in order to understand their mood or attitude, creating valuable opportunities for companies to connect with customers on an emotional level.

5. Exasperating escalations

Single contact resolutions are the contact center equivalent of one-click ordering. When agents achieve First Contact Resolution (FCR), it means that they properly addressed the customer’s needs the first time they contacted the enterprise. This eliminates the need for them to follow up a second time to seek resolution.

Having the right desktop tools and resources can turn any agent into a multiskilled product expert, enabling them to resolve the issue the first time the customer reaches out.

6. Tricky transfers

Sometimes escalations are inevitable. That’s why it’s vital to make sure Tier 2 agents at the call center have access to the same customer histories – ideally with visual resources. Customers hate to repeat themselves, it increases customer effort and drives up Average Handling Time (AHT).

Intelligent routing is also key, since one of the worst call center mistakes is to make a customer wait for a supervisor, only to direct them to the wrong department.

7. Faulty UI/UX

The devil is in the details. One unclear instruction, misleading image, dead link or outdated article can ruin an entire customer episode. Artificial Intelligence in the call center is key to analyzing huge data sets in order to facilitate QA testing and to identify any high-effort hiccups or mistakes that might damage the customer experience.

8. Complicating matters

Don’t overburden the customer with too many options. They want to resolve their issue as quickly and painlessly as possible, without exerting unnecessary mental effort on complicated choices.

There might be many routes to the same end, but the contact center should be there to guide the customer by recommending the best way forward. That’s what the customer is trusting you to do for them.

9. Shoddy self-service

Call deflection to self-service ensures customers receive the answers they are seeking in the most efficient manner. It also reduces the number of inbound calls routed to human agents. Instead, enquiries are rerouted to self-service channels such as FAQs, live chat, community forums, and knowledge center databases

However, these channels must be easily available and flawlessly designed to ensure that they actually reduce customer effort, and don’t cause further aggravation by not actually helping to resolve anything.

10. Being reactive, not proactive

Anticipating a problem before it becomes a crisis is the key to happier customers, reduced customer effort and lower contact center volumes. While the concept of predictive maintenance has been around for decades, advances in AI have only recently enabled organizations like Vodafone to take advantage of the possibilities, by analyzing any potential issues and automatically contacting customers before they need to contact customer services.

Keeping your Customer Interactions Positive, Enjoyable and Smooth

When striving to deliver effortless service, avoiding these ten key call center agent mistakes is critical to creating a positive, low-effort customer experience.

It’s worthwhile going through the above ten elements of your contact center management and, where necessary, implementing changes to correct the existing customer service mistakes. Doing so will result in a smoother, more efficient experience all round.

Paying close attention to negative customer feedback is also much more useful than positive “thumbs up” responses as they can identify the exact moments in a customer episode that must be improved. Customers are giving you valuable information here, they are honing in on the existing mistakes as experienced by themselves when communicating with your contact center, leaving you with the opportunity to improve it for the future.

As call centers move towards a smoother, effortless customer experience, these are the ten significant areas they should focus on improving their performance in. Avoiding or correcting the above call center agent mistakes is critical to creating the ultimate positive, low-effort and enjoyable customer experience.

Andrew Mort, Content Manager

Andrew Mort, Content Manager

Andrew Mort brings extensive experience of writing compelling B2B and B2C copy, including press releases, thought leadership articles and marketing content.


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