Keeping up a good banter with a customer is essential to any working relationship. It helps them to feel like a human being and a joke or sharing a humorous anecdote can be a great way to break the ice.
However, there’s a different side to playing games with the customer that can take on a darker turn that may just end up costing you their business. You often hear about some of the horror stories that some customers experience when calling to receive tech support or place an order.
3C Contact Services, the leading provider of outsourced call center solutions, tells their partners that there are games that your agents may just play with customers that may lead to them taking their business elsewhere, such as:
This is probably one of the major irritants that anyone who calls in to a business experiences. It may just be the agent not being able to handle the call or the customer dialling the wrong extension, but it may also be a matter of the agent trying to “pass the buck” if they don’t want to deal with a difficult customer.
Refusing to Escalate Concerns:
Put a little more bluntly, this means that the customer wants to speak to a manager or supervisor. An agent may just refuse to do this out of concern they may face repercussions, because they think they can handle the customer’s concern themselves, or they may just do it simply to be spiteful. Regardless of why the customer is asking to speak to someone higher up, the agent should transfer the call with no questions asked.
Sitting in silence:
While there’s nothing wrong with giving the customer a chance to voice their concern and not interrupting, sitting silent can also lead to frustration and make the customer feel like they are being ignored.
Providing misleading information to avoid conflict:
An agent may just be tempted to provide a customer with false information or an offer just to placate them. This can backfire when the customer calls back later and finds out the information they were provided with was false.
To avoid any of this happening, we at 3C Contact Services recommend thoroughly training your agents to handle calls in a manner that avoids escalation. You should also have a clear outline of where calls are to be transferred to. If the customer doesn’t want to leave a voicemail, try to have an idea of when the individual will be back and give them their extension so they can call back. (Ex. “The staff takes lunch between 12:00 and 2:00, try calling back then, they should be back by then.”)