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07 Feb 2020
Customer service
Suggestion View - 247
How to provide an excellent call center service

Most organizations have a "terrible" call center. 

When the customer has to make a request or give a feedback, the customer is directed to a call center. This is the usual experience. 

a) The customer has to listen to automated messages asking for many buttons to be pressed to determine the type of call.

b) The customer has to listen to many tiring messages advertising the products and services, or to listen to privacy issues (which they have heard countless times) or telling the customer how much they value the customer (what hypocrites!)

c) The customer has to provide identification numbers that are usually unnecessary for the purpose.

d) After clearing these hurdles, the customer is placed on hold for an associate to be available. It can take several tens of minutes. Often, the customer has to drop the call out of frustration.

This is the typical experience of a "terrible call center". But it is an universal system. Most call center services are run on this model. Most companies outsource their call center to this standard type of protocol. The protocol is supposed to be "top of class", but is strongly hated by their customers. 

What is an alternative approach?

I suggest the following:

a) Provide an online form in the organization's website for the customer to enter their name, email, mobile number and a description of the request or feedback. 

b) If the customer makes a call, have an associate to answer the call immediately, and enter the above details into the online form, on behalf of the customer. This associate's role is to record the issue, and not to address it (as it may require more detailed understanding of the issue and special expertise). As this is a short process, it should take just a few minutes. The customer does not have to wait long for an associate to handle the call.

c) Internally, another associate will direct the issue to a specialist who can call back the customer. It is better to alert the customer in advance on the expected time of the call from the specialist. The specialist is a person who is specially trained to deal with the type of request or feedback that is provided by the customer. The return call from the associate should occur within one hour of the submission of the online form.

My suggested approach does not require any sophisticated equipment. It can be handled with a simple website - one that can be built by an organization for a thousand dollars. 

It will improve the customer experience tremendously, and also improve the productivity of the associates and specialists who have to deal with the feedback or requests.

Put yourself in the shoes of the customer. You have a request or feedback. You can find the online form easily. Or you can get through to the associate within a minute or two. You get a specialist who call you back within the hour and, in most cases, can provide the answer that you need. 

Is this a better approach? Do you like this approach, as compared to the "terrible call center experience"?

Tan Kin Lian

Vote - do you like this approach?


Agree: 2  Disagree: 1  Vote  

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