As a consumer, I’m pretty disappointed with contact centres at the moment. While you’re busy flaunting your fancy omni-channel services, Facebook likes and Twitter followers there are some basic things that, as a paying customer, I think I deserve, but rarely get. I’ve listed them below. There’s only eleven. So if you’re running a contact centre and you don’t do these things, you’d better have a good reason why.
1) Know who I am. When I call, on the same phone I always call on, take note. Don’t ask me for an account number, or worse, my phone number. You’ve got it already. Use it.
2) Use my name. Yes, even in automation. Kerry is the 550th most popular male first name in the US, as of 1999. Don’t tell me I’m not important enough to record a few hundred names.
3) If I’m calling on a different phone number than usual, add it to your system, so that you can be smarter next time.
4) Don’t ask me why I’m calling if it’s obvious. If my order is due today, that’s probably why I’m calling. If my payment on the web just failed, that’s probably why I’m calling.
5) OK, I get it, I should probably have tried the web… so make it easy to get there! Send me a text with the right URL, or even better, a custom URL that logs me in and pre-loads my details. It’s not rocket science.
6) Now I’ve tried the web, and I’ve still got a problem. Don’t make me read the number from your website and type it into my phone. Let me click a button and put me through, or call me back. You might even get some interesting info on how many people are bouncing off your website and ending up in the contact centre.
7) Only offer me self-service that works, and don’t make it harder than it needs to be. You should be storing my payment card details so I don’t have to repeat them.
8) If the person in the contact centre is going to need an order number or a meter reading before they can help me, let me know up-front, and I’ll go get it for you. And when I call back, don’t make me go through all of the options again. You could even put me in a priority queue because I just saved you some time.
9) If there’s a wait to speak to someone, give me the option to get a call back later. Then I can do something useful with my time. Even better, have enough people to pick up the phone when I call.
10) While I’m waiting, play nice music, that sounds right over the phone. Make messages short, clear and relevant. Don’t tell me my call is important. I know that already.
11) When you put me through, pass on my details. All of them. I don’t want to have to repeat one word. In fact, I’d prefer the first thing I hear is: “Thank you for waiting Mr. Robinson, let me just re-run that payment for you… OK, that’s all done. Is there anything else I can help with?”
And the best bit in all of this? It’s a win-win. 9 out of these 11 things will reduce handling time in the contact centre, and all of them will improve customer experience and customer satisfaction. So don’t ask “why?”, ask “why not?”.