A faulty headset, a microphone that muffles the voice, unreliable software, an uncomfortable chair, a broken keyboard key… These may appear to be minor complaints however from the perspective of the customer advisor, these seemingly small problems can have a huge impact on their ability to deliver great customer service. An unpleasant working environment can place undue stress on staff and in some cases even cause health problems. The service to customers can be affected as agents struggle to concentrate and focus on the task in hand.
Put simply, an uncomfortable or stressed advisor can easily translate their frustration into the call experience leading to misunderstandings, poor service and ultimately dissatisfied customers.
This issue should not be taken lightly. Contact center employees must be provided with reliable technology and stable dependable equipment to support them in delivering the best service to customers. The centre environment should be a pleasant one which is conducive to optimum productivity. There is always the potential for faulty equipment to occur – wear and tear and accidental damage are common events so there should always be a stock of replacement equipment easily available to quickly rectify the problem.
Failure of a voice or data connection
A connection error makes it impossible for your customers to reach your business. This is a problem that can be particularly damaging at a time when a high number of calls are expected: the launch of a new product, a special promotion or a particularly busy season.
When working with technology there is always the risk of system failure but contact centers can minimise the impact by ensuring robust infrastructure and stable voice and data connections are in place. The technology and connections must be resilient enough to weather unexpected situations and contingency plans should be in place and tested regularly.
Data breaches, server disruption, weather problems, natural disasters, floods and fire can render premises unusable for several days or even weeks and no company can afford to forgo its contact center for this long. A backup solution through fallback servers, power generation and high fire protection should all be considered. The ability to set up an emergency customer centre within hours or days can provide the opportunity to return to ‘business as usual’ with reduced impact on the service provision.
Communication of business updates
When a business launches a new product, releases news on an existing product, highlights a defective product or announces a callback, the contact center staff must be made aware and must be equipped with the knowledge to respond to caller queries and complaints.
If a caller reaches out to the centre and is met with an uninformed agent who cannot help, it will generate frustration and disappointment on both sides.
Thorough training is an essential part of contact centers staff’s requirements and they must be able to think quickly and adapt responses when faced with a crisis or simply an exceptionally busy period. They must also have access to reliable communication methods that keep staff up to date with breaking news. Staff should have easy access to up to date information and assistance when a clearly defined process is not suitable or available. The company’s web page can provide a very supportive tool when updated with sufficient information to meet basic queries, saving the need to contact the center at all and avoiding long waits and queuing customers.
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