Ease the Pain of Calling a Contact Center

Does waiting on hold with an airline test your patience? Does navigating the cable company IVR drive you nuts? As a contact center leader, you know how difficult it is to design effortless customer experiences, but that doesn’t make waiting on hold feel any less painful.

While most contact centers have the best intentions, it’s often a lack of tools or resources that prevents great service. ICMI’s 2015 research discovered that 92% of customer service managers thought that their agents’ resources could be more efficient, and 74% acknowledged that company procedures prevented their agents from providing the best customer service experience. All of this inefficiency adds up to a disappointing customer experience, which is why NBC Nightly News recently asked us for some tips to combat the frustration.

Talkdesk is also working hard to ease the pain of calling a contact center. They recently analyzed millions of customer phone calls to develop seven tips and tricks for better customer service. The infographic below reveals best days and time to call for service, ways to build rapport with contact center agents, and more.

I had the chance to ask Kaan Ersun, VP of Marketing at Talkdesk, a few questions about their findings. You might be surprised by some of the insights he uncovered.

Read the full interview below, check out the infographic, and then share your reactions in the comments. Would these customer service hacks work for customers calling your contact center? Are you seeing different trends? Let us know!

Justin Robbins: In your opinion, what was the most surprising finding from your data analysis?

Kaan Ersun: It was interesting that Fridays have a relatively longer wait time than Wednesday and Thursday. It seems like most people call customer service at the beginning of the week (Monday and Tuesday) and then wait until Friday if they haven’t done it at the beginning of the week probably because the middle of the week is too busy with work and other errands. Also, that wait times are shortest in the morning. Seems like people wait until the last minute to get their issues resolved instead of troubleshooting product/service issues early on in the day.

Another is that only 28% of companies have a queue callback feature enabled. This feature should be a must-have to improve the overall customer experience.

Justin Robbins: Did you find that any certain industries varied significantly from the group averages? If yes, which and how so?

Kaan Ersun: Interestingly, financial services and healthcare (pharma and biotech) have some of the shortest average wait times overall, both 25 seconds. The retail industry has the longest average wait time of 88 seconds, and business services isn’t too far behind with 74 seconds.

Justin Robbins: Were wait times higher or lower than what you expected? Do you think that even 31 seconds is acceptable?

Kaan Ersun: While the wait times aren’t outrageously high, businesses should still be striving for 10 to 20 seconds.

Justin Robbins: Only 15% of companies have hold music. What are the other 85% doing?

Kaan Ersun: As a clarification, everyone has a wait queue music, which is the default setting (when you call in and are waiting for an agent to respond to you). The hold music is for when the agent explicitly puts you on hold during the conversation. Eighty-five percent of our customers don’t have any background music enabled for this, which may not be the best user experience.

Justin Robbins: Can you elaborate on “Customer service agents fail to answer customer questions 50% of the time?”

Kaan Ersun: When customers call in, they expect an answer on the call from the representative. However, sometimes issues are more complex and it’s difficult to achieve first call resolution. While it’s a stretch to expect all callers’ issues to be resolved in the first call, an intelligent routing system that directs callers to the agent with the right skillset and a call center software that provides all the customer information and history on one screen are some investments that could help improve this stat.

tips for better customer service 


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