Call Center Agents Speak Out: “If I don’t believe it, consumers won’t either”

Filed in Blog, Call Centers, Customer Service by on March 12, 2013
Call center agents speak out

In our annual Contact Center Communication & Connection Study, we ask call center agents which statements they are instructed to say to consumers that they have a difficult time defending.  Due to the anonymous nature of this study, we are able to gather some refreshingly candid feedback.  This question has yielded some very interesting responses throughout the years.  Here’s a look at three of the most common responses we get:

I will make sure to pass those comments along to our quality team/marketing department – agents say this never happens, and they get the sense that most consumers don’t even believe them when they say it

I can see if my manager/supervisor is available, but he/she will give you the same information that I just gave you– many agents claim that this is simply not true, that once the manager/supervisor gets on the line, they do in fact tell a different story, which makes them look bad

We have never heard of that problem occurring – having to downplay a known issue is difficult for the call center agents to defend, as is having to claim something is being worked on when in reality it is not

I manage many different interesting projects throughout the year, but perhaps my favorite is the Contact Center Communication & Connection Study.   This study provides a rare glimpse into the ‘voice of the agent’ – research that helps determine the strength of the connection between your contact center agents and your brand.  Are they proud of your products and your company?  Are they brand advocates?  What impacts agent confidence and agent engagement?  Among other areas, we are able to ascertain their views on the training and direction provided to them and the value and effectiveness of intra and interdepartmental communication.

After being in this industry for close to ten years now, I have come to learn that there are many things that can cause a consumer to be dissatisfied.  But there is one thing that really seems to irk them the most, and that is when they feel as though they are not being taken seriously or that nothing will happen as a result of their contact.  When an agent does not believe in what he or she is saying, the words are expressed with no confidence.  The lack of confidence comes right through the phone, which leads to the consumer not fully believing/trusting what the agent is telling them, which ultimately leads to an unhappy consumer.

It may seem like a simple connection to make but I find it to be a very interesting one – the same things the call center agents complain about having to say are the same things that cause consumers to be dissatisfied.

Why not use this information to your advantage and adjust the scripting in some of these ‘indefensible’ areas?

Our next Contact Center Communication & Connection Study is coming up in June and I am looking forward to uncovering more ways to impact agent confidence and help them better connect with customers.  If you are interested in participating, please contact me to learn more.

 

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