What Customers Expect From a Call Center – and How to Deliver

What’s the short answer to what customers want from a call center? Everything. People are busier than ever these days, and technology has made them accustomed to placing orders, changing orders, canceling orders, asking questions and registering complaints with near-instant efficiency. It’s a challenging task to meet such lofty expectations, but by delivering on the most important points, your call center should receive consistently positive feedback. 1. Fast Access No one likes to be kept on hold, listening to music that is regularly interrupted by a “Your call is important to us” recording. Using Workforce Management for accurate forecasting and scheduling improves the odds of having enough agents in place to answer each call quickly. 2. Courtesy Customers expect call center agents to be pleasant and understanding – even when they are calling to complain. Every agent’s training should include the skills to remain calm under stress and speak with a smile in the voice. A friendly greeting and a “thank you for your business” before hanging up should be mandatory. 3. Limit Questions Many customers call a call center to ask questions about a product or an order. They don’t want to be peppered with questions in response. Obviously an agent will have to collect some information, but if a call has to be transferred, it can be frustrating for a customer to have to repeat that information again, especially if they have already entered it once before even speaking to an agent. Whenever possible, call center technology should display accurate, up-to-date customer information on the agent’s computer so many of these questions can be eliminated. 4. Knowledgeable Staff Customers expect their questions to be answered. As most will relate to the company’s products, services and policies, agent training should prepare call center personnel for responding to these queries. Occasionally, when a more unexpected question is asked, an agent should have access to communication with other agents or a manager who can deliver an answer quickly. 5. A Successful Resolution Ultimately, the most important result to strive for with each customer call is a successful outcome – an order placed, a question answered, or a problem solved. Well-trained agents and quality call center technology, working together, improve the likelihood of a successful resolution.