What to Do if a Negative Customer Engagement Goes Viral?
Last summer, a man called his cable television provider to cancel his service, and was subjected to a 20-minute unwanted conversation* in which the company’s call center agent repeatedly badgered him like a district attorney trying to get a murder conviction.
Unfortunately for the cable company, the beleaguered customer recorded the conversation and released it on social media, where it quickly went viral.
Situations like this may become more common, as contact centers are certainly not the only ones capable of recording calls, and with social media providing an easy and instant platform for an angry customer to exact revenge. The question is, how should the contact center respond?
In this case, the cable company issued a public apology, promising to investigate the situation. They also contacted the customer to offer a personal mea culpa.
The more important question is, how can such embarrassing moments be avoided in the first place?
Agents are almost certainly instructed to try and retain customers in cancellation calls, but there comes a point where the practice becomes abusive. These situations can be avoided with quality monitoring, in which calls are recorded and scored based on preset criteria (which should certainly include the attitude of the agent and adherence to a script).
Where agents fall short in these disciplines, it creates the potential for a marketing disaster. Quality monitoring identifies these agents so retraining can take place.
Speech analytics can also play a role in helping agents determine when a customer account might be maintained, and when all the resistance in the world will not make any difference. That will help agents decide which situations require more aggressive persuasion (within reasonable limits, of course), and which can be abandoned more quickly.
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