5 Common call center practices that are bad for customer service

5 Common call center practices that are bad for customer service

August 1, 2014

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Companies apply best practices to ensure that their every action—between colleagues and in front of customers—lives up to the brand identity they uphold and the benchmarks of the industry where they belong. Best practices are particularly observed in customer service delivery and call center training of outsourcing firms in the Philippines or any top business process outsourcing (BPO) destination.

There are, however, practices that defeat the purpose of customer service improvement. The worse thing is that they are commonly applied and believed to benefit the company. What are these bad practices that you implement to unwittingly downgrade your call center?

1. Instant hiring

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It’s common advice to hire a person right away once you sense the potential in him because there are probably other companies competing for this catch. But this only applies if you’re truly sure that the candidate has the empathy of a good customer service representative.

A big cause of high attrition in call centers and poor customer service delivery is the agents’ lack of customer service qualities. Yet, some contact centers still end up with people who are not fully fit for phone-to-phone work, and this is because of the bigger importance given to filling vacancies fast rather than completely assessing applicants.

2. One-time or short training

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Like everyone else, call center agents need to be reminded more often than instructed. But commonly, the training only lasts for a month, and then agents are left to fumble their way around the workplace on their own.

Aside from having constant coaching and refresher sessions, call center agents (especially new hires) should undergo an onboarding process that involves active participation from the whole company and transcends through the next few months.

3. Learning about your brand’s flaws from others

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It’s a good practice to collect customers’ feedback, but isn t it better to find a product issue on your own? This way, you could take action even before others point it out to you or worse, use it against your company. Use the products and services you sell or represent to know what kind of customer experience your customers truly get. And don t forget to call your own contact center to get a real caller’s experience, which call monitoring tools may not fully give to you.

4. Disintegrated channels

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You may have email and live chat channels aside from your phone-based representatives and the ones in the actual store, but this doesn’t mean that your customer service is well-integrated. Multi-channeling is not enough; all your communication channels and platforms should be aligned and integrated. This means that when a customer orders via email, he should be able to follow up, track, or make product returns and claims via other channels as well. This also applies to other services and platforms you have.

5. Not having a recovery plan
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How can a call center not have one? It s just unacceptable, even if you believe that your facilities, employees, and providers are all first-rate. There should be a backup plan in case something goes wrong, as well as a strategy to prevent call center disasters from happening.

Did we leave something out? What other practices can be detrimental to a call center’s operation? Feel free to share your own experiences and tips.

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