Call Center Agents

/Call Center Agents

A call center agent is the person who handles incoming or outgoing customer calls for a business such as account inquiries, customer complaints or support issues.

Does your survey only have questions about agent performance?

“Do you only have questions about agent performance?” is a question that was included in the 25 Mistakes to Avoid with Post-call IVR Surveys eBook and self-assessment. The eBook and self-assessment includes diagnostic questions that will help you to identify any of the many problems I have come across since inventing post-call IVR surveying in [...]

Why you can’t afford the contact center of tomorrow

The reasons why you can’t afford the contact center of tomorrow may not be for the reasons you think. It used to be that anyone who could type and was nice, was perfect to sit in a call center seat. Well, it’s not 1980 anymore and we have contact centers now. The archaic mindset of [...]

How to safeguard against customer experience inconsistencies in your call center

Have you ever been disappointed going to a restaurant based on a friend’s recommendation but the great food and service they raved about, and you expected, was just the opposite? I don’t know what’s worse, having the bad experience or lying to your friend so their feelings are not hurt. Unfortunately, the same disappointment happens [...]

Send all of your Crazy Customers to Zappos Contact Center

Zappos wants to provide excellent service to everyone in their contact center, including the crazy customers that want to stay on the phone for 10-and-a-half hours. This story makes me really sad.  You know, I love a good public relations story just like everyone else.  And when you hear many of the (genuine) customer service [...]

By | 2016-12-05T15:14:55+00:00 December 28th, 2012|Call Center Agents, Customer Experience, Pain in the Ass|0 Comments

Do contact centers hate families or LOVE Black Friday more?

Has the growth of contact centers along with consumer and Wall Street demands ruined it for families? Has Black Friday gained more societal power than friends, family, and fellowship? I was asking myself these questions as I read about Target Corporation opening stores on Thanksgiving evening instead of Friday morning. Then, I started to think about [...]

By | 2016-12-05T15:14:56+00:00 November 13th, 2012|Call Center Agents, Customer Expectations, Social Media|0 Comments

Crafting the perfect Call Center Manager

If you could create the perfect call center manager, what would he or she look like?  Specifically, what traits or management styles would s/he have?  What attitudes or knowledge would s/he bring to the table?  While you find some of your perfect traits during the interview process, it is difficult to find all of the [...]

Six Lessons body-building can teach you about customer experiences

The weekend before Thanksgiving, I competed in my very first body-building competition.  Between stage appearances, eating hourly meals and making sure my Oompa Loompa-like tan was intact, the customer-service lessons were hard to miss. 1.  Forget agent to supervisor ratios. You need expediters. If you’ve never been backstage at a body-building competition, imagine a large [...]

Do your call scripts make call center agents better or dumb?

Guidelines and talking points sound different to customers than do call-controlling scripts.  A call center agent who sounds like an advocate or advisor because they naturally converse (what they are told to say), deliver a better customer experience.  With your effort to help agents connect with the caller or to control the content of the [...]

Reducing volume in your call center is simple, hide your number

I recently had a small issue with Verizon that I wasn’t able to resolve on the web site.  Not a big deal. But when clicked on ‘Contact Us’ and then ‘By Phone’, instead of giving me the phone number, I was met with a pop-up window that said:  “We're sorry...we are not able to process [...]

Call center agent empowerment leads to customer satisfaction and customer retention

How many of you remember getting a gold star from your teacher for good work or good behavior?  I remember thinking that the tiny little symbol filled me with a sense of pride for a job well done.  What we find over and over again in our External Quality Monitoring programs is that call center agents [...]

Does your return policy ultimately affect customer experience and satisfaction?

I recently ordered two wall hangings for my child’s room and they showed up damaged.  I was undecided about the picture situation, but since I bought them so cheaply on clearance ($5!) I decided against the hassle to return them.  The store’s customer service rep told me I would have to the store in person, [...]

Call centers don’t want your support; they can’t handle it

We’re taught from a young age to ‘love thy neighbor’, to be a conscientious citizen, to do  the right thing.  But often what we find is that some call centers aren't equipped to deal with help from customers.  They have a very strong culture overly focused on cost reduction (speed) and have processes to follow, [...]

Great web content is key, but does anyone know it’s there?

Aren’t we all focused on enhancing the customer experience using our web sites to handle common customer service issues and questions to help reduce call center costs (headcount, resources, etc.)?  What I find to be a bit of sad irony is that while time and energy is being spent to beef up web site content, [...]

Creative customer service wins every time

We’re told all the time to ‘think outside the box’.  In school it meant looking at a passage in a book to see the symbolism; that the words were more than mere words.  In the call center it means something as simple as creatively solving a customer’s problems. I recently tried to book a summer [...]

You vs. your competition, head-to-head, how’d you do?

A few weeks ago I had a mishap with an electronic billpay that brought together - and then set apart -three financial institutions.  Admittedly, I made a mistake in creating the electronic payment request.  My local bank generated a physical check rather than transferring the funds via ACH (Automated Clearing House), and sent it on [...]

If good customer service is so easy, why isn’t everyone doing it?

For all the bad customer service that we see, feel (and sometimes even deliver), there are companies that consistently delight their customers.  Do you also wonder, ‘if they can do it, why do we struggle to achieve that level of service?  Why is it so hard to duplicate a successful customer service model?’ One of [...]

By | 2017-07-17T17:11:56+00:00 June 13th, 2011|Call Center Agents, Customer Experience|4 Comments

Where did all of the smart call center agents go?

The other day I was talking to one of our long-time clients and she said, “Jodie, we’re running out of people that know stuff here.” I hung up the phone and thought simpler and truer words have never been spoken. Where did all of the smart call center agents go? The skilled-labor shortage is at [...]

Your contact center agents have an expiration date

Did you ever think your agents have an expiration date? Many of us in call centers chase the holy grail of higher agent tenure, assuming that agents will use the additional knowledge and experience attained through tenure to better serve customers. The unfortunate reality, according to customers, the more tenured agents don’t deliver a better customer [...]

Who knows when call center agents burnout first?

My friend Julie has taken call after call as an agent for nearly 10 years. I have it on good authority that Julie is one of the best agents out there, but it’s been my experience that Julie is the exception and not the rule. Do you think Julie and other call center agents burnout [...]

Is your sales team selling out your agents?

If you ask a call center agent how many times a day they get yelled at by customers, the answer is too often - “all day long.” Agents bear the brunt of unrealistic customer expectations when the sales and marketing staff are overselling, overpromising or omitting information about the product at the point of sale. [...]