Handling unrealistic customer experiences is on the rise for call center agents

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Handling unrealistic customer experiences is on the rise for call center agents

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Plain and simple, things aren’t built to last for a lifetime. There’s a reason your grandparents had the same car for 20 years and your parents still use the refrigerator from your childhood.  But now we are faced with product life spans that are much shorter and we are holding them up to an expectation that was one day accurate.  Expectations are colliding with the reality of products that have been manufactured to be less dependable, even disposable.  I’d wager that you face this misalignment every day.

How does this shift in product quality affect the call center and its agents?  Because consumers’ wallets are tighter they are less likely to replace a faulty or failing product like they might have in the past.  Instead they are flooding the call center with repair calls, warranty questions, and replacement requests.  Instead of accepting that a blender isn’t meant to last more than five years, they’ve raised their expectations.  You can feel this attitude in your organization where now they expect a $30 household appliance to last decades because they need it to last that long.

customers-grade-the-callsSound familiar?  We’ve been talking about unrealistic customer expectations all year.  At least for now, as noted below with these recent customer quotes, there’s not an expectations shift back toward being aligned with manufacturing specifications any time soon.

“I paid more than $500 for a top kitchen appliance in 2004 only to have it stop working suddenly this year.  I would have bought the cheaper model had I known this was going to happen.”

“My laptop’s battery needed to be replaced after just two years of owning my machine.  You should really warn customers that your batteries aren’t going to last very long.”

“I paid good money for a clothes iron three years ago and now the heating element stopped working.  I thought your brand made durable products but I guess I was wrong.”

About Dr. Jodie Monger

Jodie Monger, Ph.D. is the president of Customer Relationship Metrics and a pioneer in voice of the customer research for the contact center industry. Before creating CRMetrics, she was the founding associate director of Purdue University's Center for Customer-Driven Quality.

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