Take a moment and put yourself in the shoes of your customers. Let’s say you had a problem with your latest phone bill so you called your wireless provider to discuss some charges you had never seen before. After you made your way through the automated prompts and finally get a customer service agent on the line you tell them your story. But somehow you got connected to the team that handles opening new accounts (maybe you hit the wrong menu button) so they transfer you to another department. You tell your story again to the second agent but they don’t have the authority to change your billing statement so they pass you along to a supervisor, where you tell your story again…sensing a pattern here?
The #1 source of customer dissatisfaction and effort in a contact center is when a customer has to call back or retell their story. In fact, 30-40% of customer calls require a customer to do just! But that’s not even the whole story- approximately 50% of repeat calls and unnecessary transfers are caused by agent execution failures, not by process issues or mistakes (like a customer hitting the wrong menu button). That means that if your contact center handled 5,000 calls a day, nearly 2,000 of them would require a customer to call back or retell their story. And roughly 1,000 of those could have been completely avoided! If the average call costs $4 to process that’s $4,000 a day being added on to your daily operating costs.
Many customers are looking to take customer service into their own hands, especially with the increase of mobile device apps. When a customer runs into a problem using self-service they usually place a call into the center (this is known as channel thrashing).Getting caught in a merry-go-round of agents and having to repeat their story time and again only makes them more frustrated, which starts to have a negative impact on their overall customer experience and ultimately your brand’s image.
But what can your contact center do about customer frustration and help reduce customer effort? The solution lies in better analysis of contact patterns and operationalizing those results through coaching and training programs.
Let’s say a credit card company crunched the numbers and realized that repeat calls and transfer problems were costing them tens of millions of dollars in overhead, so they decided to make reducing overhead cost by 30% their top priority. While this credit card company has always allocated time for coaching to reduce repeats and transfers, contact center supervisors had to do extensive analysis to find coachable behaviors for each individual agent. This meant the time allocated for physically coaching each agent was less than 15 minutes per agent per month. It’s hard to train anyone on anything in less than 15 minutes and expect there to be any real progress.
The credit card company decided to implement a team development solution that tracked specific examples of skill or knowledge gaps for each individual employee, making it easy to provide timely, targeted, and effective feedback. This data was used to produce a Coachable Calls algorithm that predicted which repeat or transferred calls were the result of an agent error. The coachable calls were then distributed to supervisors via dashboards for the outlier FCR and transfer agents, making it easier to prep for their coaching sessions.
Less time spent analyzing means more time spent coaching. More agent coaching helps you eliminate those agent errors that lead to callbacks and unnecessary transfer, cutting back on customer dissatisfaction!