Beware: Callers Getting Defensive About Selling Tactics

Beware: Callers Getting Defensive About Selling Tactics

December 01, 2015

This past summer, the International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) and cloud call center innovator inContact reached out to call center leaders, asking them the same set of questions that they had asked of consumers in an earlier study. The results were, to say the least, jarring, and now those results have been made public.

In a new report, “Smarter Service for the Connected Customer”, the findings show that what contact center leaders believe about their business, and customers’ perceptions of those same beliefs, are widely different.

For example, it appears that customers perceive call centers as more interested in selling than servicing. When both sides were asked if they believed contact centers put more effort into selling, 80 percent of the customers said “yes,” while only 12 percent of contact centers thought so.

It was also noted that poor service can have a huge financial impact on the bottom line. When managers were asked if they thought customers might leave after a bad call center experience, only 19 percent said yes. But asked the same question, a stunning 80 percent of customers said they would, in fact, take their business elsewhere. But that’s not just some random finding.

A recent infographic from the Temkin Group noted a number of key areas where a poor experience can hurt the bottom line, including the information that:

  • Customers buy more from companies with good service;
  • Customers are more forgiving when companies generally provide good service; and
  • Customers trust companies more when they provide good service.

Are we seeing a pattern here?

Finally, customers were also asked about their relationship with a company.  One survey question asked customers whether they expect to continue talking to the same agent when they switched from online chat to phone. Not surprisingly, 64 percent of customers said basically, “Of course.” Yet only 20 percent of contact centers managers felt the same way. Those same customers, at 67 percent, wanted to speak with the same rep if they had to call back, but only 24 percent of managers felt that was “doable.”

Obviously, there’s a lot of gray area here, but the bottom line is this: While the demarcation between the camps is clear, the question remains: Who’s going to fix it? You can purchase the report and draw your own conclusions.

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