Outsourcing Your Call Center? Prep Your People Properly

June 16, 2015

There’s no doubt that working in a call center is a stressful occupation, but a new study shows that a lot of that pain might be self-inflicted.

According to research from Mattersight Corp. – a company that utilizes a suite of innovative, personality-based software applications to analyze and predict customer behavior based on the language exchanged during service and sales interactions – customers tend to be already frustrated by the time they call a contact center. As such, it takes a certain personality to “talk them down”, to help resolve their conflicts without antagonizing them further. But the problem does not lie entirely within the call center.

“What they found is that today’s consumer is hyper-connected and more informed than ever, and many attempt to solve their problem without the help of a call center representative,” Mattersight said of its research. “By the time a call is placed, the problem is urgent and the frustration has been mounting, creating an immediate atmosphere of tension and negativity.”

It was discovered that of the more than 70 million people in the U.S. who dial into customer service call centers every year, nearly two-thirds are frustrated before they even start talking with a customer service representative, according to the survey data. “Alarmingly, 75 percent of consumers surveyed reported still feeling frustrated at the end of a customer service call, even if their problem was successfully resolved,” Mattersight said. Such ongoing negativity presents an obvious challenge to customer service executives.

“Call centers are stuck in a cycle of customer frustration,” noted Kelly Conway, president and CEO of Mattersight. “Rather than diffusing the situation and providing each consumer with personalized service, most businesses still measure success on getting callers off the phone as quickly as possible — doing little to improve the customer experience.”

Not surprisingly, the survey showed that the key to creating a positive customer experience is connecting callers and agents who are most likely to enjoy a natural rapport.

Further, the study found:

  • More than half of the respondents said that they want call center agents to acknowledge that their problem is important.
  • Consumers prefer to speak to call center agents who are dedicated and conscientious, or logical and specific.
  • More Millennials would prefer to speak with warm and caring call center agents, than would consumers 35 and older.

“Ninety-five percent of consumers surveyed said that good experiences are what keep them coming back to call center experts when they’re in need,” Conway concluded. “The consumer needs and desires came through loud and clear in this survey.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *