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How to Overcome Your Customers' Top 6 Frustrations When Contacting Your Organization

Published On September 4, 2019 | Last Updated May 15, 2024

overcome customer frustrations

At ComputerTalk, we’re not just contact center providers; we’re customers too. At one point or another, we have all used a contact center to reach out to an organization. We understand the pain points that customers face when contacting an organization and we want to help organizations solve some of those problems for their customers.

We surveyed our staff and asked, "What is your biggest pain point when contacting an organization?" We found that many pain points can easily be solved with simple contact center features and don’t require complex solution overhauls.

Your customers might have experienced some of these pain points when contacting your organization too. Here are some simple and easy ways to overcome the top 6 challenges:

  1. Wait Times

    Long wait times to speak with an agent was the most frequent pain point among our staff. Customers want to reach an agent quickly, know how long it will take to do so, and even be able to multi-task while they wait.

    What Causes Long Wait Times?

    There are many reasons a contact center may have long wait times for customers. The contact center may be understaffed; agents may not be operating at their maximum efficiency; or there may simply be too many callers reaching out due to unexpected circumstances or some other reason.

    How to Reduce Contact Center Wait Times

    Fortunately, for each of the many reasons a contact center may have long wait times, there are tools and features you can use to address the issue.

    To prevent understaffing, you can use a Workforce Management (WFM) integration to automatically forecast demand and create corresponding agent schedules that account for it.

    Other integrations, such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software integrations, can help reduce wait times by enabling agents to operate at their maximum efficiency. For example, CRM integrations can provide instant access to relevant customer information as soon as a call comes in, saving agents time on customer and problem identification and context-gathering. They can also automate CRM activity creation, allowing agents to spend less time in wrap-up documenting the interaction after a call.

    Implementing a callback feature allows customers to leave a number they can be called back at rather than continuing to stay on the phone waiting in queue. This enables them to hang up and move on with their day while maintaining their position in queue, then receive a call back later when there’s an agent available to speak with them. This is always a great option to use in combination with other features but may be especially helpful when call volumes are unexpectedly high due to unforeseen circumstances.

  2. Reaching the Right Person/Contacting a Live Agent

    One significant pain point for customers is going through long, overwhelming IVR systems with too many options, especially when all they have is a simple request.

    Why is it so Hard to Reach an Agent?

    Reaching an agent can be unnecessarily complicated due to the contact center’s workflow design. For example, a contact center may have too many narrow topics of inquiry as menu options at each level, requiring customers to listen to long recordings of menu options. Alternatively, the topics of inquiry given as menu options may be too broad, forcing customers to navigate through many levels of short menus. Menu options may be ambiguous or unclear. An organization may offer multiple options in the same menu that sound similar, causing customers to be confused about which one better fits their needs. In short, there are a lot of ways a company can go wrong when designing their workflows, causing customers to struggle reaching an agent and feel frustrated.

    How to Improve IVR Design

    At ComputerTalk we have workflow experts that can help you design and build your workflows. With ice Contact Center, you can easily customize and configure workflows to allow for easy navigation for your customers to ensure they never get lost or frustrated with your IVR again.

    Alternatively, you can eliminate the need for customers to navigate menus at all: Implementing artificial intelligence (AI) powered speech recognition features allows your customers to simply speak their needs in order to be routed to the best suited agent. For example, they can just say “I have a billing question,” rather than listening to various menus and submenus until they’re finally directed to press 3 for billing and account inquiries. This saves them from having to waste their time listening to various menus directing them through different departments and sub-departments to get to the right person.

  3. Unhelpful or Uninformed Agents

    Customers expect quick and accurate responses to their inquiries. When an agent is slow providing information or unknowledgeable about a customer’s topic of inquiry, the customer can quickly lose confidence in the agent and their ability to help them.

    Why do Contact Center Agents Appear Uninformed?

    Sometimes, the agent assigned to help a customer truly does lack key knowledge about the topic the customer is inquiring about. Customer inquiries are many and varied. It’s unrealistic to expect that every single contact center agent is going to be knowledgeable about every single type of inquiry a customer may have.

    Even if a contact center agent is perfectly well-versed in dealing with the customer’s topic of concern, they may give the appearance of lacking knowledge if it takes them too long to do it.

    How to Increase Customer Confidence in Agents’ Knowledge

    First and foremost, it is important that your agents are adequately trained in the topics that they are assigned to handle. Regular training refreshers help ensure that agents’ knowledge is always up-to-date and accurate.

    You can use contact center tools to find out what areas may need extra attention in your training efforts. For example, you can check reports on call durations in iceReporting to see if there are any particular topic-based queues that are underperforming, or you can analyze customer satisfaction survey results in iceSurvey to find out if there are any areas where customer confidence is lacking.

    Of course, training is important for ensuring that agents are knowledgeable in areas they are expected to help customers with. But not all agents can be experts in all things. Assigning skill levels in various topics to each agent and implementing skills-based routing ensures that calls are only routed to agents who are adequately prepared to handle them. This helps prevent agents from receiving interactions that they are not trained for and losing customers' confidence.

    You can also keep agents informed and inspire customer confidence by integrating your contact center with your CRM, ticketing solution, or knowledge base. These integrations empower agents by giving them access to all the necessary information for problem resolution at their fingertips. With instant screen pops of relevant information, customers never have to wait around for the agent to manually search for it.

  4. Lack of Communication Channels

    There were a number of staff who said one of their largest pain points when contacting an organization were companies that don’t have web chat or only have voice.

    Why Should a Contact Center Offer Multiple Channels?

    Not everyone likes calling an organization when they need assistance. Many millennials have expressed that they will exhaust every communication option before picking up the phone to contact an organization. For example, they may read an organization's FAQs on their website, try to find a web chat or chatbot, or even email them despite this option having a slower turnaround compared to calling. In today’s digital world, having a voice-only contact center often just isn’t enough to keep customers happy.

    How to Add More Contact Center Channels

    ice Contact Center offers omnichannel capabilities, so you can allow customers to reach you on their preferred channel, whether that be voice, web chat, email, chatbot, video, or social media.

    Reach out to your account owner to find out how you can add new channels to your ice Contact Center or request a demo here.

  5. Repeating Information

    There’s nothing more irritating than going through a long IVR system, selecting what your call is about or entering your account information, only to be asked for the same information again when you connect with an agent.

     Why do Customers Have to Repeat Themselves so Often?

    Customers often have to repeat themselves when information is not shared throughout the contact center. If your contact center does not have an effective way to pass along context when a customer starts speaking to a new agent, the agent is bound to ask questions that the customer has already answered, whether in an IVR or in a conversation with another agent before being transferred to someone else.

    How to Save Customers From Having to Repeat Themselves

    Rather than having the customer repeat themselves, send the IVR information directly to the agent, so they have context available as soon as they start interacting with the customer. With a CRM integration, activity records can be automatically inserted in the CRM system to compile customer interaction history and accelerate resolution time. This eliminates the need to ask for existing customer information.

    Sharing context is not exclusive to voice calls. If your organization uses a chatbot and a customer is being transferred from a chatbot to an IM conversation with a live agent, the chatbot can pass along the information received about a customer so that the agent does not have to ask questions the customer has already answered.

  6. Poor On-Hold Music

    As mentioned above, our employees’ number one pain point is waiting on hold. And while waiting on hold, they often have issues with the music they are forced to listen to.

    Why Does Hold Music Matter?

    Studies have shown that music has an impact on mood (Healthline). Given that customers so often reach out to a company’s contact center because they are already experiencing some kind of problem and may therefore be predisposed to negative emotions, it’s easy to see why the kind of music they listen to while they wait matters. Furthermore, keeping customers happy on hold can help prevent them from taking out negative emotions on the agent they eventually speak to and negatively impacting the agent experience as well.

    How to Avoid Frustrating Customers with Hold Music

    Some companies, such as Apple and TD Bank, allow customers to choose their own on-hold music. Others customize their on-hold music to match their branding. For example, one of our staff spoke about hearing a Guns N’ Roses song while waiting on hold for a recreational ax-throwing venue.

    With ice Contact Center, you can change your hold music to meet your needs, whether they involve mood-boosting music for happy customers, music that fits your branding, or some other requirement.  

    Alternatively, you can replace music with informational or promotional messages to keep customers up-to-date on company news, sales, and more while they wait. You can also play their position in queue and/or their estimated wait time in queue so that they know how long they can expect to stay on hold.

    Finally, you can focus instead on eliminating the need to listen to hold music at all by implementing a callback feature or decreasing time spent on hold by using the tools mentioned above to reduce wait times.

Conclusion

One of the most important ways to keep your customers coming back to your organization over and over again is to keep them happy by offering excellent customer service. Overcoming your customers’ frustrations with reaching out to your contact center is one way you can do so.

To learn how you can implement these or other features to improve your customer service, reach out to your account owner or request a demo.





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