When do-it-yourself customer service doesn’t work

Aimee Giese | August 9, 2016

Angry woman vintage on phone

Hello! My name is Shawnrene
Keppel and I am a Marketing Associate here at Spoken Communications. I joined the Spoken team one
year ago and have done my best to learn all that we do and what drives the Spoken team
to be the best at what we do. Part of my job has also been looking into the issues which cause our team to be more creative in our approach to tackling
complex problems with our customers.

A majority of my career path has
been in customer service, which includes working as a call center and chat
agent for a small startup in downtown Seattle. Unlike my leadership
at here at Spoken, I am new to the call
center technology world. When I landed at Spoken, fresh out of the call center,
I could not help but ask myself, “What’s the big deal?”

In an age where everything is
do-it-yourself online and where chat agents are available at the click of a
button, why is investing in tools such as IVRs and ACDs still important?

In taking time to sit in demonstrations of the Spoken Contact Center
and listening to some of our customer’s biggest concerns
throughout the last year, I began to examine my approach to receiving customer
service help.  I am part of the age
of do-it-yourself help. I search the website; I Google web forums, and then I chat. If all else fails, I call.

By the time I get in touch with a human via phone, my
search has taken much longer than I would like and I have still not received an
answer. Needless to say, if whoever is on the other end of the phone doesn’t
have a quick and easy answer to my problem, I am not happy.

Assuming I am not the only person working this way, the
importance of quick problem resolution on a customer’s first call is clear. According
to Service Quality Measurement
(SQM), First Call Resolution is the highest correlated metric to
customer satisfaction and the absence of First Call Resolution is the biggest driver
of customer dissatisfaction. To me, the reasoning for this: their call is not
the first attempt at solving their problem. It is most likely their third or
fourth attempt.

I have worked in problem resolution for customers both
over the phone and in person, and I have to say that working face-to-face with
an aggravated customer is much easier. Seeing a human face seems to a lot to
ease another person’s aggravation regarding customer service issue. It also
helps that when you are together they can see what you are doing to attempt to
resolve the problem. When the face is gone, and all customers have is a
recording that fails to understand them, it is easy for anyone to become frustrated and leave dissatisfied–even if their problem is resolved.

After my year of observing, learning and reflecting, I
am still asking “What’s the big deal?” Only now, it’s not a question of the
relevance of call centers; it is an examination of the problem trends and technology
solutions that are helping ease the frustrations of both the customers calling and the agents taking the calls.

So as a customer, what is the big deal to you? When a
problem rises, what is your general first point to attempt to solve it?

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