Three Lessons From a Customer Service Mishap

When a customer service blunder is made public, it’s easy to forget that no contact center is perfect—including ours. Every few months a customer support issue makes headlines, and while the press heaps criticism on those contact centers, we should be taking notes on ways to improve our own processes and procedures instead of casting stones. In that spirit, below is a list of three ways we can all learn from a failure.

1.  Agents Will Always Make Mistakes

No matter how rigorous your training program, no matter how experienced your managers, and no matter how detailed your processes and procedures are, agents will always make mistakes. At a certain point, your focus should be on minimizing the effects of these missteps, rather trying to eliminate agent errors altogether. Implementing Workforce Management best practices can help limit the effects of customer service blunders by:

  • Automatically notify managers when a call is not resolved within a certain time limit
  • Update agent skills in real time to determine which types of calls they are best suited to handle
  • Shift an agent from inbound to outbound calls (or vice versa) automatically when a KPI, such as call resolution rate, is missed

2.  Agent Benchmarks Must Align With Business KPIs

Unhappy customers don’t stay customers for very long. If you incentivize agents in a way that results in a degeneration of customer experience, your entire business will suffer. If customers know that they can turn on and turn off your product easily and efficiently, they are much more likely to return as a customer in the future. A good policy for contact centers is this: treat everyone as either a customer or a potential one.

3.  Learn From Past Mistakes

One positive to our fast-paced, 24-hour news cycle is that a highly publicized customer service issue will usually fade from the headlines in a relatively short time period. As companies move forward from an incident, the most important thing they can do is learn from their mistakes. By reviewing and implementing a few WFO best practices, teaching their agents how to avoid or minimize these miscues in the future, and taking a deep breath, they can move on as a better contact center. Let’s make sure we don’t miss out on the opportunity to take a hard look at our own contact centers as well.