Top 10 Customer Service Frustrations

There was an article in Forbes not that recently, but within the last few weeks about “Call Center 2.0” and the most common call center frustrations. The article is interesting (and I’ll talk about it more later), but today I want to address the top 10 frustrations with possible solutions.

Here are the top 10 frustrations customers experience, according to Forbes:

  1. Waiting on hold too long.
  2. Repeating information to multiple representatives.
  3. Agents lack the necessary answers.
  4. Agents try to sell other products and services.
  5. Agents are inflexible about solving problems.
  6. Company is too slow in addressing concerns.
  7. Agents aren’t personable.
  8. Customized solutions aren’t available.
  9. Company’s computers are often down.
  10. Company asks for too much personal information.

I am quite happy with myself that I have actually provided solutions on how to avoid a lot of these problems. However, I will be covering them in a bit more detail over the next week. Not a ton of detail (otherwise it would take too long), but definitely more detail than Forbes provide and more detail than a two line explanation.

Let’s start from the top.

Frustration 1: Waiting on hold too long.
This is a classic frustration and one that is hard to avoid. Simple answer: hire more representatives to answer calls. Ultimately, that will make the service experience best for everyone, but maybe not for the shareholders who have to pay for all of those people.

I like the idea of using operators to do things like verify information, look up past problems, etc. They can do a lot of things and leave the complicated things for the actual representative (kind of like a nurse seeing you before a doctor at the doctor’s office or hospital). This is also costly, but a bit more efficient than just hiring additional representatives.

You can train representatives and give them the tools to do things faster. For example, ensure all systems that have to use (computers, databases, etc.) are fast, make procedures relatively simple (getting things like personal information down quickly), etc. This will speed up the call times.

However, don’t ask representatives to rush the call. They should confirm before hanging up: “Do you have any other questions that I can help answer?” or something of that nature. Representatives should take their time and explain everything fully.

Frustration 2: Repeating information to multiple representatives.
I have actually talked about a solution to this, but I can’t find it at the moment. Putting my lack of memory/disorganization behind, customers should never have to repeat information to multiple representatives. How hard is it for a representative to log something in the person’s account or ticket so the information doesn’t have to be repeated? In most cases, not that hard.

The only things customers should have to repeat are things like a ticket or reference number, their name, and maybe one security question. The customer should never explain to the problem again, go through the same troubleshooting steps, etc. – this is a waste of everyone’s time and costly for the company.

Tomorrow’s post will cover issues 3 and 4, and maybe 5. I hope everyone had a good Monday! They can be tough and as I found out today, a certain company’s busiest day. The weird thing is, so is Wednesday (the last time I called) and Friday (another day I had called on). More about that another time.

5 Responses to “Top 10 Customer Service Frustrations”

  1. Meikah Delid said:

    Aug 22, 06 at 4:00 am

    I agree… these have to be the top frustrations. LOL. Good tips here, Doug! We’ll be tracking your other tips. Keep up the good work!

  2. Service Untitled » Customer Service Frustrations 3-5 said:

    Aug 22, 06 at 8:17 pm

    […] Today I’m going to cover frustrations number 3, 4, and 5. The whole thing is explained here. […]

  3. Service Untitled » Customer Service Frustrations 6-8 said:

    Aug 23, 06 at 12:16 pm

    […] Today I’m going to cover frustrations number 6, 7, and 8. I’ll finish up the series with 9 and 10 tomorrow. The whole thing is explained here. […]

  4. Service Untitled » Customer Service Frustrations 9-10 said:

    Aug 24, 06 at 11:22 am

    […] Today I’m going to cover frustrations number 9 and 10 and finish up the mini-series on the top 10 customer service frustrations. The whole thing is explained here. […]

  5. Take A Lesson From Deluxe Corp. – Transfer Data With Your Calls : Aspect Blogs said:

    Apr 04, 11 at 5:02 pm

    […] transferred from an automated system to an agent or from one agent to another, they are asked to repeat information.  Sometimes they have to repeat their account number, sometimes they only have to repeat their […]