Call Backs: Part 3 (Conclusion)

I’ve discussed the good and the bad of callback systems, and there’s a very clear difference. Though the two are almost the same, the subtle differences are enough to change how enjoyable it is to use the system entirely. So the question is – how do you (or I) implement a good call back system for your company?

The golden rule of this one is to hire more people so that you don’t need one, but if that doesn’t fit your budget, here’s what you should do to ensure a good call back system.

  • Invest in a good system. If you hire a full time customer service representative (40 hours/week, 50 weeks/year) at $13.00 an hour, that’s $26,000 without any benefits of any sort. Be prepared to invest a good amount of money into a good call back system. It’ll save you money compared to hiring more people, so don’t be cheap. The rest of the points assume you have a capable system. (Note: Service Untitled is not a blog about some of the advanced call center technology available, nor will it ever be.)
  • Let them wait. If customers want to wait, let them. It’s as simple as that.
  • Tell them how long it’ll be. Tell customers how long it’ll be before they get a call back. Now add 20% to that number and you should be fine. Unless you have some really advanced technology and really strong records of how long your average call takes for your average issue, chances are your time estimate won’t be 100% accurate without that extra 20%.
  • Comfort the customer. Before the customer inputs his or her telephone number, assure him or her that their position in line will not be lost and that the call back is the best for them (customers don’t care if it’s convenient for you).
  • Remind the customer. Remind the customer that you’re available 24/7 (hopefully) and that if they want, they are welcome to call back at their convenience. Again, don’t word it so that calling back at another time makes it better for your company – customers care about themselves.
  • Have them input a telephone number. Don’t assume the phone the person is calling on is the one they want a call back on – ask the customer to input a telephone number they wished to be called back at.
  • Have a person available when the call back happens. This is one of the few things T-Mobile’s system didn’t do 100% correctly. When the system called me back, it said please push 1 when -name- is available. I pushed 1 and then waited about 15 seconds before being connected to a person. A human should respond when they hear the word “Hello” or something along those lines.
  • Have the information. Another thing was that I had to provide my account information when I got the call back. I assumed they would have it, and it was somewhat annoying. Though telephone numbers are straight forward, other things like domain names, usernames, routing numbers, etc. are not, so if possible, have the representative know the account information beforehand. You can ask something to verify identity (stick to something with a few numbers) and the first and last name (spelling not required).

Keep these in mind and you’ll have relatively happy customers by the time you talk to them. No one really likes call back systems or extended hold times, but if you can make the process bearable, your customers won’t mind it quite as much.

Tomorrow’s subject: music on hold. Sure to be fun.

2 Responses to “Call Backs: Part 3 (Conclusion)”

  1. sue said:

    May 19, 06 at 3:36 pm

    I would like to have your service, but nobody can talk to, don’t know how to get contacted for questions, people would have no interesting to any of your beautiful site, but need to get people who serve us, please reply so I can communicate with, nobody will give money before know you, thanks.

  2. Service Untitled » GetHuman Standards said:

    Aug 11, 06 at 3:13 pm

    […] A lot of companies do this and I think it is a good thing to do. See Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 on call backs. […]