Customers can be smart, and now that phone support lines and other resources are an expected part of a business' setup, it's reasonable to expect that some callers looking to contact a company will know the tricks and be looking to get an answer as directly as possible. That's not bad news: in fact, that signals lots of enthusiasm on their part. No one benefits from assuming that a live phone answering service has to be a tug-of-war between the people on either side of the line. At the same time, it can help managers think of what their customers might do, and prepare to engage them on this level.
For inspiration, we can turn to an article that recently appeared in the Chicago Tribune, outlining some of the techniques customers can do to get a better experience. Here are some ways these bits of behavior can be anticipated and correctly addressed:
- Make it easy to find a real person. Often, callers to customer service will press zero in order to skip past unnecessary menus, but they shouldn't have to.
- Be available, even online. If using a web-based chat function, make sure employees respond quickly and don't leave the visitor idling for too long.
- Give staffers authority. Obviously, some problems will require intervention from higher-ranking employees. That doesn't mean that every issue will, though, and an expert set of operators can keep callers from feeling they have to go higher for answers
Companies have a lot to consider when structuring operations in this area, and one that comes ready with expertise in this field might be the best means of side-stepping some common issues.