Flipping the Script Call Center Customer Experience

August 7th, 2017

As someone with inside knowledge, you know that call center customer experience is important.  When someone contacts customer service—whether it’s a chatbot, a call center agent, or the front desk—it is an act of humility. A recognition of powerlessness.  Whether it’s a malfunctioning phone, some questionable charges on a credit card bill, or a lack of fresh towels, we reach out when we face problems we can’t solve on our own. In these situations, feelings of anger, frustration, and sarcasm come through much clearer.  But this vulnerability is at the core. As a business customer, what are your call center customer experience expectations?

“Help, I need somebody,

Help, not just anybody,

Help, you know I need someone, help.”

--Lennon/McCartney

When customers take the leap only to hear scripted, impersonal responses from the other end of the line, the dynamics can quickly shift. This is especially true if you are dealing with a telecom provider that your business depends on.  Because when large telecoms employ scripts and bots as their first line of support, customers wind up wasting more time and experiencing more stress, which exacerbates the problem.

Doctor, Doctor, Give Me the News

When we go to see the doctor, we often expect to hear the same questions:
  • What is your chief complaint?
  • How long has this been bothering you?
  • Have you had similar issues in the past?
  • Does anyone else in your family have a history of this condition?
We might consider the beginning of these encounters scripted.  However, most physicians aren’t following a script for patient encounters.  They are gathering basic information so they can ask more specific questions and even order tests to obtain the data for a diagnosis.  They could theoretically pose hundreds of questions about your health history, but their expertise and experience make it both impractical and unnecessary.  By knowing not only what to ask but how to evaluate your responses, they can usually convert your signs and symptoms into a treatment plan.

This mirrors what we expect from our telecom provider when we call customer service.  Ideally, we want:

  1. A real person to answer the phone
  2. This person to listen to us and communicate an understanding of our problem
  3. Painless resolution of the problem, or, at the very least, a plan for resolution
Companies like Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile are judged on a quarterly basis by how many subscribers they’ve added, while metrics like call center customer experience and customer effort are much lower priorities.  Sprint, for instance, has over 58 million subscribers. With a customer base that large, the cost and logistics of offering high-level of training for their customer service agents, plus agent attrition, is astronomical. 58 million subscribers mean high call volume, which shifts the focus to call time and efficiency, so they rely on a script. This may lower costs, but at the expense of the valuable human touch.

We’ve all fallen into one of these call center customer experience rabbit holes before. Between long stretches of hold music, we’re passed along the chain, transferred to the wrong department, forced to answer the same questions, until we finally reach someone who can help us (or get disconnected).  These systems are only helpful to the big box telecom in making their support operation sustainable.  Lost in the equation are the minutes, hours, and even days that customers lose. (NOTE: Our resident hold music expert points out Call Manager Default music has a significant fanbase.)

Customers Know When They’re Hearing a Script

While scripts make sense (and are even tolerated) in certain, well-defined situations, it’s important to recognize that customers are human, and humans are pretty sharp.  Research shows that customers can not only tell when an agent is using a script but even the degree to which they’re relying on a script:
“[C]ustomers can reliably perceive the degree of scripting used during a service encounter relative to the other script levels. Our study found that customers are not only capable of detecting the presence or absence of a script but can also detect the degree of scripting. This finding suggests that customers are able to detect subtleties in service design for script level.” [1]
Once you know that a service agent is using a script, your attitude changes and your confidence level plummets.  Because without the personal connection you might have with your doctor, you naturally assume that the agent’s reliance on a script indicates an inability to solve your problem.  Unfortunately, when you call a big box telecom, that assumption is too often proved correct.

Your Company Deserves More

With your SIP service, you’re not just a business owner, a call center manager, or an IT professional. You are a customer. When you need your questions answered or your problems resolved, you deserve the high-quality support that your company strives to provide. Your relationship with a SIP provider should feel like a partnership, not just a bill you receive every month. You deserve the same level of call center customer service that you strive for in your call center.

When you’re running a call center your SIP trunks are more than just a service. They are your connections to your customers. Connections and contacts are important to you as a business owner. You should be confident that your SIP service connections won’t fail, but neither will your connection with your SIP provider. When lost time can equal lost business and revenue, you deserve a SIP provider that goes beyond reliability and dependability. Your business deserves a SIP provider that sees you as an important partner needing personalized, individual support and not just an account number that plugs into a script.

Voxtelesys has flipped the script on call center customer experience. Contact us today to learn more about how we prioritize customer support by placing experienced experts on the other end of the line to personally answer your call, listen to your problem, and work with you to find a solution.

[1] Liana Victorino. "Can Customers Detect Script Usage in Service Encounters? Journal of Service Research - Liana Victorino, Rohit Verma, Bryan L. Bonner, Don G. Wardell, 2012." Journals.sagepub.com. n.d. Web. 9 Jul. 2017.

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Flipping the Script Call Center Customer Experience