Why You Feel Trapped With Your Inadequate Call Center Software Solution - Talkdesk - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog
Take a good look at your relationship with your call center software. Does it serve your company’s needs as well as it should? Does it adapt to you or are you constantly adapting to it? At the end of the day, is your call center software solution everything you always hoped it would be?
Many companies get stuck in a rut with inadequate call center software. Their inbound and outbound calling, and thus their inbound and outbound customer experience, suffers. What they once sought as a solution has become the problem.
This post attempts to answer why this happens. Our next post in this two-part series teaches you how to recognize the signs.
Why do companies keep trying to make poor call center software solutions work?
There are two primary explanations, both from different social science fields.
1. Learned helplessness (Psychology)
The idea here is that people (or animals) who have received repeat negative feedback for doing something learn to stop that behavior. Hence a lab rat who gets shocked every time he tries to go to the left side of the cage will stop trying to go over there, even when there are no more shocks.
For call center agents with an inadequate call center software solution, learned helplessness plays out as an aversion to attempting to use certain features and functions. So, if your call center software cuts off every time your agents try to transfer a call, they’re going to stop trying to make transfers. They’ll just find a workaround – one that probably isn’t great for your customer experience.
When learned helplessness kicks in for call center managers, they stop trying to fix the problems in their call center software solution and just accept it as it is. With learned helplessness, no one wins.
How to combat learned helplessness: Great news! Your business is much smarter than Pinky and the Brain. Create a regular check (email, in person, etc.) for problems with your call center software. Have agents report any and all issues. Keep track of the data and regularly assess which problems you can live with and which are a dealbreaker. To differentiate the two, do your research on call center software solutions.
If you find a negative pattern with your current solution, start looking into other solutions. You should never be subject to shock therapy from your call center software.
2. Sunk cost (Economics)
A sunk cost is a price you’ve paid that you can’t get back. For instance: if you’re sitting at a blackjack table in Monaco and you just bet and lost $600, that $600 is a sunk cost. The opposite here is a prospective cost, which is a price you may pay in the future if you do something. In this case, you’ve got a $600 sunk cost and whatever you choose to play in the next round is your prospective cost.
The smartest thing you can do at that blackjack table is not think about recovering the $600. It’s a sunk cost. You should be focusing on the prospective cost of the next hand. In reality, of course, you’re thinking about winning back the $600. It’s easy to see how the drive to recover a sunk cost can result in disaster.
When it comes to insufficient call center software, managers often fall into thinking about sunk costs. “I already put X amount of money and time into implementing this solution. I bought all the hardware, spent months deploying and have set up protocols for onboarding all new agents. Yes, this solution is not working. But it’s too late.”
This logic is exactly what leads to poor customer experience. Instead of focusing on the customer, managers are focusing on not losing any more money to their call center software solution.
How to deal with sunk costs: No one likes to admit when they’re wrong, but if you can’t ‘fess up, you’ll never be able to move to greener pastures. When you start to feel trapped in a bad solution, cut your losses and move on. Also, have I got a surprise for you! Part of your feeling of being trapped is learned helplessness. Modern call center software solutions don’t require long implementation times, pricey hardware or extensive onboarding procedures. Look for a solution that’s cloud-based and easy-to-use!
Now that we’ve gotten our social science refresher, let’s explore the red flags of an inadequate call center software solution. Stay tuned for our next post, “5 Reasons to Abandon Your Current Call Center Software.”
Are the concepts of learned helplessness and sunk costs ringing a little too true? Do you see your call center reflected in the lab rat and the unlucky blackjack player? Educate yourself about your options.
Publish Date: February 12, 2016 5:00 AM
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