Article : Why Industry Standards May Not Be Realistic
On the other side of contact centres trying to achieve results that meet or surpass industry standards, customers could actually be worst off.
An article on Call Center Helper outlined the targeted service levels across channels as at April last year:
- Phone – 80% of calls answered in 20 seconds
- Email – 95% of emails answered within four hours (the better contact centres are aiming to respond to 80% of emails within 15 minutes)
- Live chat – 80% of chats answered within 40 seconds
- Letters – 95% of letters answered within three days
- Social media – 80% of contacts answered within 20 minutes
- SMS / Messaging Apps – 80% of messages responded to within 40 seconds
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With advisors focusing on making it through high volumes of enquiries, many consumers could face a decrease in customer service as representatives concentrate on reaching their targets.
For example, advisors need to be available to answer a phone call in 20 seconds; therefore the only way to achieve this is if they have finished their previous conversation. This can result in agents rushing their current interactions.
Live chat enquiries should be first acknowledged as soon as possible. We usually recommend sending a first response within 20 seconds as the visitor can become unsure whether or not there is an advisor on the other side. This is due to the typical tell-tale signs of a phone conversation not being present (no connecting tone / background noises); therefore it is better to start the conversation as quickly as possible.
Balancing Customer Satisfaction and Response Times
The customer quickly gaining the attention of a customer service representative is likely to begin the interaction in a neutral manner. It is then the rest of the conversation that will then govern if they leave satisfied.
Left waiting too long for an initial response or not given enough time by the agent for their enquiry and the customer will be left feeling frustrated and disappointed. This can be damaging to a company as consumers are likely to share their experience online via social media and review sites as well as word of mouth which can result in the loss of business.
- Consumers talk about their negative experience twice as much as the positive ones.
- 78% of consumers have cancelled or decided against a purchase based on poor customer service.
- 91% of unhappy customers would not willingly do business with the company again.
So how do you get the balancing act right?
Look inside your own company rather than at industry standards. Your organisation has all the data it needs about your customers and agents to decide what service levels are needed to provide great customer service. Take the time to analyse where your customers have been extremely satisfied, where they haven’t and learn from this. Identify the downfalls of your agents and invest in getting their performance up to company standards.
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Established in the UK at the inception of the live chat concept, Click4Assistance was one of the first, ground-breaking providers to introduce live chat software for websites. For more than 10 years we have been successfully providing a complete live chat software solution for SME and corporate organisations.
Published: Wednesday, June 5, 2019
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