News : Customers Appreciate Answering Service Reps Who Empathize, Act Quickly, and Don't Follow Scripts
Washington, DC, USA, Oct, 2017 -- Individuals who call a business or medical organization assume they're talking to a call center rep if their issue isn't handled with speed, empathy, and 'real' conversation, according to a new survey conducted by Clutch, a leading B2B research and reviews firm.
Nearly 40% of callers surveyed say that being transferred when they reach customer service leads them to think they're talking to a call center, while nearly one-third say that poor voice quality (29%) or perceived use of a script (28%) is a sure sign a call center rep is on the other end of the line.
However, when answering service representatives provide help quickly and speak conversationally, callers typically say they do not believe they're speaking to a call center.
Callers prefer to speak to a person rather than a phone menu or interactive voice response representative (IVRR) when they call customer service, the survey found. In addition, callers who initially contact an automated phone system appreciate being offered the opportunity to talk to a real person (21%).
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The findings paint a logical picture, said Nathan Strum, CEO of AbbyConnect, a virtual receptionist company. Talking to a real person, he said, conveys to customers that someone's dealing with their issue.
"You're not [upset] about talking to a machine, necessarily. You're frustrated because you're not talking to a true representative of the company," said Strum. Success means knowing that your message is getting somewhere.
Customers Equate Call Center with Lack of Resolution
Customers who think they're speaking to a call center are less likely to say that calling resolved their problem, the survey found.
Less than half of callers who assume they are speaking to a call center employee (44%) report total issue resolution. However, over three-quarters of customers who believe they are speaking directly to the business they called (76%) report being satisfied.
Call Center Rep Stereotyping May Influence Customer Response
Professor Shehzad Nadeem, a sociologist and author of Dead Ringers, admits that call centers vary in the quality of service they provide. However, he suggests callers may be inclined to report low satisfaction rates because of stereotypes about offshore call center employees. "There's a presumption of low quality," he said.
Nadeem said he has found the opposite. The call center employees he's studied tend to be "very smart, ambitious, and well-educated. They're multilingual and global-oriented."
The Clutch study also identified the types of calls customers make and included interviews with leaders in the voice services field.
Clutch's 2017 Voice Services Survey included 468 individuals across the US who called a business or medical organization with a question within a month of taking the survey
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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More Editorial From Clutch
Clutch is a B2B research and review firm for SMBs. Based in the heart of Washington, DC, Clutch provides a platform where buyers of technology services can compare and review vendors for their specific area of need.
Published: Tuesday, October 24, 2017
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