Are You Avoiding the Critical Flaws in Your Call Centre Strategy?

How can you improve customer sentiment towards customer service? A new survey has identified the pitfalls to avoid.

Enterprise analytical company Mattersight Corporation (NASDAQ:MATR) has conducted research into the drivers of an excellent customer experience by call centres and found that the main drivers were personality, compassion and knowledge. They, perhaps surprisingly, scored higher than problem solving, the perceived main priority of a contact centre.

SEE ALSO: The Business Value of Integrating Your Contact Centre Into Your Omni-Channel Strategy

More than 1,000 customers were surveyed to determine their sentiment towards customer service and find out how call centres can improve the experience they deliver.

In today's Millennial-heavy, hyper-connected age, many customers attempt to solve issues themselves, avoiding the call centre all-together. So when their problem does escalate so far that they require the help of a contact agent; frustrations have been mounting.

In fact, of the more than 70 million people in the United States who dial into customer service call centres every year, nearly two-thirds are frustrated before they even start talking with a customer service representative, according to the survey data.

And unfortunately a majority of 75 percent of consumers surveyed reported still feeling frustrated at the end of a customer service call, even if their problem was successfully resolved.

Kelly Conway, President and CEO of Mattersight, said that call centres are stuck in a cycle of customer frustration.

She explained: "Rather than diffusing the situation and providing each consumer with personalised service, most businesses still measure success on getting callers off the phone as quickly as possible - doing little to improve the customer experience."

Mattersight's survey results demonstrate that the key to creating a positive customer experience is connecting callers and agents who are most likely to enjoy a natural rapport. This delivers on the desire expressed by 92 percent of surveyed consumers, who said that if given the option, they would prefer to choose their customer service representative, based on the representative's personality, compassion, and knowledge.

So what are specific traits are consumers looking for in a call centre agent? The survey uncovered these key stats:

  • more than half of the respondents said that they want call centre agents to acknowledge that their problem is important;
  • consumers prefer to speak to call centre agents who are dedicated and conscientious, or logical and specific; and
  • more millennials would prefer to speak with warm and caring call centre agents, than would consumers 35 and older.

"The consumer needs and desires came through loud and clear in this survey," Conways continued, "businesses need to better understand personality and communication preferences. Improving the call centre experience benefits consumers, agents and the company bottom-line."