It’s a sad truth that most of us have – at some point – been through that horrible process known as the “bad call centre experience”. You know what I’m talking about. The automated options. The hold times. The hold music. Being passed from department A to department B, and back to department A again. It’s amazing, given all we’ve learned and the technology we have at our disposal, that anybody has to endure this gruelling and soul-draining beast that is called the call centre.
What Makes a Bad Call Centre Experience?
And How Can It Be Fixed?
Let’s start by identifying those conventions that point towards a bad call centre experience. You may, unfortunately, relate to some of these from your own personal experiences.
Premium Rate Support Numbers
Let’s be honest – there is no sensible reason for a company to be charging us to call them by using expensive premium rate lines that aren’t compatible with our mobile tariff (who uses landlines these days, right?). If you have to pay for the privilege of what’s about to befall you, that’s step one on the path to call centre related frustrations.
To Despair and Give Up On Life, Please Press ‘9’
Of course, there’s a real positive necessity for automated redirects and department forwarding. When done right you could be speaking to somebody who can put you through to the right guy to help find somebody else to help you in almost no time. The problem starts when you have to wade through 6 layers of options and sub-options, only to speak to an agent who you’re quite sure you’d be speaking to if you just mashed the buttons at random on your handset.
Even worse are those dreaded voice-activated services, which force you to shout “I want to speak to a manager” seven times down the phone in a public place, and then proceed put you in touch with the janitor. Who is probably more helpful.
You’d best get comfy – this might take a while. Still, it could be worse, you could be subjected to listening to Now That’s What I Call Pan-Pipes Vol. 16 on repeat.
Offshore Call Centres
It’s easy to see why many companies will choose to outsource their support services to call centres in other countries. The main reason of course is to save money. We get it, that’s fine. You’re a business, and you’re supposed to be watching that bottom line. It makes sense.
But sometimes this can result in agents who aren’t fully invested (professionally speaking) in the brand that they’re representing this week, and as such they aren’t well enough equipped to reliably deal with your issue. It’s not their fault of course, but it certainly doesn’t help things for you.
What’s more, being in another country can create an emotional gap (as well as the literal one) between you both. This means that when it comes to prioritising your problem and finding a resolution, it’s easy for an agent to detach themselves from the case and not worry too much about your very real needs, or the consequences of not bringing it home for you.
The Dead-Behind-The-Eyes Agent
Sure, you’re on the phone so you can’t see their eyes to confirm this, but you can certainly hear it in their voice. They’ve had enough. Kudos to them – it really can’t be easy doing this kind of thing and it must be hard to keep up a cheerful demeanour, but it doesn’t make for a very positive encounter when you know in your soul that the agent you’re speaking to would rather be doing anything else than talking to you right now.
Passing the Departmental Buck
One of the worst things an agent can do in a bad call centre experience is to not take a vested interest in your situation and personally commit to finding a solution for you. When we’re getting passed around from one department to another this makes us feel not only unimportant, but unwelcome too. Combine this with more hold times (cue pan-pipes) terrible communication between agents and constantly having to pass security checks and re-explain our problem, and this is the perfect storm of rage-related hanging up.
At this point, maybe it’s time to reconsider your options in service providers. Perhaps you should find somebody who really does provide that dedicated support service.
So you’ve spent half your morning on the phone to a call centre. You’ve spoken to 4 different people who didn’t seem to know how to fix your issue. You’ve also had it up to here with pan-pipes. Was your problem resolved? We hope so, but so often the answer is sadly no. You’ve hung up the phone, and an overwhelming sense of frustration starts to creep over you. You begin to regret that you’ve wasted all that time and are no closer to a solution. Will somebody call you back? You hope so, but you’re not going to count on it.
So Where Do You Go From Here?
If you’ve had your fill of any of the above then perhaps it’s time for a change. Happily, more and more people are starting to realise that as paying customers they deserve better, and the marketplace has responded.
With Riviera Networks, you can wave a cheerful goodbye to the usual “bad call centre experience”. We’re a UK based company, and provide a dedicated IT support and telecom solutions service. When you call our number, you’ll get straight through to an experienced and helpful support technician who will take a genuine interest in getting you where you need to be.
So if you find yourself trying to remember why you signed up with your current provider when all they do is make life more difficult for you, why not get in touch with us? We’ll be happy to talk, and we’re certain that we can help to resolve your issue.
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