Your call is important to us!

The  most hated phrase in Britain – according to Which? Magazine and reported by  David Connett in The  Independent on Sunday . I hate it too, it is such a trite message.

your call is important to us

Your call really is important to us

It is hardly surprising that the public is irritated by call centres who either can’t  understand the caller or can’t solve the problem they are calling about. But at the other end of the line, many pages of call centre management advice concern the best way to ensure caller satisfaction.

And no matter how you say it, your call is important to us and to our clients. The dilemma is that people are like buses;  they all call at the same time! How do you deal with 400 calls between 9.00 and 10.00 and 200 per hour from then onwards.  Who would work for 1 hour a day?

IVR – press 1 for sales, 2 for after sales service ….. really annoying too, although it does forward you through to the right person –if the options are clear. Our solution is to have 2 levels of choice, as a maximum. I’ve had calls requiring 4 or 5 different choices and still not spoken to someone BT being the worst offender.

According to the Which report “Customers who experienced good levels of service gave a thumbs-up to friendly or helpful staff, staff with good product or service knowledge  and speed of service” -well that’s hardly surprising. Call centres want to give a good level of service and be able to resolve whatever issue the caller has, it is frustrating if you can’t help people. But companies who are outsourcing their calls are looking  for the lowest price and the most expensive part of any call centre is the people so there is a clear area of contention here. A foreign call centre may be cheaper per hour but could cost more in dissatisfied customers.

At Real Time Reception calls are picked up in 5 seconds but if “all our agents are busy” our current solution is to go direct to voicemail, which we aim to pick up and reply within 20 minutes.  We work in small teams so we can be sure that our staff are being friendly and helpful, and that they are well informed so that they can fulfil the clients need whenever possible.

Unanswered calls and call waiting are always going to be a fact of life, all we can do is try to deliver when you get through. Callers can help by choosing when to call. It is tempting to call first thing in the morning but that is when everyone else is calling. If you call mid morning or mid afternoon you are usually more likely to talk to someone straight away. Avoid Monday Morning at all costs.