Call centre frustration

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Call centre frustration

Mark Deakin of Microsoft

I have worked on a few support desks during my time so I know how tough some of the customers can be, but I like to think that I am one of the more pleasant people that phone in. I have been sorting out my mortgage recently and the number of phone calls it has taken so far is worrying to say the least.

Invariably, whenever you phone a call centre, the first thing that happens is that you are ‘placed in a queue’. Then, once you get past the questions asking your name, address, password, date of birth, inside leg measurement and the name of your first pet, you eventually get to tell them what you need fixed. I went through this process a few times with my bank and on almost every occasion they needed to contact someone else in the team. I fully understand

that not everyone can know everything but being put on hold again while they walk round the office looking for ‘Susan’ can cause further annoyance – no one likes to be put on hold again!

So how can this problem be solved? I’d argue that presence and IM are a good bet. Instead of putting me on hold while they went to find ‘Susan’, they could have checked Susan’s presence and then IMed her or added her into the call depending on the situation.

In my view, the best customer experience will occur when both the communications and the call centre applications work together in this way. Microsoft recently announced an alliance with Aspect, makers of Aspect Unified IP contact centre, which will link both of these vital customer service tools together making the contact centre experience better.

Here, two simple pieces of technology can result in vastly improved customer experience, better customer experience results in more loyal customers and more loyal customers typically means more revenue. The first call centre person I phone that says ‘Mr Deakin, I can see my colleague is online at the minute and I am just going to see if she can join into the call‘ will get a copy of Vista Ultimate from me!