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Stuck on Repeat: Solving the Number One Customer Complaint

August 11, 2022

Imagine you have a problem with your bill. You get on the customer support line, tell the agent your issue, you’re transferred elsewhere and then guess what? You have to explain everything again. Sounds frustrating? It is. Which may be the reason over half of customers say that having to repeat information is their #1 customer complaint. It seems that many contact centers are still not providing the seamless customer experience that people expect. How can you minimize or even eliminate this problem? Here are some things to consider, so your customers aren’t stuck on repeat. 

Too Many Customers Still Caught in a Loop 

In the past, great customer service was a desired goal, but not a necessity for people to like your brand. Now expectations are at an all-time high. According to a recent Salesforce report, over two-thirds of customers expect an immediate response from support teams when they contact a brand and over 80% expect even complex issues to be resolved by only one person. 

With more brands offering omnichannel service (voice, email, chat), customers are also expecting a seamless journey across all touchpoints. If they enter their customer information in chat or email, they expect it to follow them if they are transferred to a live agent or other departments.  

Unfortunately, all too often, customers end up repeating their issue every time they speak (or chat) to another person. Or they may enter information into an Interactive Voice Response system (IVR), only to repeat the action when an agent answers.  

Of course, for security verification and other reasons, some repetition is inevitable, and transfers can’t always be avoided. But, when only 22% of companies say they excel at first-contact resolutions, this means that almost 80% of customers must seek help from multiple agents to resolve an issue.  

That’s why repeating information is the #1 customer complaint when it comes to contact centers, second only to being referred to as a ‘number’ and robotic, generic email responses from support teams. 

Why Customer Effort is the New CSAT 

Brands have realized that customer experience (CX) is now the primary way to guarantee customer happiness and loyalty – with 89% of companies expecting to compete mainly on CX.  

Businesses understand that CX has tremendous value, yet most customers still feel like sales, service and marketing departments are disjointed and don’t share information, at least not in a way that reduces customer repetition.  

Maybe that is why companies are now looking at other key performance indicators (KPIs) beyond Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) or Issue Resolution scores (IR).  

Customer Effort (CE) is a KPI (Key Performance Indicators) that many companies are looking to define by measuring how many steps it takes for a customer to find an answer. And the initial math is in - a lower CE often equals a higher CSAT.  

Solving the #1 Customer Complaint 

There are a few ways to reduce or even eliminate the need for customers to repeat their issues. First, it’s important to look at your workflows and your overall customer journey mapping. Watch for areas where customer effort can be reduced, and where first-call resolution can be improved. Look for steps that can be eliminated, or technology that can take over some of the mundane tasks.  

Here are some other tips that can help you reduce information repetition: 

  • Have a single source of customer information. According to ContactBabel, 96% of agents must use more than one system to serve customers. To resolve issues faster and more efficiently, a single platform is needed that centralizes all customer information. 
  • Reduce the need for call transfers. For instance, for our clients, we use a state-of-the-art agent platform that screens incoming calls by call type, to ensure that customers reach the right agent, the first time. We also employ sentiment analysis tools that analyze a customer’s tone and content, to ensure that customers reach the best available agent for their issue. 
  • Introduce helpful automations that auto-populate entries made into the IVR or online forms. That way, if an issue requires escalation to another agent, customers don’t have to repeat themselves. 
  • Train agents in active listening. This involves learning to absorb information, asking the right questions, and noticing emotional cues that will help resolve the issue on the first call.  
  • Ensure that agents have a distraction-free environment and teach them to take detailed notes during the call, so they avoid having to ask for the same information.  

Work With Us 

At itel, we can analyze your current IVR call routing, to detect any areas for improvement and to ensure it is operating at peak efficiency. Our innovation teams can also build an AI-enhanced IVR that centralizes all customer information into a single point of reference, increasing your agent productivity. 

Our Innovation Lab can also help develop automations and new technologies that reduce customer effort, increase first-call resolution, and that automate information retrieval, so agents can spend less time gathering details and more time personalizing interactions and helping customers solve issues.  

“For instance, we could work on an automation, so when an agent is receiving a transferred call, it could acknowledge the previous agent’s notes and paraphrase the issue to the customer, thereby reducing repetition," explains Leonardo Borges, itel's Vice President of Data Science & Innovation.  

"The important thing is that the correct flow of information is kept every time the customer is routed to another agent or department," adds Alejandra Castillo, Developer of Robotic Process Automation at itel's Innovation Lab. "This can be done through transferring agent notes or automatically getting the information from system interactions or chat/call transcriptions.”  

We also offer the best world-class training, to ensure that agents have the right listening and interpersonal skills to ensure a pleasant and repetition-free experience.  

Still stuck on repeat? We can help. Start the journey towards exceptional CX. Learn what we can do for your Customer Experience Management. 

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