The Cure for Frustrated Employees and Customers What processes do you currently have in place for your customer service operations? Who answers the phones? What are your hours of operation? How are your customers contacting you? These questions are incredibly important, because your customer service is important. Without realizing it, you could be mentally draining your employees by having them answer customer calls, when that isn’t their actual job. You could also be angering your customers by having limited hours. To help solve these problems, let’s take a look at some potential scenarios of frustrated employees and customers and the solutions. Scenario 1: Frustrated Employees Your employees are overwhelmed with customer calls and questions. In fact, they’re so bogged down by customers that they don’t have time to do their actual job. Projects and tasks are taking days to complete, instead of hours, and the number of customer calls continue to increase daily. This is causing your employees to grumble, complain, and lose their motivation. While they are giving adequate customer service, they certainly aren’t trained to effectively handle customer calls all day long. Soon after that, several of your employees quit, which only makes things worse. Now all of your other employees have to handle more calls and more work. Your customers are also beginning to get frustrated, because every time they call they talk to a different person. Morale drops even lower, and you begin to realize that something needs to change, or else things are going to go from bad to worse very quickly. Solution: Contact Center You reach out to a contact center that specializes in providing quality customer service around the clock. After discussing your needs and challenges with them, you realize they are the right partner for your desired customer experience. Now all of your customer calls are routed to the contact center to be answered by trained customer service agents, not your employees. Your employees are relieved. Now they can focus on their work without interruption. Productivity and morale rises, and your retention is strong. On top of that, you now have peace of mind that your customers are talking with trained professionals that can help them through any situation or issue. Scenario 2: Frustrated Customers The only way you have established for your customers to receive help is through your customer service phone lines that are only open from eight to five, Monday through Friday. Because of this, your customers are starting to get annoyed. Your customers usually work eight to five every weekday, so if they call in, it has to be when they’re working. That isn’t an option for some of your customers, so they end up ignoring their question or issue and let their frustration grow. Eventually, the customers leave and switch to a different company. They found a better option. Why? Because they couldn’t reach you on their schedule, so they chose a company that they could call whenever they needed them. Solution: 24/7 Customer Service You understand your customers’ need for more flexible hours of operation. Instead of only being open eight to five on weekdays, you want to be available to customers 24/7 year round. You probably also understand that you need to provide more options, like email and live chat. However, that comes with its own set of challenges. To be open all day, every day, with multiple channels, you need to have more employees answering the phones, emails, and chats. This requires operational changes and additional resources to compensate those employees. So, you look for another option. And that’s when you decide to utilize a contact center’s services. They offer 24/7 customer service to your customers, and provide their own highly-trained agents for you, so you don’t have to pay or manage your own. Now your customers can receive excellent service whenever they want to and by whatever communication channel best fits their needs. While these two scenarios may not describe your organization and situation, they give a glimpse at some of the benefits that contact centers can provide organizations of all sizes. This isn’t to say that in-house customer service can’t be done, but sometimes it can limit employees and customers. When are you missing the most calls to your customer service line? Bobbie Jo Barry Bobbie Jo Barry has more than 18 years of contact center experience in multiple areas, including designing client facing solutions, managing day to day operations of two contact centers, leading workforce management and contact center managers to success, managing client relationships, and providing employees with a foundation for success. She has vast experience with omnichannel solutions and various business technologies, including design and implementation of CRM/ticketing systems and IVR applications. She has proven her ability to innovate and create successful tailored solutions for clients, as well as adapt to the client's changing needs.