It’s inevitable that call centers will get some negative customer reviews. When customers call you, they’re often already in the midst of a problem and in a bad mood. Even small things going wrong can lead to a 1-star review on your record.
However, you can drastically reduce the volume of negative reviews you receive with a few simple safety precautions. Here’s how.
1. Dropped Calls
This sequence of events happens at call centers every day:
- A customer calls up with an issue at a busy time
- They spend 45 minutes on hold
- The phone mysteriously cuts out, bumping the customer to the back of the queue
- Your customer leaves a 1-star review of your business.
This can’t always be helped. Sometimes the customer wanders into a spot with no signal. Sometimes there’s a network error. But sometimes, it’s your outdated equipment at fault – and this means you’re failing to address a critical issue in your business.
Upgrading your call queue management system will mean that calls are less likely to drop on your end. It can also significantly improve your wait times, meaning your customers are less stressed when they get through to you. It’s a no-brainer for any call center that cares about what new clients see when checking out your reviews.
2. Poor Staff Training
There are several areas where poor staff training in call centers can let you down:
- Not understanding why the script is important. If your team doesn’t understand why certain parts of the script must be said and not amended, you’re sailing for a lawsuit. Your script isn’t just for efficiency; it often provides crucial legal protections. Make sure your staff knows why it has to be read verbatim every time.
- Not being able to answer common questions. You should monitor your calls and learn from them. Good call center management software makes this much easier. Find out what questions your team struggles to answer and observe how annoying it is for customers when even simple requests lead to getting put on hold “while I ask.”
- No initiative. Staff should understand when to be proactive in chasing an issue for a customer. This is 100% of the time. Your staff should know that the customer is calling you because they seek answers. The person on the other end of the phone is their light in the dark – your customers need to know that everything is being done to find the best solution. “I don’t think so” shouldn’t be a part of your team’s vocabulary.
Ensure you provide regular training and performance reviews for your team to address these issues. Let them know where they’ve been great at helping customers – your team needs to be motivated to perform well. But also ensure that they understand where they can improve and show them how.
3. Lashing Back
Responding to negative customer reviews online is good practice. Offering additional assistance and explaining where help is available shows customers that they’re being listened to.
Of course, you’ll occasionally get an unfair review that shows no interest in finding a resolution or is unpleasant. While it’s tempting to get inspired by legends about business owners who snapped back, ask yourself: what if it goes wrong? What if the customer cools down and icily points out a critical error your team made? You’ve just made yourself look silly in public, is what happens.
You have much more to lose from getting angry than your customers. If there’s nothing to be gained, calmly point out why the review is invalid and leave the offer of assistance open.
Your team needs the best equipment to perform – and you need the best equipment to review and improve their performance. Upgrade your kit, work on your training practices, and never lose your cool. Your online reputation will thank you.