Customers today seem quick to voice, “I would like to speak to a supervisor,” if they are unhappy with the service they receive. What is particularly vexing about these escalated calls is that as many as 85% of them could have been resolved with the initial phone rep. To better understand why calls are escalated, we surveyed some of our customers as to the top reasons and here is what we found.
- Knowledge—Customers are very savvy about products and technology. If they are seeking help on an important issue, such as a system-wide outage, they won’t abide a help desk person who hedges. Too much is at stake, and time is of the essence. They will rightfully escalate a call if a rep answers incorrectly or says, “I don’t know” more than once.
- NO—No one likes to be told, “No.” For the customer to accept a “no,” the person has to understand the reason behind it and feel it is legitimate. Otherwise, the call will most definitely be escalated.
- Confidence—Within a minute callers can sense when a rep does not sound confident. Statements such as, “I am not real sure about that,” raise the alarm for supervisory assistance.
- Attitude—Reps with an attitude are rarely tolerated. Callers insist on being treated with respect, regardless of how poorly they have treated the company’s representatives.
- No apology—Customers want to hear an apology for the inconvenience caused by your company before they are willing to share information regarding their account number or name. Without an acknowledgement, the caller may easily become more aggressive and demanding.
- Accent—If the caller can’t understand the representative due to an accent or enunciation of words, they will escalate the call. They will not waste precious minutes asking the representative to repeat over and over.
- Speed—Phone reps who speak too quickly annoy customers, particularly if they are elderly, are trying to take notes or implement “fixes.”
There is no doubt that customers are impatient due to the pressures of the economy. However, supervisors and managers can assist reps in resolving calls before escalation by reminding their reps of these top seven reasons and by implementing the simple and quick suggestions Prosperity Venture LLC has outlined.