Call centers are notorious for being frustrating to the people who have to avail themselves of the service. In fact, ask many customers the most frustrating thing about dealing with, say, the local cable company, airline, or computer software, and they’ll say it’s calling customer support. The call center reps (CCRs) aren’t always knowledgeable, or they’re in a rush to get a caller off the line, or the hold times are too long.
But while the call center managers may be aware of the problems and are working with the day to day operations to solve the problem, management may not be aware of the problem. This is where mystery shoppers can let you know what’s going on. Rather than focusing on individual calls or looking at larger trends, mystery shoppers can find instances of problems that might be symptoms of bigger issues.
Mystery shoppers can call in either posing as customers, or you can even find shoppers who might already be customers. For example, cable companies can hire mystery shoppers in a specific coverage area and ask them to call in for a problem, such as “my Internet is down” or “my DVR is acting weird.” This way, the CCRs can speak to actual customers and not someone who’s not actually in the system.
Mystery shoppers can also pose as new customers who want to sign up for a new account or want to buy your product or service. And they can even ask that their accounts be closed down. This is a good way to measure the performance of the people who try to persuade cancellers to continue their subscriptions.
Mobile feedback surveys and text surveys can help call centers
Finally, as I said, mystery shoppers can help you find symptoms of problems. While it might be a common practice at most call centers to keep calls short and push to get callers off the line, that doesn’t mean the callers’ problems were solved.
Mobile feedback surveys and text surveys can help you find this out: just send surveys to customers and ask them pointedly, “Did your call center rep solve your problem for you?” or “Do you feel you got enough time and attention from your call center rep?”
(However, it’s important that your CCRs not ask for high ratings. That skews the results and makes them ineffective because it puts pressure on the customers and may make them give higher or lower ratings.)
Mystery shopping for call centers can be an important tool in measure the call centers’ effectiveness, just as important as caller surveys and the call center managers’ listening in on phone calls. Your customers’ satisfaction is much more important than whether your CCRs are getting off the line in 90 seconds or less. To learn how Measure CP can use mystery shopping to help call centers, please visit our website. You can ask to speak to one of our mystery shopping experts and learn more about building a shopping program that will suit your particular call center and current practices.
Photo credit: PGBS (Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons 4.0)