Agent forced to tell Caller a lie
Here is a sample conversation I found on an Agent’s Facebook post recently.
Agent: Ma’am, I think there is a possible blackout on channel 355. We will report this to our technicians now.
Customer: When do u think it will get fixed?
Agent: Since it just happened right now I cannot give you an exact time of restoral yet. I don’t wanna give you a wrong info but I assure you that we will address it ASAP today.
Customer: No give me a TIME!!!!!
(After explaining it 8 times)
Agent: Do you want me to give you an info which is not available yet?
Customer: Give me a TIME!!!!!
Agent: Alright! It will work after 1 hour but what I’ve just said is not true!!! Anything else?????
(Customer hangs up!!!!)
End of conversation
So what do we have here? Well at one side we have a customer who wanted to know the estimated time of resolution to her issue. Customers demand that they get the best service possible since they are, paying for the service. Most Americans would feel the same way because they are customer service oriented people. It is just right that they get the information they need.
On the other hand, we have an agent located offshore. He is trying his best to give the customer what limited information he has. He struggles to give to the customer an estimated time the service will be restored. In reality these agents don’t even have that information and are just told to tell the customer that it has been worked on and it will be back soon.
This is common in most Contact Centers. Though there are what we call escalation routes, but, most of the time the information don’t reach the agents or the customers. Even the supervisors and managers of these Contact Centers can only do so much. It’s just how this thing is set up. If customers wanted to talk to someone onshore and get an update from say the ‘Engineering department’ or the ‘Local Techs’, it wouldn’t be possible. There’s no number to call, even for the agents or the supervisors that are supporting these customers. So we really can’t fault both sides for this misunderstanding. If the clients(outsourcing company) don’t change this setup, most of the time agents and customers would be having these type of conversations always leaving to a dead end.
Well of course there are Contact Centers and Accounts who have efficient systems and better escalation routes. Customers and agents are lucky to be in this type of scenario. It’s definitely a win-win situation for both.