5 Dumbest Things Call Center Agents do to Irk Customers


Calling has always been an integral part of a contact center, and unsurprisingly call center agents take center stage in any call center. This is one undeviating fact that is not going to change, irrespective of the advancements in technology.

In precise words, call center agents are the face of customer service for any firm, and many decisions made by customers are influenced with the manner agents handles calls. Therefore, it is no biggy that they are the ones who sway significant bucks for businesses.

However, every now and then there are bloopers made during calls by agents, which are actually dumb (at least in hindsight). Even after intense training and coaching, agents are bound to make mistakes, because at the end of the day – to err is human!

Nevertheless, some of the things call center agents do are pretty ridiculous, flabbergasting, and can potentially harm your business. Let us run through 7 of the dumbest things that agents do.

  1. Calling out the Wrong Name of the Customer

Imagine that your name is Tom, and someone you are conversing with constantly addresses you as Harry. Yeah, you guessed it right! This is one of the uncanniest situations that one an ever face. Along with that, this is really annoying, and I can’t emphasize enough on the ‘how’ part. Call center agents often end up calling out the customer with a completely different name (maybe a name from the past calls), and this is turn, makes customers incredibly irate. Sure, if an agent corrects the error soon, it might earn a laugh from the customer, but hey – this doesn’t rule out that addressing someone with an incorrect name figures at the top of the dumbest things to do.

  1. Failing to Mute a Call

It is okay to be upset with a customer who is giving a hard time, but it is not absolutely intolerable for the customer to hear what an agent has to mutter about him/her. What I am trying to say is that for Christ’s sake – please don’t ever start blabbering about the customers and what opinion you hold of them, without putting them on mute. If you have to vent out about a customer to your colleague, do that but first put the call on mute. It is completely fine to be annoyed with a customer occasionally, but it is highly unprofessional and dumb to allow the customer overhear what you have to say – inadvertently or otherwise.

  1. Choosing a Grossly Wrong Time to ‘Go on Hold’

You customer needs some quick and super important information, and what does an agent do? He/she says – “Let me put your call on hold, while I check for that info.” No, no, never… please don’t do this, if you don’t want to be labelled as outright dumb! That is one of the worst times that anyone can possibly put any call on hold. It is like saying – “Yeah, I heard what you said, but I’ll take my own sweet time to help you, even if your life is in jeopardy.” See, nobody does that, no even to your enemies. And, when it is your customers we are talking about, you most certainly don’t want to end on the wrong side of things but doing something this dumb.

  1. Being Robotic/Insensitive to a Distressed Customer

When your customers call up, they need answers and not questions or insensitivity from call center agents. So, lets’ suppose a customer asks an agent to help him/her with the setting of a laserjet printer, the last thing they expect to hear is – “Why did you call, when you could have gone through the manual?”, or “For the next 5 minutes, I’ll tell you how to set it up, listen to it closely, because I’ll not repeat.” Trust us – you don’t want to address a customer who has bought some product from your organization this way. Else, you’ll surely end up making gravely offending the customer, and potentially causing immense harm to your company.

  1. Turning into a Salesperson

Yes, we know you are just trying to help customers as much as you can, but it necessarily doesn’t mean that you as a call center agent should wear the shoes of a salesperson, immediately after providing them with a solution. This is one of the dumbest habits of many call center agents. Understandably, sales are an important part of your job description, but it is not mandatory to educate about your ‘valuable products and services’ on each and every call. There needs to be a profound base for you to pitch offerings to your customer, otherwise the entire essence of the products/services goes for a complete toss!

Think you have some other dumbest experiences to share with regards to call centers? Feel free to post your comments below.