Identifying reasons why customers call into customer service


Why are your customers calling? A lot is riding on the answer. Depending on the industry, 30%-80% of customers call a company per year costing companies millions to hundreds of millions of dollars in customer service, be it in-house or externally managed through a vendor (e.g. Call center, BPOs, Captive units etc.) A complete breakdown for all types of calls that any customer service process handles is strangely not available, this is probably due to the fact that most calls are unique hence an umbrella categorization is a mammoth task. Hence, we limit ourselves only to scenarios based in a customer service setup wherein the customer calls you.

New statistics from Purdue University show that over 92% of customers form their opinion of a company based on its call center. Further data from Frost & Sullivan show that most companies that plan on adjusting their customer service mediums this year have their web presence, including website FAQs and help sections, social media, and live web chat, on the front lines. So in spite of these avenues that companies provide people still end up calling customer service.
Begging the question; as to why it is important to map the reasons for customers calling in the first place? Without detailed call reasons, customer service executives are missing a basic tool they need to understand and optimize any customer service initiative. A detailed understanding of the call mix gives their process or customer service center the actionable data it needs to train, coach, set targets, and assess agent performance. Allowing them to ultimately work on avoiding unnecessary calls and satisfying the need of the customers call.
As the customer service industry has discovered in the last few years, there are no separate customer service channels, there is only one the multi-modal channel. This includes website, phone, social media, e-mail, chat, SMS, etc. In 2011, B2C businesses need to incorporate all of these aspects and do them well.
So, companies need to take on the multi-modal approach to customer service, including that of their customer service lines. And what a perfect opportunity to do so “ when people have the lowest expectations! Think of it like this people expect amazing website access and great self-service. What do people expect from IVR and customer service lines? Short hold times? Representatives speaking fluent English? Organized menu prompts? People almost expect a large companys phone lines to be problematic, so why not strive to be at least better than average if not phenomenal? After all, 92% of your customers are judging you on it.