Call center customer service has long endured a less-than-stellar reputation. We, as paying customers, often see call center reps as easy fodder for our gripes. Maybe we were left on hold for too long, or maybe the company rep didn’t understand our issue as quickly as we would have liked, or maybe we just didn’t get the answer we were hoping to hear. Many times it isn’t actually the rep that’s the issue; rather, it’s our lofty expectations that our problem will be solved instantly and with 100% effectiveness.
Whether or not that’s fair (and it’s not), that’s the way of the world. Which brings us to Ashley Furness at the research firm Software Advice, who recently wrote a blog post that caught our eye. Furness looks at how Zappos goes to extra lengths to try and make its call center customer service as enjoyable as possible for the caller (and be sure to check out the video embedded in her
article, which will also give relevance to the photo to the right). Furness highlights the Zappos philosophy that call center reps should focus on the quality of the call experience for the customer, and not necessarily on getting through as many calls as possible. Unlike traditional call center employee metrics that value call speed and number of calls above all else, Furness points out that Zappos wants to create customer loyalty by incentivizing emotional connections between company rep and caller, and call length is not an issue. It may sound warm and fuzzy, but the benefits are twofold: a happier experience for the caller and a chance to use the call as a beneficial branding moment for Zappos.
We couldn’t agree more with Furness’ post. After all, our hope is to further ease the call center process by allowing a company’s website visitors to place calls right through their browser, leaving them hands-free to browse the web (if on hold) or take notes, all without tying up their phone line or using up their minutes. The future of customer service call centers looks bright with a combination of Zappos-esque attention to customer experience and technology (like, say, Zingaya) that makes for a more seamless interaction.