customer service complaints

eBook

Top 7 Customer Service Complaints & How Omnichannel Customer Engagement Can Resolve Them

Next Chapter Download PDF

Complaint #1

Long Wait Time

“There’s nothing worse than having to wait a long time to be connected to an agent.”

There are few things that customers hate more than waiting in a long queue to speak to an agent. According to research conducted by Aircall, 35% of respondents were willing to wait 30-60 seconds for a response via live chat, while only 4% were willing to wait more than 5 minutes. Long wait times are a CX killer, and even a couple of minutes can be too long.

If a customer’s issue is not resolved and their voice is not heard, customer retention is at risk. Angry customers can turn to social media to flame brands, harming the company’s image and impacting your bottom line. Customers who are fed up with waiting can take this frustration out on your agents, wearing away at your agents’ morale, causing higher turnover rates, and increasing strain on your team. (See also: Improving the Agent Experience – The Top 6 CSR Complaints and How Omnichannel Solves Them.)

Customers want and expect immediate attention. So how can your company tackle this complaint and provide customers with the service that they’re looking for? Some management teams focus on turning the heat up on agents by compelling them to focus on reducing their overall handle time. But there’s a problem with this approach: while timesensitive key performance indicators (KPIs) and service level agreements (SLAs) can help your agents manage their time, it can quickly lead to rushed conversations as agents focus more on the clock, and less on providing the most helpful support.

Additionally, tools developed to mitigate long wait times, such as Interactive Voice Response (IVR), can backfire and upset customers further. Even though IVR is designed to route callers to the appropriate agent or department, or in some cases, facilitate a sort of self-service, it is increasingly met with antagonism from customers. The numbers don’t lie: in a 2019 study conducted by Vonage, only 15% of respondents felt that IVR was conducive to positive CX. Additionally, a study by HubSpot shows that 98% of customers try to skip IVR completely.

Though it seems counterintuitive, consider the following scenario:

Ricardo is having issues with a product, so he calls the manufacturer to see if it is still under warranty. Unfortunately, he can’t discern the right menu option from the IVR feature. As a result, he is placed in a long queue to speak with a live agent–behind customers in line who have a whole host of different concerns. After half an hour on hold, Ricardo finally gets to speak to a live agent. However, when the agent hears Ricardo’s concern, she tells him that she is having issues pulling up his warranty and she needs to escalate this issue to her manager. She puts Ricardo on hold. In frustration, Ricardo pulls up his laptop to send the company’s Facebook page a message. He is told through private message that his warranty is expired, so he hangs up his phone call seconds before the manager can lend him a helping hand.

Solution

Omnichannel support solves the issue of long customer wait times (and the resulting feelings of frustration and dissatisfaction) through the following features:

The efficiencies of a connected omnichannel platform: The key to omnichannel is the interconnectivity of every digital channel and customer conversation. Every channel and the interactions within them are brought together into one unified console. When a customer reaches out, an agent no longer needs to hunt down information from conversation histories across different platforms (and even departments). The customer’s history with your company’s website, products, social media platforms, and customer service agents is all clearly displayed within a unified console, speeding up resolution time and keeping your customers from waiting. By considering past chat transcripts, you can also ensure continuity in service and messaging, keeping the ball from dropping from one agent to the next.

The ever-growing reliability of chatbots: Chatbots are the ultimate tool for reducing wait times. With an intelligent AI chatbot working across your live chat, social media, and SMS channels, a large portion of frontline support can be automatically managed and resolved without any human involvement. This helps to curb queues and wait times, while allowing agents to focus on more high-value customers and queries. Chatbots can also maintain an unlimited amount of simultaneous chats 24/7, relieving the burden off live agents and keeping customers happy.

Robust efficiency tools: Omnichannel platforms contain built-in tools that help to speed up queues by providing assistance to agents in a variety of ways. Canned messages, internal knowledge bases, and keyboard shortcuts allow agents to respond faster by reducing the time-consuming work of crafting messages to customers. Agent Assist, or agent-facing AI, takes this up a level by scanning the conversation and providing agents with suggested answers. This keeps agents from having to search for answers, empowering them to deliver rapid-fire responses that have been vetted for accuracy.

Comm100 Agent Assist

Comm100 Agent Assist automatically providing an agent with knowledge base articles to answer the customer’s query.

Agent scheduling: Integrated agent scheduling tools allow you to create comprehensive work plans for your team. This can help keep your team organized with automatic shift alerts and proactive planned absences, which in turn can keep chat distribution streamlined and efficient.

Queue management: A strong omnichannel system will offer queue management tools that allow you to streamline chat distribution. Chats can be distributed to certain agents or departments by a predetermined set of rules. You can also create chat load limits for agents based on variables such as experience or ability, and create redirect rules to back-up departments in case of overflow. All these tools keep queues from becoming unbearably long for customers.

Learn more about how queue management maximizes handle time in our guide, Comm100 Live Chat Queue Management.

Pro Tip

Combine great omnichannel support with these tips to lower overall handle time:

  • Enable keyboard shortcuts and canned messaging for your agents to promote efficiency
  • Use screenshots and other resources, such as integrated knowledge base articles, to help guide a customer to their resolution
  • Train agents to use close-ended questions (questions that result exclusively in “yes” or “no” answers) to keep conversations on track.
To learn more, check out our guide, How to Reduce Your Average Handle Time Fast.