Magazine article CRM Magazine

The Five Most Irritating Customer Service Statements: Research Uncovers the Phrases Most Hated by Callers to Customer Service

Magazine article CRM Magazine

The Five Most Irritating Customer Service Statements: Research Uncovers the Phrases Most Hated by Callers to Customer Service

Article excerpt

If you want to irritate callers, be sure to let them know when they call your customer service line that their calls are very important to you.

"Your call is important to us" was the top vote-getter in a survey to uncover what most frustrates consumers when it comes to scripted or live phrases from call centers. That phrase was cited by 36 percent of respondents to the survey, which was conducted by TeleTech, a provider of customer contact center solutions and consulting and outsourcing services.

The truth is that most customers don't feel important or valued when interacting with companies, according to Ron Wince, president and general manager of Peppers & Rogers Group, the division of TeleTech that conducted the study.

"Over time, people have become accustomed to this message. They hear that the call is important, but they're not treated that way," he says. "I'm being treated like I'm not important--being handed off to someone else or put on hold.

"Don't just say the words, because at the end of the day, what you said and what you did aren't aligned," Wince advises. "Whether it's a live person or an IVR, the problem is that you're not solving my issue. You say you care about me, but you're not showing that you care about me."

Also topping the list of caller annoyances was the phrase "Please take our survey following this call," cited by 17 percent of respondents. "Don't offer to give me a survey before you've answered my specific question or addressed the issue at hand," Wince says.

Customers also dislike phrases such as "that's our policy," cited by 22 percent of respondents, and two other related ones that scored lower on the list: "We'll get back to you on that" and "I'll have to discuss this with my supervisor." In all these statements, companies are letting callers know that agents aren't empowered to solve their issues, according to Wince. What's worse, "there's a little bit of caller frustration when I have to deal with all these extra steps," he adds. It's magnified even further when callers have to repeat information that they've already given to the IVR or another agent.

Wince says companies are finally taking steps to overcome this. …

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