Florence Anderson is a customer service aficionado and a regular reader of this blog. She’s responding to the October 6 post with an insightful story about email assumptions and the chaos that can result.
When should an email be accompanied by a phone call? What’s the impact when we don’t take this step?
If you are in management and have ever pressed “send” on a Friday afternoon memo minutes before leaving customer service agents to work through the weekend, keep reading.
Recently, one of these Friday afternoon messages, intended to broadcast information to individuals fielding customer phone calls, came to grinding halt in an inbox.
Had the sender confirmed the message was received, it would have continued to flow out to call centre agents. And they could have provided answers and efficient service to the callers who, instead, became increasingly frustrated.
Before clocking out for the weekend, picking up the phone to ensure an email is received and information circulated won’t change any unforeseen situations, but it does impact the quality of service front-end customer agents provide. It increases the respect agents receive from callers and generates respect for your business.
While no one can prevent an earthquake, we can be prepared to provide efficient aid.
Contact centres are the new front desk … but they aren’t always in the same building as the corporation. This front desk could be five miles away – or 5,000. But if you imagine your call centre agents sitting at the main entrance of your head office, greeting clients and business partners, answering questions … how would you keep them in the loop? What system would you have in place to make sure they knew what to say as each person arrived?
Consider your answers to these questions before you hit send on your next memo:
- If contact centre agents were on location, what would you want them to know right now?
- What is the attitude toward customer service agents within your organization?
- What valuable input can your agents offer you? Remember, they are on your team and communicating directly with your clients using one of the most reliable, efficient means of communication technology – the telephone.
If you want your clients to know it, your customer contact agents need to know it first.
On that weekend someone sent an email. Someone else didn’t get it. One phone call could have ensured that the information made it to the front line, and to the customer. Instead, a lot of anger and frustration was generated and needed to be attended to on Monday.
This coming Friday, press send … and pick up the phone.