Why I Would Call It Quits Too

DestinationCRM ran an interesting article entitled Calling It Quits about the tremendous increase in contact center agents leaving their positions or having high absenteeism rates. One of the ways given to combat this trend is to empower the agent to actually be able to answer the customer’s question rather than simply put them on hold for someone else.

As it happens, I had to call my internet service provider today to report a service outage. The contact center agent I reached obviously had been given a script to follow for this scenario and she was going to follow it no matter what I had to say. She insisted on going through a lot of troubleshooting steps that I had already performed before calling her but she apparently didn’t believe I was capable of doing it right. I repeatedly told her it was not an issue with my equipment and that everything was fine a short time before. But because there was no notice on her end about an outage, we were by golly going to troubleshoot my system. Sad to say, I got disgusted and hung up on her. A few minutes later I called back only to hear an automated message about a service outage in my area. Imagine that!

Was this contact center agent empowered? No. Putting a script into an agent’s hand to deal with specific scenarios does not empower anyone to do good customer service. Good customer service would have meant listening to me instead of treating me like I was unintelligent. Good customer service would have meant doing a simple test to see if my modem could be pinged. Good customer service would have meant recognizing that I was becoming upset and abandoning the script in favor of a more helpful approach. This agent did none of those things and probably has never been trained how to be an independent thinker; instead she is required to follow a script no matter what.

I don’t know how she felt about being hung up on or if she understood what had happened. But if I were her, I would be feeling frustrated at being tied to a single mode of operation without the training to deviate when it was warranted. I would probably become just another statistic in articles like the one above. I have no doubt she will be one soon.

See my next entry for a solution to scripts and ill-trained personnel.

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