While one-call resolution is consistently revealed through research as a key-driver of customer satisfaction, our client research has frequently shown that satisfaction doesn’t begin to seriously erode until the 2nd or 3rd contact. [see chart – keep in mind each company’s customers can have varying expectations]. When you can’t resolve the issue on the first call, it’s important to manage the customer experience.
- Apologize. It may not be your fault that you can’t resolve it on that phone call, but you should convey empathy and concern for the customer’s situation and the frustration of having to wait for an answer.
- Take ownership. A statement such as “I’m going to take care of this for you”, “I’ll get to the bottom of this”, “I will get an answer for you” can considerably boost the customer’s confidence.
- Give a time frame for getting back to the customer. Here’s where the old principle of “under promise and over deliver” comes into play. The more specific you can be, the better – but a general time frame is better than nothing. The key is to frame the customer’s expectations. If you say, “I’ll get back to you in a while” you’ve left the interpretation of “in a while” completely to the customer’s imagination. You may know that it will be the next morning before you get an answer, but the customer may have interpreted “in a while” to mean within the hour. You lose.
- Provide the caller with your name and, if possible, number/extension. Providing your name and number is like putting a signature on your service. It tells the customer that you are more than paying lip service – you are staking your name and reputation on it.