Most companies we work with or provide QA for have certain elements that are considered zero tolerance elements for CSRs. That is, if the CSR does this – there will be immediate negative consequences.
Examples of zero tolerance items are:
- Using profanity/obscenity. I’ve had CSRs argue that when the customer uses profanity, it should be a lisence to respond in kind. No way. Profanity or obscenity is never professional – ever.
- Criticising or denigrating the company. When a CSR speaks ill of their company to the customer it is disastrous to customer confidence and satisfaction.
- Criticising or denigrating the customer. I know that some customers just don’t get it. Nevertheless, the CSR is there to be a professional, helpful and caring representative of the company. Mocking or making fun of the customer will never be positive or appropriate.
- Hanging up on customers. There are rare cases when a customer is being abusive and the call must be terminated, but there is still a proper and professional procedure to follow (see AC’s post and how he handled it).
Consequences for zero tolerance elements can vary widely from company to company. Some companies will give the call an automatic "zero", reprimand the CSR and/or give a warning. Others will immediately escort the CSR to the door or to HR for an exit interview.
What does your company consider to be zero tolerance elements on the phone? How do you handle these performance issues? Any experiences you’d like to share? Please post a comment!