Bravo Bernard Salt! On call centres and ‘human’ customer service
We want to share this with you from Bernard Salt – Australia’s leading demographer. Bernard has ‘fired up’ the contact centre industry and customers over his recent column in The Australian “Are you being served?”
Go Bernard! He feels the frustration that many customers feel, when all we want to do is talk to a human being! At Citrus Group we agree that the human connection matters – we are not machines – and we recruit great people to do great work in call centres!
Here’s some of what Bernard said: “I get the feeling that big business doesn’t want you to call their call centre. They hide the call centre phone number–it’s there, but you have to search for it like a Where’s Wally exercise. I get the impression from this business that in their perfect world, they wouldn’t have any human-to-human interaction at all. Employing people to answer customer questions is an expensive business so the logic is to get the customer to manage their own issues using the internet. In the meantime, while you’re waiting, listening to music and to advertisements, they entice you to abandon any hope of speaking to a human being by going online to FAQs. Never fall for this one. Life in the gulag of the call centre wait queue is never that simple. And after all this they want me to deliver a rating. If my rating is used to better remunerate poorly paid call centre staff, then fine. If it is used to filter up to management how good their customer service is, then I am far less inclined. Waiting in a call-centre wait queue is part of the reason why ordinary Australians feel they are no longer being listened to.” [p34 The Weekend Australian Magazine $3.80]
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