The Call Center Manager’s Role in Handling Customer Complaints

Customer complaints and problems, service agents are trained and empowered to solve most them on their own using business rules that are preset in a company’s call center software. There are some service recovery situations, however, in which the conversation needs to be escalated to a manager.

The manager has three key responsibilities during an escalated call:

  1. Satisfy the customer and ensure continuation of the business.
  2. Learn from the situation.
  3. Share the lessons learned with the team to prevent the situation from happening again.

This cycle of improvement, which includes all three parties involved – the service rep, the manager and the customer – is still in its infancy today. In fact, just eight percent of 60 organizations interviewed by the Thunderbird School of Global Management were doing this well.

The Process of Service Recovery 

Service recovery usually starts with an acknowledgement of the situation or apology from the contact center rep and manager regarding the customer’s situation. Showing compassion to a customer is critical in building a bond and moving the relationship forward.Learning from service complaints is more than simply solving one person’s problem, however. It’s about making process improvements so the situation doesn’t happen again to anyone else, or so that if it does happen again, it can be resolved in the most efficient and consistent manner.Gathering and studying service failure data – particularly customer feedback – through call center software reports is critical to their resolution. Despite this, most companies gather just a small fraction of the amount of data available. There is clearly plenty of opportunity for improvement here.Through call center software and service rep training, managers can decrease call escalations, resulting in faster service recovery, shorter call time and reduced cost.

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