How May I help You?

How may I help you?

Photo by Yan Krukau

We’ve all heard that sweet voice on the phone when after minutes (sometimes longer … much, much longer) of waiting on the phone to get customer support, a live human starts talking to you. It feels as though the Queen of England has just come on the phone and it was well worth the wait!

Let us rewind a little. You needed help with a product & you called the company’s toll-free number enthusiastically. Imagine your angel savior just sitting there twiddling her thumbs waiting to hear from you. A few rings later, a cheerful voice greets you. You are happy you got someone on the phone. As you inhale to get ready to explain your problem, you hear the cheerful voice telling you to carefully choose some options that have just been changed, darn!

Your enthusiasm starts waning a bit and your eyebrows start knotting. You now wait for the cheerful recorded lady to repeat those options as you force yourself to pay attention to the one you should choose. No, I am not interested in sales, not wanting to return the product (not yet at least), yes. I guess technical support sounds right! You press the telephone key & heave a sigh of relief – that wasn’t so bad. However, call center agents can use interactive guides instead of call scripts to improve customer service.

“You pressed technical support, Is this correct? Press 1 for yes, 2 for no”. Yes, Yes I did. “If you are calling about blah blah blah, press 1 …” You get the idea! By the time you finish navigating through the IVR jungle, your jaw has tensed into a biting position. Your lower lip is pouting forward, your mouth has curved downwards & your nostrils start to flare.

You now hear, “Your call is important to us, please wait while I connect you to the next available agent”. You wonder, what if my call wasn’t important to you? Would you directly connect me to your mother-in-law? All this, while you are carefully listening to the elevator music like that, is supposed to calm you down. Before Her Highness appears from behind, that imaginary curtain you have been staring at in the dark cavernous room, you feel you are in. At the Magic Kingdom of Customer Support. “Thank you for calling XYZ, How may I help you?”

Why call customer support?

And that brings me to the beginning again! There are more than a Billion calls to customer support desks each day, just in the U.S. of A. In nearly half of the issues, customers’ calls are repetitive in nature. Companies often publish self-service information for customers, so they don’t have to bother calling. Why do so many customers still call customer support?

The answer lies in a dirty little secret known to the common man as “gobbledegook”. Imagine you have a simple problem – your TV doesn’t work. I know you will say, “Who doesn’t know figuring this out themselves?” … but humor me a bit. If you had this problem, would you go through a self-service article that looked like this or call customer support? Which one would you do?

Would you still call Customer Support? How may I help you? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Create interactive decision trees for customer service management, cold call scripts or self-service. Improve sales performance metrics and customer delight across your call centers.

Interactive Decision Tree