Customer Service, Marketing Technology

3 Common Customer Service Delays—And How Technology Can Fix Them

Delays are the death of good customer service. Here’s how technology can help you fix them.

Source: Zivica Kerkez / shutterstock

Technology is helping customer service departments eliminate one of the most important and frustrating challenges customers face: delays. Delays can come in several forms—from long waits to connect to an agent to wasted time while agents search for information on the question at hand. Often, your most critical key performance indicators focus on managing and eliminating delays. However, many organizations are failing to leverage technology to speed up service delivery and keep customers happy. Here’s a closer look at how technology can help you avoid delays at all levels of the customer experience.

Waiting for agents: The first line of the delay customers can face when contacting customer service is in making that initial connection. If this is an e-mail, for example, how long will it take them to receive a reply? If they are calling in to a telephone center, how many minutes will they wait on the phone before someone can pick up the call? These types of delays add an important layer of frustration to any customer service interaction—and eliminating them is a strategic way to increase customer satisfaction. Technology can help eliminate delays by more effectively routing calls to agents.

Reaching the right person: It’s not enough to just reach a customer service agent. Customers want the ability to quickly get to the right person. Technology features such as menu trees—for example, asking whether a customer needs technical support or has questions about billing—can help route calls to the right person. However, all too often, companies implement these systems and then direct all calls to the same customer support agent to triage. If you are triaging calls using technology, implementing the second layer feels repetitive and can seem like an unnecessary step. Find ways to use technology to better identify why customers are calling and get them to the right expert as quickly as possible.

Holding to speak to a manager: When a customer service agent is unable to resolve the question, sometimes a customer needs to be referred to a manager. Actually getting to speak to a manager can lead to lengthy delays when contact centers are understaffed or managers try to avoid getting on the phone with customers. Never let this be a roadblock in your customer service process. By the time a customer has asked to speak to a manager, something has gone very wrong. Either a product or a brand interaction has failed to meet his or her expectations or a customer service interaction has gone badly. Technology can help your customer service agents signal when there is a priority issue that needs manager intervention and help direct calls to managers.

Technology has revolutionized the way customer service departments operate. Increase your return on investment by focusing on the ways technology can eliminate important customer service delays.