Contact centre reputations need to be repaired, says Aspect
Cold callers continue to damage genuine customer service, says customer engagement expert
The battle against cold calls rages on, as it was revealed earlier this week that 500 members of the British public complain about nuisance cold calls and texts every single day. Dave Ogden, contact centre consultant at Aspect Software, has called for a clamp down on their perpetrators as they risk destroying the industry’s already delicate reputation.
Ogden said: “Cold calls have been a consistent issue for the public for far too long now, and once again the industry receives a lot of negative press because of it. Unfortunately, although the majority of contact centres work from a very ethical standpoint, there are some bad eggs in the industry that are dragging the rest down, and threatening the gain made thus far by the industry in cleaning up its image. The rate of complaints being received is up 12 per cent compared to last year, which is plainly unacceptable and I’d like to see a harder line taken by the authorities with the guilty parties.
“However it’s important to remember that we should not demonise the industry as a whole; whilst headlines like these may draw people’s attention, it’s critical to understand where these calls are coming from and highlight the huge leaps taken by the majority of businesses. We have seen steps taken to try to manage cold calls, with the ICO and Ofcom probing the Telephone Preference Service to see how successful it is in preventing unwanted contact. Making sure these organisations are working efficiently is important, but we need to make sure that they are not simply attacking the entire industry,” he said.
Ogden continued: “The impact that cold callers are having however goes much deeper than a bad rep. Constant connectivity means consumers have come to expect more proactive customer care, due to the fact they are now so easily contactable. This should be a positive for the both customers and contact centres, as if there are any issues that customers are having, the business can easily get hold of them and inform them of the problem, providing the personal and engaging customer service that is expected. However, if customers are being barraged by cold calls, junk emails and messages that are of no relevance of use to them, they are not going to answer an unrecognised number or SMS if they think its just going to be another automated message or pointless conversation. Consumers will want to hear if their bank account is having problems or if they could save money on their phone bills, but if they continue to become alienated, this just wont happen.”
Ogden concluded: “We should not let these cold callers off lightly. They are having a damaging effect on everyone around them and they need to be stopped before this escalates further. However more needs to be done to protect both consumers and businesses who are playing by the rules and to really put an end to the more rogue elements who create not only the headlines, but the complaints in the first place.”
Aspect’s fully integrated solution unifies the three most important facets of modern contact centre management: customer interaction management, workforce optimisation, and back-office. Through a full suite of cloud, hosted and hybrid deployment options, we help the world’s most demanding contact centres seamlessly align their people, processes and touch points to deliver remarkable customer experiences.