Do’s and Don’ts of Telephone Support

Making It Easy to Navigate through IVR Hell and Get a Positive Telephone Support Experience

May 15, 2014

Think you provide great customer service? How recently have you checked out what your customers experience when they call your support line? Are they stuck in an infinite IVR loop? And, when they get to a real person, are their issues resolved? Here are some basic rules to follow when setting up and updating your telephone support processes. Face it, your telephone support channel is not going away. It is the path that distraught customers will take to get their problems fixed; and it is sometimes your best chance of saving a broken customer relationship


Customers typically call a support phone line when they have questions or problems. Yet, the people who can help are often ferociously guarded by the dreaded IVR (Integrated Voice Response) system, whose function seems to be to make sure that only the really persistent (and enterprising) customers actually get through to a live representative. So, for customers, having an IVR system that they can actually navigate to get their issues addressed is a big win!

“Time to throw out the IVR?”
“Time to throw out the IVR?”

Not letting customers through to your people is a good way to frustrate customers and make them eager to find another supplier who will take better care of them and value them more.

So what should you do about it? Revisit your IVR prompts and processes. Test out the navigation for any and all customer problems you can think of, approaching it all from the customer’s point of view. Look at your phone self-service to assisted-service policies to make sure that there is always a seamless experience for customers.

Figure out whether the money you save by handling calls electronically is worth the enmity that results in customers bailing on you! And empower your team of smart, empathetic customer service agents to be able to really help the customer and improve the customer relationship.


Fix My Problem!

Moments of Truth in Customer Support ScenariosNo matter what business you’re in, or what type of products or services you offer, things go wrong for your customers. Equipment doesn’t work, unexpected results show up, information isn’t received on time, billing goes awry, and on and on. Although there are uncountable variations on this theme, it all comes down to this: something is broken and the customer wants it fixed!

It is human nature to reach out to someone when you have a problem, and customers reach out to customer support. The worse the problem, or the more aggravated the customer is, the more likely the customer is to want instant attention and assistance. Email takes too long; online help (e.g., FAQs and the like) isn’t usually helpful except for the most basic problems. And automated agents can’t provide a shoulder to cry on, share in righteous indignation, and reassure the customer that he is valued and will be taken care of. So the customer calls your telephone support line.

Although the variations are endless, the call comes down to three things that the customer wants...(more)


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