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How Quality Assurance Can Help Manage Your Team

How Quality Assurance Can Help Manage Your Team

It really doesn't matter if you work in or around customer service, in a contact centre, or maybe in sales. When it comes down to it, nearly every job relates to customer service - everything we do is to help provide a good service to someone else.

We're all constantly searching for improvements and ways to make our jobs easier, whilst at the same time, producing better results.

If only those "Get Rich Quick" emails weren't scams...

When you don't know who your next customer is going to be, it can feel like a raffle to see who gets the next insane customer. Even when your team is going above and beyond excellent, you just need one bad day (or call) to hurt your company's reputation.

So let's see what can be done to minimise the chances of these situations happening!

1. The Importance of Customer Opinions

Discovering ways to progress your company can become difficult after a while - that's when we need to turn to our customers!

When we speak about trying to have not just good, but great customer service, it's important to analyse the small pieces of the puzzle that don't fit perfectly. Checking every piece of the puzzle (your companies' interactions) can be slow and exhausting, and the time and resources expended could be used in better areas.

That's where customers can help - but how? It's pretty straightforward, really.

Ask them for help!

Simple as that. Sometimes we try to overthink things, and forget that some more established strategies that have worked wonders still do just that.

So, we should keep using them. One of the best actions that you can take is to ask the customer for their opinion. Why do they like it? What makes it unique? What could have been done better?

To gain a better understanding, it is helpful to use Benchmark Surveys. Doing so creates a better understanding of your key areas, highlighting what needs improvement. It is recommended to do this periodically to see your progress and evolution.

Now you have an overall idea of your business from a customers' perspective. However, you'd be right in thinking that it doesn't show every error, and how you could solve it. This is where the second step begins:

Customer Feedback and Opinions

2. Get Feedback For Every Interaction

Customers shape their opinions of a company based on all the interactions they have with it. They might have received an excellent product, but even the slightest fault in communication with staff can ruin the whole experience.

The opposite can also happen. Excellent customer service can turn around the disappointment created from a poor product.

Do you have the confidence that all of your staff can do the latter?

To find out for yourself, you could listen to every communication your staff have with customers, but the amount of time that it would take would be counterintuitive. That sort of job is far better suited for a robot as opposed to a human - there are better ways to spend your day.

In an ideal world, you should only have to be alerted to customer feedback that is below your standards, or that suggests they've had an 'above and beyond' experience.

You never know when this may happen, so it's important to have the ability to collect feedback after every interaction, whether it be an email, call, letter, or even a video chat.

This is where Cxceed can help, making it easy to automate these repetitive, tedious steps. It collects your customer opinions by automatically sending out feedback requests, as frequently as you like. Through this feedback and our AI, you will only see the interactions that need reviewing - from the poorest performing that will show you the areas to improve on, to the best interactions which show where you need to be.

3. Evaluate With The Team

Now you have all the information, it's time to act on it. In this step, you and your team will evaluate the highlighted communications.

How Can You Get The Most Out Of Evaluating?

Establish rules and be impartial with your team

Biased evaluations will make all your previous effort worthless, so it's vital to ensure every agent is singing from the same hymn sheet. It's unlikely that everyone will achieve this straight away, but it's part of the learning process.

After a handful of calibration sessions, you'll begin to see things move in the right direction, with closer matching scores. This will make you achieve results, whilst helping your staff understand that it is not a personal attack - making them more cooperative.

Offer transparency and be open to communication

The rules for evaluation should not be a secret document kept locked away in the office. They should be an open statement for everyone to know what you are expecting from them when evaluating.

Listen to what everyone has to say because you never know who is going to come out with the next brilliant idea. Two heads are better than one, after all.

A transparent work-environment is more likely to be a happy one, with negativity unable to hide around corners. Happier employees work better, and want success just as much as you do!



Personalised coaching and training

The way to change bad behaviours and encourage good ones is by training, coaching and giving feedback. For this, it is important to bear in mind that "one lesson for all" is one of the worst approaches that can be taken.

Instead, the best practice is to personalise what each individual should focus on to improve. You may decide to separate your teams into groups, based on experience or skill.

Doing so means you don't leave anyone behind because it's too advance, or have employees using toothpicks to keep their eyes open due to how easy it is.

Make feedback one of your daily tasks

While a big, in-depth training session can be very useful to help your employees to improve their performance, short, daily feedback can be equally or even more useful.

As training could happen every X number of months, keeping a constant flow of feedback to your employees will be crucial. It will be essential to notice the strength and flaws of your employees in a timely manner, so you can solve any small daily issues that could help them to improve.

Waiting months to address an issue is just asking for trouble!

Don't focus on the negatives

Sometimes when agents know the service they provide is going to be checked, it can make them feel overstressed and pressured.

Is there anything more worrying than knowing someone is on the lookout for any and every mistake you make?

That's why it is important to not just bombard them with things which can be improved, but also point out when they have done a good job and practice positive reinforcement.

Of course, don't go too over the top or you run the risk of sounding sarcastic!

The Wrap Up

There are many steps that you can do to improve your business, one of which is implementing a quality assurance software.

Cxceed will help you to get inside your customer's minds and highlight the positives and things to improve on when delivering a service to your clients. If you want to make the changes that will make a difference to your business, without spending hours searching for it, you can!

Read more about Cxceed here, or get started today.

How Can Businesses Hire New Staff During COVID-19?

How Can Businesses Hire New Staff During COVID-19?

How Can Businesses Hire New Staff During COVID-19?


When we went into lockdown, everyone’s daily life came to a halt – but life must go on.

Businesses still need to continue to better themselves and need the staff to do so. Many companies came to a stand-still in March, but a few months later, and they have begun to gear back up to return to business life as normal (well, as normal as they can be).

To continue to improve, develop, and expand a business, it takes skilled employees to do so. This is where a problem comes in – the hiring and recruitment becomes a lot harder when you can’t meet up with them.

Or is it?

The answer is no. In fact, hiring new staff has never been easier for businesses that are prepared to adapt to remote working.

In this blog, we’re going to discuss just how any business can continue to recruit new staff during these uncertain times.

Remote Working

From what used to be a distant dream for some employees has suddenly become a cold-hitting reality. We’re well into the lockdown now (hopefully nearer the end than the start), and the majority of businesses have been able to adapt to working from home.

Now that businesses have had time to put the necessary infrastructure in place, it’s a lot easier to onboard new employees. Whilst the first couple of weeks were a mad rush enabling current employees to work from home, at least we all know how to do it now.

Before you can even think about hiring new staff, you need to be able to set any newcomer up to work from home.

So, you’ve got the infrastructure in place, and you’re ready to start finding your new star employees, let’s have a look at how you can do it.

The Job Advert

We’re not going to be in lockdown forever (hopefully), but ask yourself – is this a job they could do from home even after this is all over? If so, it might be a good idea to not worry about where the candidates are applying from?

Not only does this mean your office won’t be getting any more crowded, but it also means the pool of talent you choose from, has just increased significantly.

After all there’s no such thing as having too many good applicants apply.

The Interview

You’ve found a potential candidate, it’s time for the dreaded interview. A chance for you to look them in the eye, into their soul and see if they’ll fit into the puzzle you’re completing.

There’s nothing quite like sitting a meter or two away from them as you separate the bullshitters from the honest, hard workers.

When you’re miles apart, it’s harder to do this, so you’re left with two options:


The classic, and you don’t have to worry about what you’re wearing when you take the call (unless you’re already in the office). This can be harder for both you and the interviewee that opposed to face-to-face. As an interviewer, you can’t see their list of prepared answers, and the interviewee often doesn’t know whether or not to keep talking. Body language is a wonderful thing!

A positive from the phone interview is that everyone knows how to use a phone. If they don’t, question why they’ve made it this far.

Video Chat

Thanks to technology you don’t need to be in the same room as someone to see the whites of their eyes – depending on the quality of connection and webcam.

This adds a much more personal touch as you can see the interviewee presents themselves, and make sure they’re 100% focused.

However, because of internet speeds, you often lose out hearing everything that’s said, as well as beginning to talk when the other does. In these video calls there’s often lots of “Oops, go on… Sorry, say that again?”.

Of course, not everyone is as well adapted towards using the computer as you and me. Is it always worth the hassle? I’ll leave that up to you and your faith in their abilities.

Training and Monitoring to Make Sure They Do Their Job Properly

When you hire someone, no-matter how much you like them, or what experience they have, you can never guarantee that they’ll be doing the job right. It’s important to be able to monitor what they’re doing, whilst making sure you don’t look like an over-paranoid, micromanaging boss.

This is especially important with “customer facing” employees that can make or break your company’s reputation depending on how they respond to a situation. But it’s no good waiting until you get a complaint to look into matters – the damage is done then!

With Cxceed, you can monitor, control, and improve what your employees are saying to your customers, whilst keeping them involved in the process. Whether they’re in the office, or working at home, our software seamlessly integrates with your telephone and email systems. No complicated installations are needed – just log into our online software, and you’re good to go once it has been set up.

You can assign your employees previous conversations to evaluate, which not only gives them a taste of what to expect, but can also give you an idea of their current standards.

As well as this, you can assign a percentage of their communications for evaluation, which helps keep a close track of progress they’ve made whilst at your company.

If you’d like to read more about the benefits of Cxceed, you can click here.

Not only this, but it's now possible to make training courses for your employees. Applications like Coassemble allow you to easily create training courses, which can include a multitude of questions and tests to make sure they're learning what they read and see.


It’s never been easier to host meetings with your team thanks to the wide variety of applications and programs out there. From Zoom (link), Skype (link), Microsoft Teams, to even conference calls using your VoIP system.

Meetings are a vital part of keeping the team together and singing off the team sheet. Even if you’re only having a meeting once a week you can use this to catch up on your employee’s thoughts, ideas, as well as what they’ve been doing.

Having these online/over-the-phone are just as good as face-to-face meetings, as long as everyone’s Internet holds up!

Keeping Them Involved

It can be hard being on the outside looking in.

If you have hired someone that’s outside of a reasonable travel-to-work time frame, it’s important to keep them involved and feeling part of the team.

Whilst we are in lockdown or working-from-home, there is no easy solution, apart from keeping them involved in meetings, encouraging groups to work together, as well as making sure you always invite them to any online events your business is having.

Once we are out of lockdown then, whenever your company is having any events, make sure you always invite them, even if you don’t think they will be able to come. If you have a few employees away from the central office, you could always hold an event that is more accessible and local to them.

Continue To Better Your Business

We may be in testing times, but that doesn’t mean we can’t continue to better our businesses with new recruits.

This doesn’t have to stop when the pandemic is over either. As devastating as COVID-19 has been on our society, we can take what we have learnt to pave a path for a better tomorrow. One where you can hire talent from across the country, or even the world, safe in the knowledge that you operate just as, if not more, effectively than you can in an office.

Why limit yourself to hiring the closet fit from your city, when you could find someone better a little further away?

Let us know what you think, and how your business is recruiting in the comments below.

Improve Your Business Today

Discover how Cxceed can help improve your customer experience and boost your profit. 

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Effective Employee Engagement Tactics

Effective Employee Engagement Tactics

Having employee engagment in the workplace is vital, and its importance cannot be stressed enough. As a famous (and very successful) man once said, "Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients."

It was Richard Branson if you were wondering and he's not done too badly for himself, so it might be wise to take note!

Employees that feel looked after and needed will be more engaged in the workplace.

What is Employee Engagement?

Employee engagement is the emotional commitment a member of staff has with their organisation.

When they have this engagement, they see the workplace as more than just a place that pays them. They want the best for the organisation and will work hard to ensure the goals are met.

Why is Employee Engagement Important?

The end result of increasing employee engagement isn't just about keeping workers happy (although, this should be a big focus!). It's about improving efficiency and profitability for the company.

A recent study showed that employers experienced an increase in profitability by around 21% when their employees felt more engaged. Imagine being able to turn £1,000,000 into £1,210,000 just by making your employees more engaged.

There are much harder ways to increase profits that's for sure. No matter the size of your company, this percentage is a huge improvement and highlights the importance of employee engagement.

How Does This Increase Happen?

It could have something to do with employees working 4.6 times harder when they feel their voices are heard, or disengaged employees costing organizations up to $550 billion a year. It could also be down to nearly two-thirds of workforces feeling burned out due to their employer's practices.

I'm not just throwing random numbers at you here for the sake of it. Improving employee engagement doesn't just improve one aspect of the business, it improves the whole business.

Let's take a look at some employee engagement ideas that can make a real difference in the workplace!

Be The Change You Want To See

In the past, I've seen many managers failing to practice what they preach.

"I'm open to any suggestion", shortly followed by ignoring all suggestions. "No idea is a bad idea..." That's correct - only, they won't get used.

As a manager, supervisor, or business owner, you have to believe in what you're telling everybody else. It's easy to go around preaching that you want employee engagement, but it requires dedication to implement it when you get it.

Don't let staff ideas pile up in the corner of your office desk; your staff will begin to notice their ideas falling on deaf ears.

When actively giving your all, and acting upon suggestions by involving your staff - they will follow suit.

I've seen so many managers destroy their business from being set in their ways, despite declaring they are open to change.

Oh, and also, if someone's idea gets used, don't be that guy and take all the credit. Go on... make them feel good.

Give Help To Those Who Need It

Unfortunately, not everyone is able to perform at the top of their game all of the time, and occasionally everybody needs a little guidance or support.

More often than not, staff know when they're not performing well. It can make them hide in their shell, as they continue to fall down an unproductive well.

I'm sure we've all been there at one point, but you can't engage with a company (or anything for that matter) that you're hiding from.

Offering them help with their workload if they need it, or a one-on-one talk can make a huge difference. Make them feel loved (not too loved though; you might have another issue or employee grievance pop up).

When help is given to those who are struggling, it not only benefits the individual, but it shows the rest of the company that it's okay to seek help.

It also shows you're a great boss who makes time for their employees - that Boss of the Year award is yours! (It doesn't matter that you're the only one in the company who can win it, it's still yours!)

Employees are scared of making mistakes when working for a boss that won't give them the time of day. They're less likely to try out something new, staying safe and boring; but this won't get anyone to where they need to be.

That isn't a problem when employers engage with their employees, so be proactive, and look around the workplace to identify any issues before it's too late.

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Promote Open Communication

It isn't as simple as saying "feel free to discuss anything you want with me".

Communication can often be a large barrier in the workplace, which undoubtedly impacts employee engagement levels.

Similarly, to the previous tip, staff want to be able to see that you're happy to listen. They don't want to feel like they'e causing their boss an inconvenience by coming to them with ideas or concerns.

Once one or two members of staff begin to openly discuss, the rest will feel confident enough to follow suit. If you're surprised by what you hear, that's probably a good thing! No-one needs an office full of yes-(wo)men; let everyone challenge everything - respectfully, of course.

Keep Them Involved

From the evaluation process to searching for new ideas; keep your employees involved in every step.

Remember how we said employees are likely to work 4.6 times harder when their voices are heard? This is where you can give them one.

No-one wants to be a silent cog in the machine, every employee should want to help make a difference and bring more success to the company. When you're looking for a bit of creative genius, or need some comedy gold to add into an article, ask around - you never know who might surprise you.

If you get something, great! You've improved their day, and yours; if nothing is found, it's a shame, but at least everyone knows you're open to their ideas.

As for the evaluation process, no-one likes been given feedback when they don't have a clue how it was worked out. When this happens, staff get defensive and disengage from said feedback, reducing the likelihood of improvement.

So, how can managers get them involved in this process?

Why not let them evaluate their own performances as well as other colleagues? Not only can they identify where to improve first hand, but they also see how their co-workers handle similar situations.

It keeps everyone in the loop and has many more benefits than just increasing employee engagement.

If you want to do this, you're on the right website! Take a look around after you've finished reading this blog, to see how we can help you.

Don't Let The Workplace Become Stale

Keep your business like a bakery - fresh.

When you lose interest in the working environment, you begin to just 'go through the motions'. Each day blurs into another, you can't remember what you did the other day... sound familiar?

Start work at 9, lunch at 12, leave 5. I'm yawning just typing it!

Add a bit of spice into the workplace, whether meeting with colleagues to discuss ideas, team building sessions, using different parts of the office, or even just going out for lunch now and then.

Get your staff to actively use their brains, and they'll use them! No-one likes the same old boring routine in their life, so why have it in the workplace?

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Give Your Employees Dynamic Roles and Responsibilites 

No, I'm not just using dynamic as a buzzword to make it sound cool.

Don't just have one set of goals and responsibilities, and leave it for a few weeks/months. What happens when they easily reach the goal within a few days?

You should add to or change employee targets and responsibilities based on their performance and progress, so they're constantly working towards something.

Do this within reason though. Don't have your employee's sprinting after an impossible goal and burning themselves out. Regular bite-size changes will keep everyone moving at a pace that suits them, without becoming too relaxed or stressed!

Additional responsibilities also keep employees engaged as it shows you are trusting them beyond their daily tasks. If you put someone in charge of an area you enjoy, you can bet they'll take pride in doing it.

Don't Keep Your Employees Under Lock and Key

I'm not suggesting you force your employees to work for you, but it can feel like that for some due to a lack of control over their own work.

A lot of managers want things done in a certain, exact way - if it's not done their way it's wrong.

Don't be that manager. Give your employees the freedom to complete the work in ways they see fit. You can give them guidance, that's great, but don't be breathing down their neck.

As long as the work is carried out in a timely (and cost-efficient) manner, does it really matter if they're not doing it the exact way you want?

If they fail, it's not the end of the world. Instead, it can be made into a learning opportunity for everyone. Every negative can be turned into a positive with the right mindset!

Make sure you deal with any failures in the right way (don't go in red-faced, all guns blazing and raising hell).

Make The Change

Keep your employees engaged, and the chances that your business will flourish increase!

It's very unlikely that you'll be able to make all these improvements in one go. Instead, it's best to deal with them in bite-sized chunks to keep things simple and easy for everyone.

It's all about the margin gains: improve one small thing at a time and you'll see big improvements. You can read more about marginal gains and its impact on businesses in our whitepaper.

Do you have any tips for driving employee engagement? If so, let us know in the comments!

How to Deal with Sales Rejection

How to Deal with Sales Rejection

How to Deal With Sales Rejection

Having someone reject you is never nice. Putting yourself out there only to get your efforts thrown back in your face. And no, I'm still not bitter that my childhood love said no to a date when I was 15. I'm talking about sales rejection; always being told no, can damage anyone's confidence. To me there are few this worse than the gut-wrenching feeling when you do get close to a deal, only for it to be cut off at the last minute.

Even the most experienced sales rep never gets used to hearing the words, 'NO, THANKS.' (If you're even lucky enough to get the thanks!)

Sales rejection is part of the job; not everyone is going to say yes. So, you need to get used to dealing with it to move forward.

Here are 10 of the best ways to help deal with sales rejection, all taken from personal experience.

Are you Hearing a Non-Existent No? 

Are you sure it was a definite no?

Before you take a look at the other ways of dealing with sales rejection, was it one?

Typical responses like, 'we don't have the funds' is not a no. Consider when the customer/company will have the funds, jot it down and call again in the future.

Another standard reply will be "we already have something like that." Ask what they already have, use this as a way into the conversation. Here you can explain why your service is better, and if it's not, you can win them over with your charm!

Don't give up so easily, but don't be forceful. By just asking questions, you can get the information you need.

Keep Emotions In Check 

Keep Emotions in Check

Handling rejection in sales is never easy when you are low on confidence and not reaching your targets. But you can't afford to take it personally. Maybe the product is too expensive for them, or they already have one similar, and they don't need it. Whatever the reason, it's rarely got anything to do with you.

Letting emotion get the better of you will always carry on to the next call. Then you are in a spiral of constant rejection as each sales call becomes a desperate cry for help.

Also, don't carry the stress home. When you leave work, that should be it done for the day. Otherwise, you'll just be miserable at home being worried or upset, and nothing good will come out of that!

Get Others to Analyse Your Performance

There is nothing wrong with admitting that you are struggling. I do it every day.

You will find you will go up in your manager's estimations by being open about your troubles. If you ask for help, you are more likely to receive kinder treatment than hiding the problem until you have to discuss it at an appraisal. By the time this comes round, it won't be a pretty sight, and your manager is unlikely to have sympathy if you haven't brought up a difficulty previously.

From failure, you learn to succeed, cheesy but true. Having one of your colleagues/managers monitor your calls gives you another perspective. Others may notice the smallest things, like how you breathe heavily down the phone, or don't confirm certain pieces of information.

When you talk to your colleagues, you begin to realize that everyone is in the same boat. Everyone is dealing with sales rejection. Discussing the obstacles to a sale with each other is an excellent way to dissipate your anger, have a laugh and joke, whilst discovering ways to improve from each other.

Cxceed can be a great way to learn where you're going wrong, with opinions from your customers, colleagues as well as yourself.

Remember to Ask Why

There is nothing wrong with asking! Finding out if it was something you said that put them off can be the perfect way to improve in the future. Not knowing what you are doing wrong will slowly destroy your enthusiasm one call at a time. Ask why, so you can do better the next time, it's better than making the same mistake time and time again and not understanding where you are going wrong.

If you find its something small, you may even be able to fix it there and then, and turn the result around!

Asking why every time, turns every phone call into a personal training opportunity!

Be Positive, Not Negative

be positive

Negative thinking causes a spiral which affects your body language, tone, and most importantly, attitude. You can't afford to beat yourself up. After hearing plenty of noes, tell yourself that the next one will be a yes.

The best salespeople are mission-minded. They focus on the primary objective of pitching a product/service, not worrying about the response from the customer. They understand that rejection is part of the process and don't get thrown off track from a bad call.

A rejection is in the past, and you can't change the past (unless you have access to a TARDIS).

Stick to a Routine

Having a pattern to the way you deliver sales can be a great way to carry on from rejection. I used to set myself goals of making a certain number of calls in the morning, then again in the afternoon. It's also essential to have regular breaks in between to follow up on potential customers.

Personally, routines keep you on track and prevents a defeatist attitude.

Always Remain Professional

From time to time, you're going to get aggressive responses from your sales pitch. For the companies' reputation, if not your own, it's so important to remain professional and polite. Word of mouth is a powerful thing. A certain stigma can arise from rude salespeople, so take rejection well, or just don't let the person on the other end of the phone hear your frustration.

You don't know when you might need their services again. As I've stated before, a 'no' is not always a definite no in the world of sales.

Always Follow Up

Just because they say no today it doesn't mean that they will say no tomorrow. Schedule a follow-up call in a few months. In the meantime, regularly send them product information via email or even a letter to build their interest.

Send them letters and emails, stay on their radar by connecting with them via LinkedIn and Twitter. Here you can post relevant content that promotes your product, making it a lot easier to sell.

Play the odds, you know that a certain number of contacts will eventually become customers. That's why it's vital always to follow up.

When you are making sales, always translate "No" to "No, not today." I've lost count of the amount of business that I have got from people that initially said no. We are all short of time, and sometimes the easiest thing to say to a salesperson is "No."

Always follow-up and then follow-up again and again!

Improve your Environment

improve your environment

Put your rubbish in the bin and take your jam jars to the bottle bank! Yes, you should be doing that, but I'm talking about improving your physical and psychological working environment.

Improving the physical environment is essential as it helps create a great place to work, which helps reduce stress and produces positive results.

A clean office can make the world of difference. A clean desk is a clean mind.

Enjoy Your Downtime

Sales can be hard, but it is even harder if you have a miserable home life. Get out, let your hair down and party! Tomorrow is another day.

Note 1: Don't get so drunk tonight, that you make tomorrow a lousy day!

Note 2: I need to take my own advice!

The End of the Line

The 10 ways of how to deal with sales rejection above will hopefully help; however, it's down to you to change your fortune.

Sales is a very strategic game, you will lose form from time to time, but you can control the number of times you do. So keep your emotions in check, and at the end of the day Sell, Sell, Sell!

And if you don't make a sale, chin up there's plenty more potential customers in the sea!

If you have any ideas on how to deal with sales rejection, drop us a comment below.

Improve Your Business Today

Discover how Cxceed can help improve your customer experience, and boost your profit. 

7 Ways Bad Customer Service Drives People Insane (Rant) (1)

7 Ways Bad Customer Service Drives People Insane (Rant)

7 Ways Bad Customer Service Drives People Insane (Rant)

Call centres are one of, if not the most important places for business-to-consumer (B2C) interactions to happen. Relationships are made over the phone, so companies know they need to deliver a fantastic customer service.

As Customers, we have all been there, unable to get an answer to a simple question. As managers and business owners however we know it is a struggle to find staff who can do that.

Find me someone who has NEVER had a bad experience with a call centre and I'll find you a pint of Fosters that actually tastes nice - It's not going to happen.

Whether it be long waiting times, misinformation or having the delight of hearing everything that's happening behind an agent through their microphone, bad customer service from call centres is a sure-fire way to lose customers.

'I Hate Call Centres'

Apparently, we all share one thing in common in my office: the hatred of poor customer service. All I had to say was "What do you hate about call centers?" and it set everyone off.

Forget talking about the weather, maybe us Brits should just talk about our experiences with crap customer service!

I feel sorry for call center representatives, knowing everyone shares a common hatred towards them. It doesn't stop us hating them, though... and yes, this blog is just an excuse to have a good moan - sorry call agents!

1 - Waiting to be Connected

Listening to that bloody dreary music, getting your hopes up every time it stops, just to hear another monotonous flute solo.

Sometimes the music isn't actually that bad, but the quality most certainly is! Have they gone on a mission to find the worst quality music available? I'm no sound buff, but I know tinny, echoey, static-infused music when I hear it!
Oh, and the irony when you hear "Your call is very important to us" as you pass the ten-minute mark.

After 30 seconds pass, I'm already starting to get impatient so ten minutes is mind-numbing. After this point, they have pretty much lost me.
Even if the agent comes back to deliver a fantastic experience, they need to do well to drag us up from the deep dark depths we have sunken into while waiting.

Making customers wait around is a guaranteed way to get a bad review or land a lovely message with @yourcompany on Twitter for the world to see.

Take a look at - These are the customers who are just using the phrase "on hold." Imagine how many others are complaining on-top of that!


2 - Background Noise

You've finally been connected to someone, only to be greeted not just one agent, but the whole center (lucky you!)

As far as the customer is concerned, the agent might as well be speaking in another language, as they try to decipher which question is being aimed at them out of the 20 they can hear.

But why are they so loud? Well, I'm not here to answer that, not in this blog, but if you want to know why, and how to combat it, check out Why Are Call Agents So Loud.

As a customer, one of two things happen:

  • You feel like the agent is shouting at you. Not good. It's the customers that are meant to do the shouting, not the agents!
  • You have to ask them to repeat the question, and the next, and the one after that. Not only does it frustrate the customer, but also the agent.

Do you turn up the volume so you can hear the agent better? Well, you could, but then you also get to listen to the static and buzz of the center a lot louder too. It's a lose-lose.

3 - 'Sorry, There's Nothing I Can Do Here' 

Uh oh. You've spent ages calling, explaining your problem, waiting on hold, just to be told "There's nothing they can do" or "Try ringing another number or emailing someone else".

You're furious. Enough time has been wasted for what seems to be a simple request.

So, what's stopped the agent from helping you?

It might be a genuine reason; it happens. Other times it may be because their managers haven't empowered their agents to make decisions.

(RANT START) Managers, if you want your agents to help your customers, you have to give them the ability to do so! Otherwise, what's the point of them? (RANT END)

We don't know if the agent has the authority to sort it out, but assume they do! So, the agent gets the blame, after all, they are there to help resolve our issue.

4 - Overseas Call Centres

Just to make this clear, we don't have anything against the people in these centres. It's not their fault they've been put through to us angry sods.

Language barriers and accents can be a huge problem, though. When you have to keep repeating yourself, or asking them to, it's only making matters worse.

Not only this, but sometimes the call sounds like it's coming from the other side of the world! (I know it literally is, but I don't want it to sound that way on a call).

The connection breaks up; their voice seems to get fuzzy, louder, then quieter. As if it wasn't hard enough trying to get your issues sorted before!

If you're going to outsource, do it right for goodness’ sake! (Hint: STAFF TRAINING HELPS)

BT was one of the worst for this. I say "was" because they've finally seen the light and decided to bring all call centres back to the UK by 2020

5 - Giving Incorrect Information

Support team shouldn't tell you a lie. Sometimes it might well be an accident, due to a lack of knowledge or training, but it is still unacceptable.

A few times I've been promised refunds or extras added onto my order by the agent, only for them never to come to fruition. Then when you go back to complain, there's no trace of it! Or the new agent tells you that the company doesn't offer what you were promised.

Making false promises will always come back to haunt you. I feel many may do so just to shut the customer up, which points to a bigger internal problem.

We've been around long enough now to recognise the signs. Such as when an agent starts their sentence with "I think" or "I believe so" it's usually an indication that we're about to be told something that might not be correct.

I'd much rather that they didn't follow their instinct to give me an answer ASAP, but take a minute to find out the real answer. We'd all be happier to wait for a minute and be given the truth, than quickly receive some something made up to keep us quiet.

Basically, don't offer me a big juicy discount if you know I won't get it. That's just cruel.

I hate customer service operatives that do this (Yes, it's gotten too personal!).

6 - Robots

So you would like to speak to someone, is that right?

At the front of the battlefield, many centres get robots to initially take the call.

I get why it's a good idea. Rather than use operators time finding out routine information, they can waste your time instead.

"Please state your date of birth."

"15th of November, 1986."

"Did you say, 50th of December 1986?"

Give me strength. If you are going to use robots, put some effort into them and think carefully what is an appropriate response. Answering a couple of questions is fair enough, but after that, it just gets tiresome!


7 - Press 1 to be Put Through to...

So, you quickly want to get an issue resolved, but something is stopping you.

The dreaded task of navigating through a series of menus on your keypad.

First of all, you can guarantee the option you want will be read out last. Then, there'll be another set of options which will take just as long to listen to. If you're unlucky, there'll be even more sets for after that.

But there's another issue. What if you don't know which section your problem falls into?

Do you hazard a guess and risk having to start all over again? Or do you have to listen through them all again to try and figure out which one you should give a go? Sometimes we need to call upon Sherlock Holmes to solve the mystery!

At least if you try again, you know which numbers you need and don't need so you can speed through the options... That is unless they don't activate the key tones until they have finished listing all the options

How to Improve Call Center Customer Service

Managing and working in a call center is no easy task and I don't think anyone their right mind would say it is.

However, if businesses want to deliver the best customer experience possible, they have to learn what's causing the unsatisfactory ones. It's likely these poor calls and interactions will be occurring regularly but could by flying under the radar.

Gaining feedback from customers after they communicate with agents and evaluating the poorer ones. No-one knows the service you're providing better than those who receive it.

Cxceed makes it easy to do just that, and we've written a full post about how it does just that which you can read here.

The Wrap-Up

What's the worse thing that has happened to you when talking to a call center? And managers, how do you deal with these problems?


Let us know below!

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