The hope of all call center managers is that when agents put on the headset they are totally prepared to answer any questions and solve any problems that customers throw their way. However, even the most well-trained and diligent call center agents are going to slip up every now and then, providing an incorrect answer to a question or mixing up the order of the next steps that the customer needs to take. And if handled incorrectly, this can create a chain reaction that results in customer dissatisfaction at best and losing their business entirely at worst. That’s why it’s crucial for agents to not only receive training on how to deal with all sorts of customer inquiries, but also how to respond and act when they mess up. Here, discover how to navigate these situations, plus some steps you can take at the management level to make sure these missteps are kept to a minimum.

Acknowledge and Apologize


The worst thing an agent can do once they’ve discovered that a customer was given the wrong information is to double down on it. This first step is perhaps the most crucial in terms of regaining the customer’s trust; if you don’t acknowledge that a mistake was made and apologize for it, they will likely think twice about continuing to give the company their business, even if the situation is eventually resolved. That’s why the agent must first prove that they have listened to the customer and understand what happened, acknowledge that there was an error committed on their end, and apologize for any difficulty or frustration that the error may have caused for the customer. When apologizing, the more personal and clear the agent can make it the better; something like “I am so sorry you were given the wrong information” goes much further than “we regret that an error occurred.”

Keep Communication Clear and Frequent


Once apologies are out of the way and the agent understands the situation, the troubleshooting begins. In order to make up for any missteps that have happened previously, the agent should strive to collect as much detailed information as possible from the customer before laying out an equally detailed course of action. A big part of that action plan should be continued communication with the customer, as frequently as possible so that the customer knows that steps are being taken once the initial call has ended. Agents should make sure that they establish expectations for what this continued communication will look like, as not doing so or setting expectations that they don’t intend to meet will only serve to further sow mistrust on the part of the customer. What’s more, once the situation has been resolved, or the agent’s part in the resolution is finished, they should make that very clear to the customer so that they aren’t expecting further communication.

Provide Solutions


This one might be a given, but if missteps are made and acknowledged then a solution must be reached at some point. Even if it’s not the one the customer was hoping for, leaving an unsatisfied customer with an unresolved problem will most likely ruin any chances you have of continuing to expect that customer’s business in the future.

How to Prevent Missteps


While agents should be trained and prepared to handle missteps when they do occur, you should also try to avoid them in the first place. Here are four keys to doing so.

  • Maintain frequent and interactive training programs for agents
  • Implement effective quality assurance systems
  • Provide frequent feedback on agent performance
  • Collect feedback from customers regarding agent interactions

CallShaper’s easy-to-use call center platform makes all of these steps effortless. To learn more about how, request a demo today.