The contact center is one of the most important arms of a business. After all, contact centers are responsible for managing customer care and maintaining consumer retention. But, identifying what makes a customer tick, however, isn’t always easy for contact center employees. After all, no two customers are the same.

To help businesses understand what practices tend to drive consumers crazy, Consumer Reports National Research Center recently conducted a survey of 1,016 adults. In the survey, the company asked respondents to rate certain pain points on a scale from 0 to 10, 0 being “not annoying at all” to 10 being “tremendously irritating.”

So what practices frustrate customers the most?

Survey results found that 75 percent of respondents are irritated when they can’t get a live person on the phone and when a customer service representative is rude or condescending. What’s more, 74 percent of those polled said that they become highly aggravated when they are disconnected, while 71 percent said they’re frustrated when they are disconnected and unable to reach the same representative again.

For contact center leaders, it’s important that they make sure that their Communicators aren’t “annoying” customers by participating in these practices. Below are various ways in which contact center leaders can avoid making these mistakes:

  • Preserve human interaction: Many companies make the mistake of replacing human interaction with interactive voice response (IVR) technology. However, the majority of customers prefer to speak to an actual human being. Therefore, make sure that you give customers the option to speak to a qualified Communicator.
  • Train Communicators: As stated above, customers want to speak to a Communicator who’s not only knowledgeable about the company’s product or service, but who’s also empathetic and positive. Communicators should always use positive language in all situations no matter how frustrated a person may be at the start of the call.

Be sure to employ a strong customer care strategy so that you can  provide consumers the service to make them happy and retain their business.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA, SOCAP, and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He is a frequent speaker for national events and has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry.