THE USE OF BEHAVIORAL ECONOMICS IN CALL CENTERS

Dec 30, 2015 by

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Dealing with customer service reps isn’t always a fun time, especially when they’re unable to fix your problem right away. If you’ve ever been on the phone with a call center representative, you likely noticed that your name was mentioned several times, and you may have even received an apology or an empathetic tone from the rep. but it’s also likely that you didn’t buy any of it because you knew that they were just reading a script.

As a result of customer service often falling short when it comes to helping customers stay satisfied, many call centers are now using behavioral economics to become more effective.

Avoiding Negative Words

When it comes to interacting with customers in a call center environment, word choice plays a huge role in how satisfied the customers end up. When negative words, such as “won’t” and “can’t” are avoided, customers find the experience more favorable. Even avoiding the line, “that’s our policy” can make a big difference in how happy the customer is with the call.

Experience

Engineering AKA Anchoring

There’s another technique that many call centers are now using, but it’s one that a lot of sales reps had already been utilizing for quite some time. It’s referred to as experience engineering, which is more commonly known as anchoring.

Basically, if a customer is provided with an undesirable option as a replacement for something that they originally wanted, the customer service representative would use certain wording to make that option desirable.

For example, if you had a morning flight that was canceled and you wanted to reschedule that flight at the earliest possible time, the customer service rep would make it a point to mention a flight on the following morning first, knowing full well this isn’t what you’d want at all. Once you have that negative anchor in your mind, you’ll be a lot more receptive to a late-night flight on the same day of the morning flight that had been canceled. While you normally wouldn’t have been satisfied with the nighttime flight, because of the anchor, you’re now happier with the results.

A Question of Ethics

While most business owners probably wouldn’t have any problems with using behavioral economics to improve the customer service that they can offer to their customers, there are some people who question just how ethical these tactics are.

For example, is it unethical, or perhaps even somewhat manipulative, to use anchoring techniques or to purposely avoid negative language in order to make a customer view you differently? It seems that it’s ultimately up to the call center manager to decide the answer to this question.

There are many methods that businesses are using in order to improve the way that their customer service reps interact with their clients. By changing their tactics and incorporating an understanding of human psychology and behavioral economics into the mix, call centers are becoming more effective at resolving problems quickly. If you’re hoping to add a reliable call center to your business, visit Ameridial for call center leads.

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