Common customer complaints that every call centre can avoid

Dec 20
common customer complaints

Common customer complaints that every call centre can avoid

Complaints, like death and taxes are guaranteed to happen. But if you’re receiving the same common customer complaints over and over again it’s a sign that something, somewhere in your business is not working.

If your lines are filled with shouting, unhappy customers then it’s time to fix the problems so your agents can spend their time handling enquiries rather than complaints.

Here are some of the most common customer complaints and what you can do to avoid them happening again and again.

Product complaints

Some of the most common customer complaints are product related. Questions like:

• I don’t know how to activate it!
• It doesn’t work!
• It’s too complicated to use!

These calls are avoidable with better on boarding communication from your other channels such as instruction leaflets, online FAQs and member self-service centres. While some customers will always prefer to talk to a real human to solve their onboarding issues, many would prefer to find an answer online and we have the stats to prove it:

• Customers looking for help on a company’s website has grown from 67% to 81% in three years. (Source)
• Online community forum use has jumped from 31% to 56%. (Source)
• 70% of customers expect your website to include a self-service application, and if not they’ll go looking for answers elsewhere online. (Source)

Delivery complaints

Waiting for a delivery can be like waiting for Christmas morning. Except, what happens when Christmas doesn’t arrive? Unlike the Whos down in Whoville, your customers probably won’t stand around singing – they’ll pick up the phone and call you instead. Common customer complaints about delivery include:

• It’s broken!
• It’s not what I ordered!
• It hasn’t arrived yet!

These complaints can be somewhat mitigated by using tracking numbers and automated order confirmation emails. But the fact remains that if there are a large number of these complaints it’s a sign that something is not working in your delivery processes. Clear call centre reporting can help your business identify where processes need improvement to deliver a better customer experience.

Call centre complaints

While many of the common customer complaints may be around service, product and delivery, call centres get their fair share of complaints too. The irony is that many of the call centre complaints won’t come through the call centre. You may discover that your IVR isn’t working or your queues are too long through social media or forums. Let’s face it, if your customers can’t even get through to you to complain, then you’ve got a big problem.

Thankfully most of these call centre complaints are easily fixed with the right contact centre software.

Let’s look at the most common call centre complaints:

• Getting lost in the IVR abyss

Creating an efficient IVR is an art. Your menu should be limited to five options or less and one of the first three options should be to talk to a human. Test, test and test the IVR to ensure there are no endless loops where the customer can’t escape and can’t find a customer service rep to talk to.

• Queuing too long

The right inbound call centre technology will automatically allocate queued calls to agents based on demand and skills. Simple dashboards make it easy to track how queues are going and predict busy times when you may need to allocate more staff. Also consider whether blended calls will work for you; giving you the ability to switch your outbound agents to inbound when call queues grow.

• Being passed from person to person

First call resolution is the golden metric of customer care. The last thing your customers want is to be passed from agent to supervisor, back to another agent in another team and so on. Building a knowledge centre and empowering your agents to take on more responsibility for resolving issues will help. So will call centre features such as chat – giving agents the ability to ask a subject matter expert for solutions whilst still on the phone to the customer.

• Asking customers to repeat information

Your customers should never have to repeat themselves. If you don’t know who they are then your systems are letting you down. It’s important to select call centre software that provides a customer view to the agent as the call connects. If they have all the important customer information in front of them (name, sales history, complaint resolutions etc) they will be able to build rapport with them quickly and make them feel welcome.

• Breaking promises

“You said you would call me back”
“Did we? I don’t see a record about that here. Are you still having the problem?”
“Yes! And you said you would fix it and call me to let me know!”
“OK, let’s start from the beginning. What’s going wrong with the product?”

You know those calls. When the customer feels like they’re in a groundhog day of trying to fix an issue again and again because agents are seemingly not following through with their requests. The solution could be as easy as using a scheduling tool to remind agents to call back.


It’s time to say goodbye to these common customer complaints.

Let’s face it; no one likes complaints. Your agents don’t enjoy being on the receiving end, your boss doesn’t like them on the reporting end and your customers certainly don’t like making them. By enabling better self-service, investing in the right call centre software and ensuring that common product and service complaints are dealt with by the business your inbound team can go back to what they do best – converting enquiries into sales.

common customer complaints