The Customer Care Crisis

by | Sep 14, 2021 | White Paper

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is an excerpt from the Humane Customer Care white paper.

Customer Care is in a state of crisis: often bad for customers and worse for care agents. Indeed, the 2020s have been the worst of times and, well, the worst of times.

“Hold times are longer than usual. We apologize.”

 


After half a dozen times, the apology was no longer accepted. After 20, it was reviled.


What’s going on and what can be done about it? A nation on hold needs to know.

First, we consumers know how bad it’s gotten to be as a customer. I, myself, spent a chunk of June and July trying to connect with my bottled water supplier’s customer care. Hours went by as my iPhone XS sat on the desk next to me, speaker on, volume down, an endlessly repeating hold message spewing forth ad nauseam.

“Hold times are longer than usual. We apologize.”

After half a dozen times, the apology was no longer accepted. After 20, it was reviled.

Customer Care Agents in Crisis

Now we also know how bad it’s gotten to be as a customer care agent. A recent ProPublica exposé describes the terrible pressure some are under

“We’re Not Allowed to Hang Up”: The Harsh Reality of Working in Customer Service documents the 21st century equivalent of 19th century piece-work that is life for home- based customer care agents. Well, maybe not all customer care agents, but the ones profiled in the article are hating life, that’s for sure.

In short, customer care in 2021 is in crisis for customers and agents alike. Our time wasted, our feelings ignored, we sublimate our humanity to the pursuit of resolution.

What’s going on and what can be done about it? A nation on hold needs to know.

Go to Supply & Demand: Unbalanced & Out of Harmony, the next excerpt from Humane Customer Care.

 

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