• HigherGround

Danger #4: Misunderstanding the Customer Voice

Updated: May 22, 2019

By Licia Wolf

Contact centers are continually tasked with goals, key performance indicators, and regulations. Management often uses grading and scoring of agent interactions with customers to guide best practices and standards. Sometimes the chosen KPIs for agents focus on rigid quantitative parameters, and they discount the customer’s needs and journey, resulting in unsatisfactory customer service.

In public utilities, contact center agents must be attuned to their internal and external customers to deliver optimal customer service. Recording interactions is a key tool to understanding the customer voice and to train agents to listen and respond.

Why are Customers Contacting You?

Various requests come into utilities contact centers both from external customers (billing, outages, service requests) and internal staff (procurement issues, logistics, project coordination). It is important that agents listen and understand what the customer is asking for. This can mean hearing subtle cues or following up with questions to clarify a point. Studying recorded calls or other interactions with a supervisor can greatly increase an agent’s skill in understanding the customer’s needs quickly.

Are the Real Issues Being Resolved?

There are times when a customer contacts an organization but may not themselves understand what they really need. If agents are not equipped to ask all the questions necessary to fully understand the customer’s journey, they may appear to help, but the issue will not be properly resolved. By recording and monitoring calls, both sides of the interaction can be reviewed. Careful examination of recorded calls can help train agents about how to fully understand the customer’s issues and take the appropriate actions right away.

Are the Customers Satisfied?

When customers are unhappy with the services they receive, they tend to spread the word. People are much more likely to broadcast complaints (Danger #2:Unhappy Customers) then they are to praise customer service. Acquiring a bad reputation for your company can be detrimental, and in addition to the business lost from dissatisfied customers themselves, potential customers may be steered away due to negative social media and reviews. By reviewing recorded calls and interactions that illustrate both satisfied and unsatisfied customers, the causes can be pinpointed. With this kind of coaching, agents will be better able to ensure that customers are truly satisfied at the end of the interaction.

How do you think call recording can impact understanding the customer voice in public utilities? Share with us on social media.

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About the Author - Licia Wolf is the Marketing and Communications Manager at HigherGround. She holds a Ph.D., and a professional background in electronics, internet marketing, and print/imaging technology. Click here for more information on Licia and the rest of the HigherGround team.


HigherGround, Inc. provides best-in-class, reliable data capture and interaction storage solutions that enable clients to easily retrieve critical information. Our interaction recording and incident reconstruction solutions transform data into actionable intelligence, allowing optimization of operations, enhanced performance, and cost reduction.

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