Common call centre agent mistakes (and how to fix them)

Common call centre agent mistakes and how to fix them

Simple ways to correct common call centre agent mistakes

Scott Cook once said, “Instead of focusing on the competition, focus on the customer.”

Today, businesses are making huge investments in their marketing campaigns.

Heavy budgets are allocated for advertisements, sponsoring events, and participating in exhibitions to attract customers.

But improving the experience of your existing customers is the most effective way to market your business.

They spread the word about how they found you and you get more and more customers coming in.

One way to boost customer experience helping them in the best possible manner when they approach you and solve their problems.

This means that the employees who are at the forefront of interaction with your clients should be well-trained and competent enough to deal with your existing or potential customers.

However, it is observed that sometimes even call centre agents of business giants can make mistakes that lead to a frustrating customer experience.

As a consequence, they prefer to switch to a competitor brand.

7 Common Call Centre Agents Mistakes (And How to Deal With the Problem)

Let’s have a look at some of the common mistakes that your call centre agents can make and the ways of fixing them.

1. Behaviour That Exhibits a Lack of Knowledge and Information

What do you expect when you make a call to customer support?

Undoubtedly you want an expert on the other end who has got all the knowledge and information.

You want someone who knows the ins and outs of the product and who can assist you in solving your issues. But, this is not always the case.

Call centre agents are also human and they can make mistakes.

Sometimes, this is because they are new to the system, haven’t received enough training yet, or need to know more about how to pull out the appropriate information.

Most of the confident ones make a mistake where they say whatever they deem is right or beat about the bush.

In some instances, the information they provide doesn’t match the details found on the website, or the one coming from your chatbot.

This can badly affect your business image as you put your customer in a situation of doubt.

The best ways to deal with this problem:

  • Give your call centre agents a written manual on frequently asked questions and train them during the orientation on how to pull the right information themselves using your software and website opened in front of them. (editor: even better, invest in Knowledge Management System)
  • Another way is arranging a quiz once a month for your agents, giving them difficult inquiries, and assessing how they respond. It will help build their knowledge base.

2. Not Properly Listening to a Customer’s Problems

Remember that good customer service costs less than a bad customer.

Your business will suffer if your customer service agents are not paying attention to the problems of your customer.

Sometimes it happens because call centres are so used to these questions that they make guesses about the customer’s problem.

This leads to making the mistake of not listening to what they are facing.

They just start telling them the solution.

That’s a bad practice when you do not listen to someone who’s situation requires your attention.

Even if they know how to solve customer inquiries, your call centre agents should be trained to show patience, in particular, when it comes to listening.

The manager of the call centre should put in place random call monitoring to keep a check on how agents are dealing with customers.

If you find a consistent pattern in these mistakes, take measures to fix the problem.

3. Reacting Negatively to an Unhappy Customer

Your unhappy customer is a great source of learning for your company as you may come up with new ideas and opportunities from their negative feedback.

However, unhappy customers are immensely challenging to deal with. If not handled properly, dissatisfied clients can influence the opinions of your future clients.

Imagine that you have suffered from the services of a company and the only option you have is to communicate and show your frustration to the company CSR.

You will want someone to listen to your problem, show concern, and be helpful in one way or the other.

This is where call centre management should train their agents.

A CSR team needs training on how to deal with an unhappy customer.

Tell them that customers are not personally attacking them and they do not need to be offensive in return.

Motivate them through incentives to smoothly handle an angry client and turn his experience into a pleasant one.


4. Mishandling Stressful Situations

A call centre agent does one of the toughest jobs in the world.

They have calls to attend in a row, small breaks, and a lot of workloads. Sometimes, this becomes extremely stressful.

This extreme level of stress may affect their mood and behaviours negatively and they become rude or less empathetic to their clients.

Call centre agents must be trained on how to maintain composure and manage stress.

Confidence building, consistent motivational training, and good reward can bring positivity to their behaviour.

Doing fun activities like games at work or role calls can be very beneficial too.

5. Asking Too Many Details

It is frustrating when a call centre agent asks for too many details.

This can annoy and turn off your customer immediately.

Most of them have busy schedules or even they are free, they do not feel like giving too many details for something that is not of much value to them.

Customer agents should be sensitive about asking unnecessary questions and in the end, come up with no solution.

Suggest to them if they do not have an answer, do not frustrate the customer – rather go for other suitable options.

6. Putting Customers on Hold or Transferring Calls

There is a chance that you’ve experienced a call transfer from one department to another or from one call agent to another.

This experience is one that can either be satisfying or annoying.

However, frequently transferring calls from agent to agent is for sure something that will frustrate you.

This may happen due to many reasons – either you are not connected to the right person, or the person you are connected to doesn’t have the right information.

Another thing that even worsens the situation is the point where the customer has to repeat his problem over and over again to every agent.

You may be asked to hold for a while and then you think that the person on the other end has forgotten you.

Such mistakes and problems increase the chance of losing customers.

The best way to avoid long holds and transfers is to train your agents, consult experienced agents using conference calls, or using call routing.

Call routing reduces call handling time because the most qualified agents are handling the call from the beginning.

Another important thing is to keep your customer information updated so that your agent does not have to figure it out himself, waste time, and put him on long holds.

7. Asking Customer to See Product/Service Manual or Visit Website

A customer calls you because they want a solution.

They perhaps did not have access to the internet, or they’re not able to visit your website and comprehend the information given.

The most comfortable option for them is to speak to a real person to be able to understand things more quickly.

Sometimes the call centre agent makes a mistake in asking them to visit your website for information.

Your call centre agents are required to provide information right away.

Another thing that should be kept in mind is to understand the level of the customer and use simple language to make them understand the solution.

Not all your customers are tech-savvy and highly educated.

Remember that your call centre agents should be asked to remain professional while solving their inquiries.


Effectively dealing with clients is an important topic and call centre agents are key players in this field.

You need to invest a good amount of time in understanding the problems and mistakes that call centre agents may make and how to fix them

We hope that this article helped.

More great tips:

About Bryan Osorio 1 Article
Bryan Osorio is a Blogger, SEO enthusiast, Content Marketer, and Digital Marketer with 3 years of experience within the Tech and Digital Marketing Industry. He likes to read, write and talk about Science, Technology, AI, Video Games, World News and more. He studied Psychology at the National University of Colombia and enjoys writing about leadership, remote work, team motivation and others.

Upcoming Industry Events

View all the latest events in Australia on the:

Australian Customer Experience Professionals Association Events Calendar >