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Oh No, Are My Support Agents Getting Lazy in Their Answers?

Team management4 MIN READJun 11, 2019

Oh No, Are My Support Agents Getting Lazy in Their Answers?


If your company is obsessed with the quality of your customer service, you are probably already familiar with conversation reviews. Routine feedback is the key to maintaining a consistently high level of support and helping your agents grow professionally – and you know that.

However, every now and then you come across conversations that stick out from others with their seemingly superficial approach. Does that mean that your agents getting lazy in their interactions?

Before you start to stress about inconsistencies in your support, look deeper into the particular case to understand if that was really what the overly simplistic answer was about. With years of conversation review experience at hand, we’ve become familiar with the three C’s that stand for the reasons why agents give laconic answers. Not all of them are bad for your business, as you will soon learn.

Oh No, Are My Support Agents Getting Lazy in Their Answers?

If you run into a conversation that leaves you questioning whether an agent was right to give a short and simple answer, see which of the following categories it falls under:

  • Carelessness is usually the first thing that agents are blamed for if they give quick and straightforward replies. If that is, indeed, the case, then it is an issue worth bringing up for the sake of customer service consistency (check out these 7 feedback techniques if you don’t feel confident about doing it). However, carelessness isn’t always to blame. Sometimes, following company standards or having a personal style are often mistaken for carelessness.
  • Company standards might, in some cases, actually advise agents to give quick answers without wasting time on additional questions and further discussions. Some companies use this strategy for free users to focus their resources on paying customers. In this case, a seemingly superficial response could hit 100% of the company’s internal goals. Furthermore, agents might actually be wrong to spend too much time on tickets that deserve little attention.
  • Communication style sometimes gets confused for carelessness, too. People interact in a different manner, so when assessing customer conversations, it is best not to assume that everyone talks in the same way that you do – which is a natural thing to happen.

“Once I was about to give the fifth thumbs down in a row to a fellow Happiness Engineer when I realized that our styles are so different that I was simply not seeing the right answers in the replies. After a closer look, I saw that the answers were there: short and to the point. After that, I changed four out of the five thumbs down to thumbs up,” explains Grigorji Uvasov in his piece on peer reviews at Automattic.

How can you maintain an even level of support without mistaking compliance with company rules and personal style for carelessness? When conducting regular conversation reviews with pre-defined rating categories, you’ll see whether the answer met all your internal requirements, regardless of the agent’s style of communication. A unified scorecard makes sure that all reviewers focus on the right aspects of the conversation – not just the personal style.

However, if you’re still worried that an agent is becoming lazy in their answers, you can review a set of their conversations to get a complete picture of their performance. You’ll quickly see if those short solutions meet your company rules, or if it’s a negative trend occurring throughout their interactions.

By the way, support teams at Automattic always review the conversations of only one peer per week. “By reviewing 10 tickets of the same agent, it’s easier to spot patterns, to get to know the “voice” of that particular agent,” explains Valentina Thörner, Happiness Team Lead at Automattic.

By getting acquainted with the style of an agent, it’s easier to distinguish between a lazy answer, and an agent who is just typically blunter and to the point.

Automattic uses Klaus for doing conversation reviews, and so do companies like PandaDoc, Wistia, and others. If you’d like to make feedback a daily routine in your team, give Klaus a go. It’s the most efficient means of assuring a consistent level of quality in your customer service – and, for getting your daily dose of cat humor.

Read more

Customer Service Self-evaluation: What, Why, and How?

How to Have Great 1-to-1s With Your Support Team

Written by

Merit Valdsalu
Merit is the content writer at Klaus - though most of her texts have probably been ghostwritten by her rescue cat Oskar.

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