Mistakes Most Make With A Call Flow + How Not to Make Them

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Creating effective call flows can be a game-changer for your company’s customer support team, but they’re easy to get wrong. When that’s the case, your efforts to make things more efficient can go off the rails, leading to frustrated customers and missed business opportunities. 

To prevent this from happening to you, it’s important to examine the most frequent errors people make so that you can design your call flows to avoid them.

Common Call Flow Mistakes and How Not to Make Them 

The first step in avoiding call flow mistakes is to understand what causes them to occur. After that, there are some additional measures you can take to ensure your call flows can handle a wide range of support scenarios.

Mistake 1: Not addressing both parts of a call flow

When designing an IVR call flow, it’s crucial to consider the entire journey of a call—from the moment a customer dials in until the end of the conversation. Unfortunately, a lot of online call flow documentation focuses on technical components of call routing rather than conversational aspects between an agent and a caller.

Why should you care? Because it doesn’t matter how quickly or efficiently a call gets routed to an agent or department if the agent or caller is going to be lost upon arrival. 

So if you actually want your call flows to improve your customer service experience, be sure to map out both the technical routing of the calls within your system and the conversational flow once the call reaches an agent. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Define your call routing strategy: Clearly define how calls are routed based on various factors such as customer input, IVR selections, and agent availability. This ensures calls are directed to the right place without unnecessary transfers.
  • Define your agents’ conversational guidelines: Develop scripts and guidelines for agents to follow during the call. These should include opening statements, methods for verifying customer information, troubleshooting steps, and closing remarks. This helps maintain a consistent and professional interaction.
  • Design training and role-playing scenarios: Regularly train your agents on these guidelines and engage in role-playing exercises to simulate real call scenarios. This prepares them to handle various customer situations smoothly and confidently.
  • Give regular feedback: Continuously gather feedback from both customers and agents. Use this feedback to refine both the routing and conversational aspects of your call flow, which needs to evolve to meet changing needs.

Mistake 2: Creating word-for-word scripts for agents to follow

Many call center managers believe that crafting detailed, word-for-word scripts for their agents will guarantee flawless conversational flow. They think that controlling what agents say will make them more effective. 

However, this well-intentioned strategy often misses the mark. Not only does it fail to account for nuance, but it also ignores the caller experience. 

Customers can easily detect when an agent is following a rigid script, which can make interactions feel impersonal. People generally prefer natural, personalized conversations in which they feel genuinely heard and understood. 

The last thing you want is for your customers to feel like they’re just another number in your customer service queue. Therefore, instead of providing rigid scripts, give your agents autonomy and equip them with easy access to a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) with detailed answers. This will allow them to respond accurately without sounding robotic. Additionally, you can outline a few scripts to give your agents multiple ways of handling and resolving the most common issues and support questions. 

Not only will investing in this kind of help documentation increase the resolution rates of your support calls, but it will also give your agents the freedom to make their own decisions—within reason, of course.

Mistake 3: Setting up overcomplicated menus

One of the quickest ways to frustrate your customers and disrupt the call routing part of a call flow is by setting up long, convoluted menus. Nobody wants to sit through those. Still, many call centers fall into the trap of overcomplicating their menu systems.

Keep in mind that practical design should always be simple—and this same rule applies to your phone tree menus. Striking the right balance between offering enough options to meet customer needs and maintaining simplicity is key.

Consider the typical reasons customers call your center. If most calls are about things like obtaining product information, making a purchase, and processing returns, then your menu options should prioritize these main needs. 

In this example, you can keep your menu streamlined by including only these options—plus a general information option and a “speak to an agent” option for all other queries. This approach limits your main menu to five items while still accommodating your customers’ primary needs.

By simplifying your menu, you make it easier for customers to get the help they need right away This elevates their experience and helps your agents handle calls more efficiently, thus improving the overall performance for your call center.

Mistake 4: Not branding your call flows 

Many call centers rely on a generic robotic voice for their IVR system and a plain, unremarkable menu. Sure, this approach might get the job done by routing customers to the right place, but it misses a valuable opportunity to differentiate your call center from the countless others out there.

Instead, try infusing your call center’s brand right into your call flows. This can significantly enhance the customer experience and strengthen your brand identity. 

Here are a few ways you can do so:

  • Use a real human voice: Replace the robotic voice in your IVR system with a warm, personable human voice. This will give your IVR system personality and demonstrate to customers that real people are ready to assist them.
  • Incorporate slogans and branding elements: Integrate your brand’s slogans and key messages into the interactions. For instance, you can include your tagline in the welcome message and weave branding elements into your agents’ scripts to reinforce your brand’s identity. Just remember not to go overboard here. 

Mistake 5: Not mapping out enough types of calls

Another common mistake most call centers make is placing too much focus on their most frequently asked questions. These systems route too many callers to the same automated endpoint and then consider the task complete. 

While these common calls are important, they are far from the only inquiries your agents handle on a daily basis. If you fail to map out a wide enough variety of calls, it leaves too much of the call flow process unfinished before reaching an agent. This inefficiency causes unnecessary and extra work for agents, which can result in inconsistent service and frustration for all parties.

To avoid this, you need to map out new types of calls and questions as soon as they become popular enough for any of your agents to encounter them on a daily basis. As they come to your attention, do the work to update your call flows so they can accommodate these scenarios. 

Finally, once you’ve implemented a system to map out and implement new call flows, you should regularly train your agents so that they stay prepared to handle a wide range of customer support requests.

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