The information provided here can help with customer dialogue and concerns around what the experience is actually like for a reporting party.
It's easy to think that we know the full story of what a reporting party goes through when they call in to file a report, based on the feedback we receive from our clients. However, there is actually more that occurs than meets the eye.
Why a Report Does Not Get Filed
Not every call becomes a new report. There are your "check status" calls, wrong number, etc. However, there are a number of calls that start as a new intake that never finish.
With that, there are three primary reasons a reporting party will not file a report when they call in and speak to an agent. Those are as follows:
- Fear of retaliation
- Don't have time
- Phone Disconnection (Caller's side)
Fear of Retaliation
This is especially true for some of the most sensitive issues. The reporting party is so worried that they will be identified, that they will either tell the call center associate that they do not want to continue or just hang up without warning due to this fear.
The call center associates do a good job of trying to make them feel comfortable and confident that their report will be completely anonymous. They also bring up that their organization has an anti-retaliation policy.
For the reports that do get submitted based on this, due to fear, it can lead to reports that lack information in the description. In many cases, the reporting party has the call center associate strip out data that was initially provided to help eliminate anything that would possibly connect the report to them.
Don't Have Time
Out of the gates, the reporting party has the impression that calling the hotline is a quick experience and can be done in a few minutes. However, they do not understand that it can be a lengthy process that can take over 25 minutes.
Considering that many reporting parties tend to call while on their 10-15 minute work break, they won't have time to complete it.
If they do, the report tends to be stripped down and lacking detailed information. They also tend to pressure the call center associate to hurry up, on top of getting limited information, it also impacts the quality of what is typed out (missing details, spelling, grammar, fields being skipped, etc.).
This generally stems from the caller losing connection on their mobile device. They could be on the road, have bad signal by their office/home, or accidentally disconnect the call.
As mentioned in the "Fear of Retaliation" section, they may just hang up. Sometimes this happens as they are calling from within their office and don't want to be heard as someone walks by.
Department Selection Challenges
In many cases, our clients do not necessarily configure the "department" section with your typical department (examples: Customer Service, Sales, HR, Engineering....). Instead, they configure it with business units/entity. This makes it challenging as reporting parties generally do not know what unit/entity they are in. This is due to the fact that reporting parties are generally front line employees and are not privy or know what it is. In many cases, acronyms are used and their meaning is not known.
Being that business unit/entity names are being used, it can lead to a lot of options to choose from. This can take a lot of time to do over the phone by the agent partnering with the employee by selecting what the reporting feels is the correct one through a process of elimination. On top of it taking time (and impacting a report not being completed), there is a good chance that an incorrect department will be selected. This can impact reporting and routing to a proper investigator if notification profiles are used.
Finally, the department section is not searchable. It is a drop-down list that can be cumbersome, create inaccuracies in the selection, and more importantly, make the reporting party frustrated with the process. In some cases, we have clients configured with 50 to 150 "departments".
Location Selection Challenges
Fortunately, on intake, location selection is easier to do than "department". This is due to the fact that it has a "search engine". Sometimes finding the correct location can still be difficult though.
Some locations are built with location codes. These do not mean anything to the reporting party, and therefore they would not know which one to select.
To take it a step further, some locations are built multiple times with the exact same address, yet have different location codes. For the same reason, the reporting party does not know which one is correct and neither does the call center associate.
Example location search results
To add, due to the frequency of location loads, there are cases where the location cannot be found by the time a reporting party calls in. Therefore the associate has to pick a generic location or one that is close to the actual location.
Agents Genuinely Care
Agents genuinely care for these reporting parties and want to help. They love our account and want to ensure that the reporting party’s report gets read and addressed by their organization. PQ recently asked the associates … “If a customer walks in here, what would you tell them?” They responded, "Please read the reports, follow up, help them, please!”.
- It is important for our customers to understand what their reporting parties experience is like.
- Configurations are generally done based on how the end-user uses the system, not a reporting party.
- These are not just a challenge for call center intake, but also for web intake.
- Keep notification profiles in mind.