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Customer complaints continue to rise

The number of consumer complaints made to the Federal Trade Commission is increasing, which highlights the need for businesses to refocus on their customer management strategies.

The number of consumer complaints made to the Federal Trade Commission is increasing, which highlights the need for businesses to refocus on their customer management strategies.

According to the recently released 2012 annual report of complaints, the FTC received over 2 million complaints last year. The issues ranged from in size and scope, but 18 percent dealt with identity theft, reminding businesses of the need to keep client information secure.

Most customer issues do not reach the FTC. A consumers' first call is often to the customer service center within a company. Agents and other employees in call centers have a unique ability to resolve problems and help maintain a strong relationship with the patron, so companies should support their efforts with call center incentive programs.

Inaccurate charges create problems for call center
Rewarding workers for their hard work is a simple way to keep them motivated to solve challenging issues each day. Billing issues can be a common form of complaints received by call centers. KTBC-TV reports that residents in Texas became upset when inaccurate charges for TxTag, an automated toll payment system, appeared on their credit card bills. A computer glitch resulted in hundreds of delayed or duplicate charges and the affected drivers quickly began to complain to the state highway department.

"I just think that's craziness, I can't afford to pay for their technology problem and I don't think the consumer should have to pay for it either," Christina Kane-Gibson told the source.

Call center employees are almost always the ones that have to deal with irate customers, which can be challenging. To help reduce office stress and turnover, companies may consider implementing a reward and recognition program. These initiatives help boost customer service agents' sense of pride, as well as making it easier for organizations to clearly communicate what is expected of the agents.

Workers who exemplify the type of commitment and behavior the company is looking for in all employees, can receive a nice reward for their work. This will inspire others to work harder and apply the values encouraged by the business. The rewards do not have to be large or expensive. Just providing something that is personal and unique can boost the results of the incentive program. Giving staff members something they will use over and over again will create a constant reminder of their value to their companies.

If businesses are having trouble selecting worthwhile rewards, they may consider working with a incentive program specialists. These firms have the expertise and experience needed to guide their partners to the creation of a successful employee reward program.

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