I need to start with an acknowledgment of David Cooperstein of Forrester for sparking this idea with me. David wrote:
“Lock-in mechanisms — mobile phone contracts, proprietary technology, and frequent-flier programs, for example — don’t create loyalty; they just create barriers to leaving. Forcing customers to comply with one set of rules designed for the masses makes your offer a commodity over time.”
David is exactly right. These “loyalty” branded practices, don’t create loyalty at all. I then considered this same thought for the manner in which we service customers in the contact center. Are customers doing business with the [...]
In a white paper that I co-authored with Paul Stockford of Saddletree Research on contact center metrics, ” Contact Center Metrics that Matter,” we included a focus on including the voice of the customer as a key measurement. We talked about net promoter scores and the challenges with getting a large enough sample size to make the results relevant. However, this week I was reminded of the core fundamental that while you might get the surveying process correct, if you aren’t asking the right questions, you’re missing the mark.
I presented at the Society of Telecommunications Consultants (STC) conference this week. [...]
Most of us have experienced the anxiety, excitement, fear, hopefulness and general breath holding when buying a new house. Well, not just a new house, but THE house. The one that scores highest on the detailed feature matrix you created with that algorithm assigning weights to prioritize relative importance. The one that prompted your spouse to say, “This is it! I can feel it!” The one where you’ll raise your kid. Or your dog. Or both. It’s been months of online research, driving around neighborhoods, and vigorously debating the pros and cons of numerous options. You’ve pre-qualified for a loan, [...]
Last week we hosted a webinar, The Insurance Contact Center and the Affordable Care Act- Preparing for the Unknown, featuring insurance analyst, Ellen Carney of Forrester Research. Ellen had recently conducted research around the transition of the health insurance industry as it relates to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). One of the key takeaways from the event was to stress to contact center directors and managers, the importance of the contact center being prepared for major change come the October 1st go live date for enrollment. Ellen pointed out that as a result of a lack of resources such as informational websites, [...]
Small businesses have many disadvantages when going up against larger competitors – smaller budgets, less name recognition, smaller customer base, fewer resources – and that is just the start. But enter in the great equalizer – the ability to deliver a better customer experience.
Maybe your bigger competitor has 5,000 support people in their contact center and you have 12. Any given customer, at any given time, is a one-to-one relationship. Your agent helping your customer. And as a smaller business, you actually have some advantages – less bureaucracy, increased flexibility, more personalized relationship with your customers, shorter paths to [...]
We are in the midst of a new wave of innovation as major disruptive forces – mobile, social, cloud and big data – charge down the road. I would argue that we’re not on a convergence course, but rather a collision course that, once all the pieces are put (back) together, will completely change the way we think about customer service. While it won’t happen overnight, there will likely be more innovation and disruptive change over the next few years than we’ve seen the past twenty. Every day good ideas are forming as hunches mature, collaboration increases and missing pieces are found. [...]
You’ve heard the phrase “the tail wagging the dog.” This usually means that something viewed as less significant is driving the behavior of something more significant. In this context, which should drive the purchase decision of a new communications system — the contact center technology or the business unified communications (UC) system?
A couple of clarifications…first, I say UC instead of IP PBX because nobody is still buying just an IP PBX any longer (at least nobody who would be reading this). Second, the question gains more relevance when the buyer is considering a single vendor -as prescribed by most [...]
The last time I blogged, I mentioned a dissatisfying personal experience with a major retailer, which will impact my choice in future purchases. (Read “How Can Broken Business Processes Damage Customer Retention?“) In this blog, I’ll discuss two major problem areas and how business process automation technology can address them to improve the customer experience and the firms’ bottom line.
Problem Area #1: Lead Management – Many firms leave follow-up to the discretion of salespeople, and have little insight into how a lead progresses through the sales cycle. If the firm cannot follow up in a timely and knowledgeable manner, [...]
I had a terrible web chat experience last week that set my thinking in motion (BTW I’m looking for a new home alarm system).
After getting a not-too-intrusive invitation to chat, I accepted and the conversation went like this:
Joe: Can you tell me if you carry 2GIG products?
Agent: In case we get disconnected, can you give me your name and email address?
Joe: Nope, just looking for the answer to my question.
Agent: Have you contacted us previously?
Joe: Seems like you don’t have an interest in answering my simple question. Thanks. Bye.
I guess I could have [...]
For some non-forward-thinking contact centers, the satisfaction of the associates, or agents, isn’t relative. For these centers it is all about efficiency, productivity, and customer satisfaction. What we’ve found is that the best producing contact centers also look at the satisfaction level of the associates or agents. This metric is based on the premise that more satisfied agents will offer a better service experience to the customer, and that more satisfied agents will lead to reduced turnover and in turn create a more experienced workforce delivering a higher level of service. WAIT, before you stop reading with a thought of, [...]