Brad's Blog

Recent WebTV Interview on Customer Service Trends

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 3.05.20 PMEarlier this week, I joined Laura Sikorski on the WebTV show, Sikorski’s Think Abouts. In this 12-minute interview, we discuss the trends shaping service and how to meet today’s fast-evolving customer expectations.

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How Many Concurrent Chat Sessions Should Agents Handle

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How Many Customer Service Interactions Go Wrong?

shutterstock_228604357 copyAccording to a Nuance commissioned survey of 1,000 American consumers, a quarter (26 percent) of customer service interactions are a negative experience. Among Generation X consumers—those born between 1965 to 1980—this number rises to more than one-third (36 percent). And over half of those polled have cancelled a service because of a bad customer experience. The top complaints are the usual suspects: being put on hold, having to repeat themselves, getting transferred, not getting the issue resolved, and others. (See paper, Top Customer Service Frustrations, Nuance Communications, 2014.)

All of this strikes me as good news for organizations that want to stand out. There are still so many misses across the service landscape. Getting the essentials down—good mix of channels, consistent quality, accessibility, et al.—goes such a long way.

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Developing a Mobile Customer Access Strategy

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FinancesOnline’s List of “Top Countries with the Best Customer Service”

shutterstock_232155817 copyFinancesOnline recently released an infographic that provides a list of “top countries with the best customer satisfaction.” Top of the list: New Zealand, Canada, and Norway. The U.S. came in 15th, behind countries that include Mexico, Brazil and Russia—a ranking that may kick up some interesting discussion among service execs.

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7 Suggestions for Improving Schedule Adherence

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How Contact Centers Strengthen Ties Across the Organization

shutterstock_153244895 copyEffective communication across an organization is essential to sharing and using voice of the customer. And there are plenty of additional reasons to strengthen ties. Opportunities for ongoing product and service improvements and innovations almost always involve other areas. Root-causes must often be addressed elsewhere; an issue that deteriorates high levels of customer satisfaction may involve processes far beyond the point of service delivery.

Here are some trends I’m seeing among service leaders getting the best results:

  • They develop strong working relationships with the people running other areas. (You can’t develop ties with “departments.”)
  • They do their homework on the needs and objectives in those areas.
  • They ensure that projects and initiatives support the organization’s overall objectives (e.g., for revenue, market share, efficiency, customer loyalty, etc.).
  • They are tenacious in developing people, processes, reports, and policies that enable robust and ongoing communication.

There’s an added benefit to these efforts: Better internal communication invariably improves the perception of the contact center’s role and value—that leads to higher levels of support, responsiveness and collaboration from others. It’s a virtuous cycle.

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Improving ROI on Quality Monitoring

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Emotion as a Key Driver in Customer Loyalty

Earlier this year, Forrester released its “2014 Customer Experience Index,” which ranked 150-or-so brands across 14 industries. Here’s a sampling of top brands by sector:

  • Airline:shutterstock_225470602 copy Southwest
  • Bank: USAA
  • Consumer Electronics: Amazon
  • Credit Card: USAA
  • Health Insurance: Kaiser Permanente
  • Hotel: Marriott
  • Insurance: USAA
  • Retailer: Old Navy
  • Package Delivery: UPS
  • Wireless: Verizon

An interesting takeaway: the study identifies emotion as a key driver in customer loyalty, along with ease and effectiveness. Here’s a link that takes you to results, with rankings by sector. The research firm is expected to publish new results in early 2015.

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Skills-Based Routing: Effective Resource Planning Is Vital

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