Brad's Blog

What Are Your Customers’ Priorities?

shutterstock_205377793In a recent survey conducted by IntelliResponse, customers chose efficiency over personalization. Of the 1,000 US online consumers who were surveyed, 59% said they want a transactional relationship in which they receive efficient service (versus 24% who want a friendship, in which they get personalized service).

As the customer service ecosystem continues to evolve, survey results such as these cause us to pause and consider if our priorities match our customers’ priorities.

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Three Questions that Help Define Contact Center Workload

One of the tenants of running an effective contact center is that you forecast and manage the totality of the center’s workload. Even in organizations that do a good job of handling primary contact channels, we too often find subsets of work that are unexpected, ill-defined, or not reflected in plans and schedules.

Three questions can help you define and anticipate customer-facing work:

shutterstock_1090161381. Which customer interactions carry the expectation of an agent-assisted response? An inbound phone call obviously will. But what about tweets, posts to our Facebook page, comments in customer forums, and others? Some are intended to be between customers only, while others carry an implied expectation that we’ll respond.

2. Should they be handled as they occur or can they be deferred? Those handled as they occur are defined as “service level” interactions, while those that can be deferred are reflected in “response time” objectives. We’ll need to account for both types of work in forecasts and plans.

3. Which interactions require a single exchange, and which will require a series of exchanges? Many calls and emails require only a single exchange, while chat and some social interactions usually involve a series of back-and-forth messages. Again, you’ll want both types of work to be accurately reflected in staff plans.

These questions can help you anticipate customer-facing work—and ensure it’s crunchy enough that you can reflect it accurately in plans.

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Making Good Decisions

shutterstock_187735628One thing we all have in common as leaders and managers is the challenge of making good decisions. And (probably no surprise), there’s a strong correlation between decision effectiveness and business performance, as illustrated by research referenced in this interesting (and meaty) article. Authors Marcia Blenko, Michael Mankins and Paul Rogers recommend assessing the effectiveness of decisions through four major criteria: quality, speed, yield and effort. For more, see http://www.bain.com/publications/articles/the-five-steps-to-better-decisions.aspx

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Retaining the ‘Right’ Customers

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The Edge of Service™, Issue 9: How “Waiting in Line” Is Changing

The Edge of Service™ Newsletter, Issue 9: How “Waiting in Line” Is Changing

If you care about delivering effective service—whether you head a multinational, direct a june2014-image2division, or are simply intent on meeting commitments as an individual—there are three things to know about queues:

  1. They will always be with us. Anytime there is demand for limited resources, there is potential for a queue.
  2. There is more science to queues than many realize. With the help of some well-established tools, you can predict to a high level of accuracy wait times and/or resources required.… read more.

Receive The Edge of Service™ Newsletter in your inbox. Sign up today!

 

Posted in Call Center, Contact Center, Customer Service, The Edge of Service, Uncategorized, Workforce Management | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

Want to Deliver Consistent Service? Build a Customer Access Strategy

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For the First Time Ever, the Customer Is in Control

Posted in Call Center, Contact Center, Customer Experience, Customer Service, Leadership, Mobile Customer Service, Videos | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

Empowering Agents with the Right Information and Training

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Q&A on Social Media Customer Support

Is your organization waking up to the complexities of providing social media customer support? An interview that I did with Salesforce.com provides answers to many common questions about social media customer support. You can read the full interview here.

Posted in Call Center, Contact Center, Customer Access Strategy, Customer Service, Multi-channel Support, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

Anticipating Customer Needs

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