Brad's Blog

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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KLM Provides Wait Time Estimates on Twitter Page

KLM harnesses Twitter for customer service, handling a diverse range of issues and steering customers to other channels when that makes seKLM4 copynse. They even provide wait time estimates, updated every five minutes. This is a good example of an organization that meets customers where they are.

Quick recap of a principle I’ve covered in other postings: as channels proliferate, it’s important to have a presence in four main categories of channels.

  1. Traditional channels (phone, email, walk-in (when that makes sense), et al.)
  2. Self-service (Web, IVR, et al.)
  3. Social (e.g., KLM’s example)
  4. Mobile (providing and supporting mobile-based access)
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Don’t Leave Culture to Chance

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Great Service Makes Us Feel Better

Trendwatching.com just released the report, The Future of Customer Service, which begins with the following excerpt from an American Express 2013 study:

shutterstock_153792308 copy“When 1,620 consumers were tested under laboratory conditions, 63% said they felt their heart rate increase when they thought about receiving great customer service. For 53% of those tested, receiving great service triggered the same cerebral reactions as feeling loved.” (American Express Service Study, 2013)

Trendwatching.com’s point: “When it comes to customer service, it’s not about what consumers think. Great service is about feelings.” I certainly agree. And that’s one of the underlying reasons great service is such a differentiator—doing business with some organizations just makes us feel better.

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Encouraging Customers to Use Self-Service Channels

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Know What’s Important to Customers

A Customer feedbackrecent study by Execs in the Know and Digital Roots asked customers, Which characteristic of an interaction with a brand’s customer service department is most important to you? The answers:

  • Effective Issue Resolution–40.3%
  • Immediacy/Fast Response–20.9%
  • Ease and Convenience–20.4%
  • Friendly/Personalized Approach–18.4%

My take? Common sense suggests that none of the other things matter if the issue isn’t resolved. Beyond that, I’ll take convenience and a fast response, with personalized approach a distant third.

Source: The Consumer Edition of the Customer Experience Benchmark Series, 2014 (joint project between Execs in the Know and Digital Roots).

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