Brad's Blog

The Edge of Service™ Newsletter, Issue 10: Beware Others’ Benchmarks

The Edge of Service™ Newsletter, Issue 10: Beware Others’ Benchmarks

Let me begin with a quick preface. The title is “beware others’ benchmarks,” not ignore them, or be uniformed of them. Benchmarks are necessary. But to the definition of beware… be on guard, be wary.

chess boardRemember in school when you got back graded tests? If the teacher caught you peeking at your neighbor’s score or heard you whisper, “Hey, what did you get?” you were likely advised to focus on your performance and disregard others’.

It’s a principle worth reemphasizing today. As leaders, we desperately want good information. We want to know where we stand, what customers expect, what we must do to deliver great service…read more.

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

Posted in Call Center, Contact Center, Customer Service, Leadership, The Edge of Service | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Rules of the Road for Recruiting and Hiring

Posted in Call Center, Contact Center, Customer Service, Leadership, Organization and Culture, Quality Management, Videos | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

When to Begin Forecasting and Planning Chat

Posted in Call Center, Contact Center, Customer Service, Videos, Workforce Management | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

Social Media Presence vs. Social Media Customer Care

According to ICMI’s recent research report The Normalization of Social Customer Care, 73% of organizations report having a social media presence, but only 39% formally support it as a customer care channel. That leaves 34% of organizations with a presence, but without customer care for social media.

Is your organization part of the 34%? If so, check out this video. It might just spark a healthy discussion in your organization.

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

The Demand for Our Time Leads to Disengagement

A widely-circulated article with the provocative title, “Why You Hate Work,” summarized the results of a recent study from The Energy Project. In it, authors Tony Schwartz and Christine Porath provide this snapshot:

“Just 30 percent of employees in America feel engaged at work, according to a 2013 report by Gallup. Around the world, across 142 countries, the proportion of shutterstock_160949579employees who feel engaged at work is just 13 percent… Demand for our time is increasingly exceeding our capacity—draining us of the energy we need to bring our skill and talent fully to life. Increased competitiveness and a leaner, post-recession work force add to the pressures. The rise of digital technology is perhaps the biggest influence, exposing us to an unprecedented flood of information and requests that we feel compelled to read and respond to at all hours of the day and night.”

This article, dire as it may be, touches on why easy access to service is becoming increasingly important to customers! Read the full article here.

 

Posted in Call Center, Contact Center, Leadership, Organization and Culture, Research, Statistics | Tagged , , | Comments Off

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.

Posted in Call Center, Contact Center, Customer Service, Customer Surveys, Customer Surveys, Statistics | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

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.

Posted in Call Center, Contact Center, Customer Service, Workforce Management | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

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

Posted in Customer Service, Leadership, Organization and Culture, Research | Tagged , | Comments Off

Retaining the ‘Right’ Customers

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

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