Customer Expectations of Service Delivery

Service quality is defined in terms of the customer’s perception of how well your services meet his or her expectations. Simple, right? But wait, aren’t expectations always changing? What do customers expect? This can seem like a daunting challenge for those of us designing and managing customer services. The good news is identifying customer expectations is not the hit-or-miss guesswork …

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The Seven Essential Metrics in Times of Crisis

In May, I wrote an article for Smart Customer Service. The article describes seven metrics that every contact center should have. It also provides suggestions on using an overall KPI. The article begins: The disruptions that the COVID-19 crisis is bringing to economies around the world is truly unprecedented. Many contact centers are grappling with both increased workloads and staffing …

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Identifying Root Causes

Have you ever heard or been part of this conversation: I thought we fixed that problem, why are we talking about it again? Chances are, a symptom was addressed, at least temporarily, but the root cause was not fully identified and resolved. Your proof that a problem has been fixed is that it doesn’t recur or its frequency is reduced …

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How to Balance Service and Cost in the Contact Center

Back in December, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Jeff Toister, a customer service consultant based in San Diego. The interview touched on a variety of topics, but was focused on issues around staffing and scheduling. We discussed how offering great service typically saves money, something that may be counterintuitive to many. You can access the interview here. …

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Enabling a Supporting Culture

Studies show a strong link between engaged employees and higher levels of productivity and profitability. In one example, Gallup found that companies ranked in the top quartile for employee engagement are 18% more productive and 12% more profitable than those in lower quartiles. What do successful contact centers, those with the most engaged employees, have in common? Watch the video …

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Empower Your Workforce to Fix Things for Customers

Real-time management is often viewed as a matter of responding to workload quantities. What’s often missed in these discussions is how to respond to the nature of the workload. If it’s heavy, there usually are underlying issues driving it. You can throw all the resources at it that you want, but if your organization isn’t prepared to handle the content …

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In Customer Service Timing Is Critical

The right place at the right time. It’s a common phrase, but in customer service, it matters more than ever. Timing is critical. In customer service, we’re like pilots or stage hands. Like them, we also work in a time-driven environment. It’s not just what we do, it’s when we do it that counts so much. Learn more about how …

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Does Your Executive Team Understand Staffing Tradeoffs?

Are you working through difficult discussions related to resources and budget? Just remember, contact centers must handle most customer-related work as it happens, so resource mismatches quickly result in big problems. It’s essential that those making decisions have a basic understanding of staff tradeoffs in a contact center (read: real time) environment. The following table is an example of how …

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Knowing Your Customers

How do you know what a customer needs? If you mention customer advocacy and pose that question many executives will say, “Well they tell us, right?” I think they picture a frustrated customer across the counter or perhaps calling or posting a message that describes a problem. But there’s so much more to it. The video below from the LinkedIn …

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