Customer Access Strategy as Playbook

Does a customer access strategy sound like something that would be nice to have? Actually, it’s vital. Just ask anyone who’s part of the University of California’s Retirement Administration Service Center (UC RASC). The University of California is the world’s leading public research university system, with ten campuses, five medical centers, three national labs and a network of researchers and …

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Customer Service Strategy: Avoid Common Pitfalls

Herb Kelleher, co-founder and former CEO of Southwest Airlines, once said, “We have a strategic plan. It’s called doing things.” He makes a great point. Developing strategies shouldn’t be an overly academic or formal exercise, with the result being a plan that’s really not put to use. Avoid these five common pitfalls, discussed in my LinkedIn Learning Course “Customer Service …

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The Contact Center’s Role in Building Self-Service

Many organizations are learning firsthand that contact centers play a central role in encouraging and supporting low-cost access channels. For example, the contact center can provide a wealth of information about which contacts can be automated or handled in customer communities, and what can be done to improve customer acceptance of this type of handling. While it may seem paradoxical, …

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Quality Standards: As many as you need, but as few as possible

Can you have too much of a good thing? Well that can certainly be true with quality standards. If you have way too many, your team will become numb to them. My recommendation is to establish as many quality standards as you need, but as few as possible. In one of my recent LinkedIn Learning Courses, “Quality Standards in Customer …

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Time-Tested Tips for Handling Tough Contacts

How equipped are your agents for those situations when something is going wrong? When customers are clearly upset? Here are some time-tested tips: If your organization messed up, acknowledge it in a sincere way—and in plain language. (How often as a customer do you see or hear the scripted words, “We regret any inconvenience this may have caused”?) As writing …

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Employee Engagement: A Key Metric in All Service Environments

Employee engagement should be a key metric in all service environments. Research shows that employee engagement influences – even drives – customer satisfaction and loyalty. Retention, productivity, and quality are all strongly and positively correlated with employee engagement. There is a powerful connection between employee engagement and business results. In a recent LinkedIn Learning course “Service Metrics for Customer Service,” …

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GM Leverages AI in Social Customer Care

GM, America’s largest automobile manufacturer, has more than 17 million social brand mentions and engages in more than 400,000 customer care conversations each year. GM set (and met) two aggressive goals to support their customer-centric vision. Goal 1: Deliver on today’s customer expectations. GM recognized that customers are increasingly turning to social channels for customer service, and established a response …

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Contact Center Scheduling Can Be Creative and Collaborative

It’s a new year and a great time to reflect on challenges in your contact center. Chances are that if you’ve managed a contact center for any length of time, organizing schedules has been one of them. But there is good news. Scheduling is creative. It’s collaborative. And this part of planning can be a great opportunity for highlighting the …

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Hands-on Leadership

One of the keys to high levels of employee engagement in contact centers – and the strong performance that follows – is hands-on involvement from the top. For example: Among other endeavors, Dan Gilbert is the founder and chairman of Quicken Loans, the giant Detroit-based mortgage lender. Gilbert speaks often of Quicken’s core values, saying that they “drive every decision, …

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Quality and First-Contact Resolution: From the Agent’s Perspective

Quality and first contact resolution are essential aspects of effective service. Handling contacts with quality is at the heart of a customer service agent’s role in the organization. First contact resolution is an outcome of quality, really an extension. Better quality minimizes repeat calls and rework, and customers double-checking because they lack confidence. The time the customer spends with you …

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