For External Relationships

Concerning relationships with those outside the four walls of your organization, namely your customers.

Propel contact center potential with positioning

Many businesses rely on a contact center for the majority of the interactions with their customers but when it’s an after-thought in the company it crushes contact center potential. How do you improve the position of importance of the contact center to the company in general? It is common for contact center management to be […]

5 Ways to Show Customers Love and Get it in Return

One of the most important things that a business can focus on is showing customers love. Doing so enables lasting relationships with the customers. While connecting with customers through a contact center can be difficult to show customer love, it has become a very effective path used by leading companies. Through their devotion […]

3 Quality Benchmarking Lessons from Facebook

Social media outlets like Facebook provide a continuous update on how fabulous everyone’s life is. At any moment of the day there’s a new post about something fabulous. But beware of trying to compare the happy summaries you see to your own life. It’s crazy to get sucked into that comparison game and it can […]

Mind-blowing reality contact center agents share with doctors

In this video learn about Doctor Ava Knight and her plight with delivering the best patient (customer) experience. Ava became a doctor because she loves to help people, she loves to connect with people, she likes to build relationships, she likes to know she has made a difference in the lives of people. Ava shares […]

Do you need Steve Jobs to do your Call Center Analytics?

The success of any Business Intelligence project is contingent upon people, not technology. Analysts and end users must work in concert to ask a concise question, identify the data available to answer that question and, validate interpretation of analytic outputs in context of the business environment.   From there, the subject-matter experts (statisticians, data analysts, data miners, etc.) must be allowed the freedom to draw upon their breadth of knowledge and experience to select the best methodology for the job.

I cannot tell you how many times a business unit manager has come up to me and with all of the confidence of a just-learned-to-stand toddler and declared “I need a model!”  “Really?” I respond.  What type of model?  Logistic?  Linear?  What kind of data do you have for me to work with?, and a plethora of other rather technical questions.  My point is that predictive models have been used quite successfully in marketing for many years.  In a business environment where “half of the organizations surveyed do not take advantage of analytics to help them target, service, or interact with customers” according to Accenture’s Customer Analytics survey, predictive models have gained the esteem and notoriety akin to Steve Jobs.

[…]

Can I trust that you’ll callback? Your integrity is on the line

Who doesn’t love call-ahead seating at restaurants to guarantee immediate seating upon arrival?  The concept that restaurants created a service allowing me to be expected at the hostess station and be quickly taken to a table tells me that the restaurant understands the […]

By |December 8th, 2010|For External Relationships|0 Comments

Listen to the voice of your customers when they say, “Get the Basics Right First”

Lately I have found that too many organizations are jumping on the social media bandwagon before ever mastering the basics of serving customers.  The result is an incompatible experience that leaves customers wondering about an organization’s priorities.

Earlier this week I was reviewing my […]

By |November 11th, 2010|For External Relationships, This Thursday's Tip|6 Comments

Rev Up Your FCR Rate

This guest blog post is written by Greg Levin, He has been researching, reporting on and satirizing contact centers and customer care since 1994.

First-contact resolution has been a hot call center metric for years now. […]

Don’t assume with FCR, ask

Customers need to be the ones determining First Call Resolution. It should not be left up the organization's perception of the call being resolved the first time.

By |September 30th, 2010|FCR, For External Relationships, IVR Post-call Surveys|0 Comments

You hate your spouse’s selective hearing so why do it to your customers?

Four Best Practices to make your Customer Experience evaluation a truly effective listening post for your organization, so that customers feel your organization values their input and plans to take their input into consideration at critical decision points.

By |September 30th, 2010|For External Relationships, IVR Post-call Surveys|0 Comments

Avoid Call Center Schizophrenia from Pay for Performance – Part 2 of a 2-Part Blog Series

Whenever I have an opportunity to visit a business partner’s call center, I take a few minutes to conduct a rather un-scientific test, call it morbid curiosity.  As I pass by cubicles and am introduced to call center staff, I always ask how agent performance is assessed.  To me, the variety of responses I hear […]

The road to customer acquisition: paved with good intentions but undermines retention

road arrowsYesterday, I received an email offer from a company I have been a customer with for over 5 years.  “Sign up today!  All new customers receive free shipping on any purchase.”  I opened the email and it contained additional savings for their ‘new […]

By |July 22nd, 2010|For External Relationships|3 Comments

Hey CFO, where will you outsource to now?

One of my most-memorable offshore customer-service experiences involves a Fortune 100 direct-to-consumer computer company.  My power cord had stopped delivering power to my laptop, making it a fairly large (and expensive) paperweight.  I called the toll free number, ordered a new power cord, validated my shipping address and willingly paid for express delivery.

A few days […]

4 Steps to Overcome Being a Pain in the Ass Call Center

Through real world best practices, part 3 – the final chapter in this three-part series – highlights a few “how to” steps on overcoming barriers and become less of a Pain In The Ass (PITA) to your customers.  It begins with four vital questions…

 Step 1:  Answer some questions.

According to W. Edwards Deming, the father of the quality evolution, “workforces are only responsible for 15% of […]

How do you know you are a Pain in the Ass to Customers?

Yesterday, I put it out there regarding a PITA and the barriers in doing business with organizations.  In Part 2 of our 3-part series, it’s time to find out how you uncover that you are a PITA complete with customer barriers.  I’ll share the high level details of a case study where we uncovered a major barrier with a business partner.  This barrier was such a large pain in the ass (PITA) that it was significantly affecting the brand. […]

By |July 14th, 2010|For External Relationships, Pain in the Ass|1 Comment

Are you a Pain in the Ass Call Center?

We all have someone in our life that is difficult to deal with or just plain obnoxious.  Maybe it’s a neighbor or a sister in-law or even an employee.  Whoever it is, we often leave a conversation with them thinking, “wow, he is a real pain in the you-know-what!”  He’s a P.I.T.A. or otherwise known as a Pain In The Ass.  For me, it’s my cousin Debbie.  Don’t get me wrong; she’s my family and I love her, but she’s one of those people who is never happy, complains about everything and loves to make things difficult for others…a real P.I.T.A.  […]

By |July 13th, 2010|For External Relationships, Pain in the Ass|5 Comments

7 Call Center Survey Rules to Live by

How do we ensure that customer experience results are a profitable business process in the call center and elsewhere in the organization? To increase the value of the initiative, be certain that the research is done the right way, and not only done for the […]

Avoid Call Center Schizophrenia from Pay for Performance – Part 1 of a 2-Part Blog Series

When reflecting on the life inside a call center, it’s easy to believe that we are patients that are often not medicated to control our delusions. Not only is it insanely intense, it is also a place of constant contradiction. We often have expectations of our employees and our call center agents to adhere to a specific model intended to produce a controlled response (a great service experience). In the same breath, we also expect that model to produce the opposite results (do it fast, right and cheap). Isn’t this setting your team up to feel schizophrenic? In the Pay for Performance model, call center agents are being paid based on metrics such as number of calls handled and number of minutes spent on those calls. This is the expectation set forth. At the end of the month, organizations are left scratching their heads as to why customer satisfaction scores are so low. This 2-Part series will dive into the schizophrenic world of Pay for Performance and introduce a model that works much better in the call center world.

365 Days of Delivering Elite Customer Experiences in your Call Center: Customer-centric sweat and celebration

What does it take to be a customer service award winner? Does an award given from a small snapshot in time, when things are really good, even falsely engineered to be good, cause your customers to mistrust the award? Well, of course it does. So how do call centers overcome this risk? 365 days of effort.

Work-at-Home Agents Damage Net Promoter and Customer Satisfaction. Is this Preventable? A Call Center Case Study

Work-at-home call center agents perform worse at net promoter and customer satisfaction. What went wrong and how to prevent it. To take advantage of this growing trend requires a different way of thinking and relationship analytics to correct your course.