201012 Contact Center World - Customer Service

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Quick quotes on the importance of customer service in call centers

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201012 Contact Center World - Customer Service

  1. 1. Executive Interview : Customer Service - Interview With Steve Callahan Page 1 of 3EDITION: GLOBAL NORTH AMERICA CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICA UK & IRELAND EUROPE MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND ASIA Sunday, February 13, 2011 Learn the best practices in the industry from those who do the j OVER 124,000 MEMBERSThe Global Association for Contact Center Best Practices & Networking Search Phrase GROUPS: Agent Zone Benchmarking CRM HR Outsourcing Performance Quality Technology Telecom Training Workforce Management Industry Awards Customer Service - Interview With Steve Callahan Login Email: Industry Certification Interview With Steve Callahan, Practice Development Director at R E Nolan Company Password: For Your Center In your opinion, do you believe the customer service you get today from other companies is better Remember Password Conferences & Events or worse than it was say 5 years ago? Articles, News, Research Worse due to the either overworking of existing employees, overutilization of call routing, or Forgot Password?Articles & Papers overdependence upon offshore - and less aware - resources. Become a MemberCase StudiesContact Center/CRM News Newsletter RegistrationCustomer Service Stories Do you believe there is a correlation between the service you receive as a consumer and yourContact Center Research Your Email Address Executive Interviews loyalty to the supplier?Todays Contact Center TipVideo Interviews Only with a few companies. Delta has it right for their top tier employees, so does American Express, and so does Hilton and Marriott. I dont think most financial service companies (insurance, banks, credit cards) Forums get it. Retailers try, but there are only a few decent "frequent buyer" programs (Best Buy is a poor Tools & Utilities example).Site Map In your opinion, which industry sectors provide great service and which ones are poor?About this SiteContact Us Great service? Not industry specific really. In the end, "great" service depends on the person talking to your in person or on the phone. That means that the same place can give great service on second, and truly lousy the next, unless they have an exceptional talent management system. Not too many do.FEATURED SUPPLIERS Can you recall a really good experience recently - where you were WOWd by the service you on ContactCenterWorld.com this week: received? Unfortunately, with the economy the way it is, the job market putting people in "underemployed" roles, Avaya and the general negative feelings about politics, housing, crime, education, et al., I havent been WOWd a lot. I suspect there are companies that are thinking their tokenism is "WOW" service. They are wrong. TopPlace2Work Talking about bad experiences, where do companies go wrong with the service they provide? Airline mistakes - how easy to give every a free $3 snack if they had to sit on the runway for an hour. But the dont. Restaurants having the manager come to the table to apologize, personally, for a poorly done Blue Ocean Contact Centers meal or a long wait. Hotels doing an upgrade, or simply providing some extra service, if there are inconveniences. Every mistake still remains, even a decade later, an opportunity for an "heroic recovery". LATEST MEMBERS It is not so much the mistakes that happen, it is how the people (theres that talent management theme again) recover from them. Unfortunately, when the staff are as exhausted as the customers, it is so much harder for the heroics to occur. LEARNING Have you noticed any differences in service from people from different cultures? DESIGNER Global Benchmarking Study of This is an intriguing question and very context specific. Is another generation (say Gen-Y) a different MONERIS SOLUTIONS SENIRO DIRECTOR, Top Performers culture? In general, we appear to make culture synonymous with ethnic or national origin, yet I feel our GLOBAL CONTACT CENTERS, PROCESS, world is globalizing, virtualizing, and diversifying at such a rate that the "cultural" boundaries are starting AND TRAINING to blur. So to answer your question, there are perhaps nationalized differences in services provided Over 124,476 Members in the contact center, help desk, attributable to the social systems within which staff are trained; however, I would resist a categorical CRM industry View members directory approach to the question of service. It oversimplifies the issue and distracts from the focus on staff development within the context of the services being offered. If you had to give just 1 tip regarding the use of technology in relation to improving customerClick on the company name for more details! service, what would your tip be? Make technology as rich as possible in terms of functionality, access, and information at the point of service deliver - the customer service staffs desk. All of the focus on various and sundry bells and whistles costing millions of dollars are often more the result of the human equivalent of a raccoons attraction to shiny objects. IT needs a new toy, the maintenance staff dont want to write COBOL forever. Wake up - empower your front line with the tools they need to do the job, train them on what they need to do, give them the ability to make exceptions, and then schedule their time so that they arent burnt out. Then get out of their way and let them do their jobs. People in general, especially in service roles, want to do a good job - they want to "delight" the customer. They are usually just overburdened with to many uncontrollable constraints.http://www.contactcenterworld.com/view/contact-center-executive-interview/customer-ser... 2/13/2011
  2. 2. Executive Interview : Customer Service - Interview With Steve Callahan Page 2 of 3 If you had to give just 1 tip regarding staff in relation to improving customer service, what would your tip be? Take the initiative to be an advocate of your clients. Put the requirements for training, scheduling, documentation, procedures, and systems needs in the context of how it will enable superior service. Help management understand WHY things have to improve so that a clearly communicated ROI in terms of service improvement, customer retention, and over time market share, can be attributable to what may appear initially as trite requests. Have the courage and fortitude to persist - companies need more "heroes" at the front line, and to get them, it is going to mean taking the risks to get that point across. If you had to give just 1 tip regarding business processes in relation to improving customer service, what would your tip be? Simplify. Look at those forms, hard edits, procedural requirements, escalation for approval processes, handoffs for functionally specific steps in a process, et al. Make it easy for the person delivering the service to "WOW" your customer. Dehydrate for necessity, and then reconstruct for simplicity. In your opinion, how should contact centers measure the level of service they give? Please explain in detail. Two specific ways, one quantitative and one qualitative. First, for the quantitative measure, use first call resolution. What percent of the calls get answered by the recipient - not documented, escalated, routed for approval, sent to research, or transferred to another area / person. And by the way, the denominator includes hang ups and fast busies (adjusted for short duration disconnects - ie, wrong numbers). It isnt resolved if I didnt get to you. This last adjustment is how you automatically account for abandon rate and wait time - it impacts your denominator and doesnt have to be tracked separately. Second, for the qualitative measure, track caller satisfaction. To the extent possible, get those after call surveys, do scheduled sample outbounds by an objective external party to callers within a given month, send survey forms asking for feedback with refrigerator magnets or coupons for a coffee in appreciation of them taking the time to answer (yes, before they answer, its an investment). Contact centers need only measure did I address your need, and how did you feel about how I treated you in addressing your need. Lastly, can you share with us one of the worst customer service experiences you have experienced recently. No, I wont share a specific experience because that gives too much attention to irrelevant details. Everyone has their list of terrible experiences, from the fast food without the sauce, to the 3 hour hold time, to the commitment made but not met. Any research into customer service experiences should focus not so much on eliminating the negatives but on multiplying the positives. Find the people, however few, that were "WOWd" by their experience with your particular company, and then incent them (discounts, gift certificates, checks, whatever) to participate in focus groups to define what it was that really impressed them. Tape the sessions, share them with the staff, and then ask the staff - "how do we increase the % of contacts that end up with this result". They know what the barriers are, and they will tell you what you need to do to get more "WOWs". Just dont ask if youre not serious. They answer is out there, and it doesnt necessarily take $xx millions in investments. It starts with doing what you are asking your service reps to do - just listen. Related Executive Interviews • Customer Service • Craig Johnson from ACCENT Marketing services • With Award Winner Todd Baxter from Connextions • Customer Interaction Management is Driven From a Customer’s Perspective • Treat The Customer As A Human Being And Not A Transaction • Our Incentive Programs Are Based on Quotas More Editorial from R E Nolan Company • Service & Loyalty - Is there a connection? • Tips to Improve Customer Service • Top Tips For Using Technology To Improve Customer Satisfaction • Top Tips For Getting Your Staff To Improve Customer Service • Who Is the Best in Customer Service • Always Room For Improvement Date Published: Friday, December 17, 2010 Printer friendly version Recommend to a friend Bookmark & Share ContactCenterWorld.com Forumshttp://www.contactcenterworld.com/view/contact-center-executive-interview/customer-ser... 2/13/2011

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