Knuggets and Knuckleheads
Our “lighter side” posts, highlighting real comments from real customers captured during experience measurements that aim to give you a good laugh at the start of the work week.
You probably made your customer experience program a top priority five short months ago when you sat down to make your New Year’s resolutions for your contact centers. Let’s do a gut check…did the priority to better your customer experience program fall by the way side just like your resolution of a smaller waistline? I’m sure that your intentions were noble but the hectic day-to-day of running your contact centers can easily get in the way of your long-range goals. There’s still time to redirect your focus back to your goals.
According to a recent CustomerManagementIQ survey, nearly 76% of the customer management executives and leaders rated customer experience a ‘5’ on a scale of 1-5 (with 5 being of the highest importance). Could those executives and leaders be your competitors? It’s very likely. All the more reason customer experience and a revision of your Voice of the Customer (VoC) program should be a ‘5’ on your list too. Once customer experience is your highest priority and you are ready to get to work, where should you start? Who owns the customer experience?
While in my opinion everyone should own the customer experience in some way, for the purpose of this piece let’s focus on how the contact center contributes to the customer experience. Think about how the contact center is responsible for many of the touch points and has influence over many other touch points. So the contact center can own the voice of the customer. The easiest place to start in building a customer experience program from the ground up, or revamping your current one is with post-call IVR surveys. Continue reading “Why isn’t your customer experience program a top priority?” »
The reasons why you can’t afford the contact center of tomorrow may not be for the reasons you think. It used to be that anyone who could type and was nice, was perfect to sit in a call center seat. Well, it’s not 1980 anymore and we have contact centers now. The archaic mindset of thinking that these are very simple jobs and therefore do not warrant higher education or provide a greater wage than the minimum is just not the case anymore. If you say it aloud it doesn’t even make sense, “I want to hire a multi-tasking problem solver, who is also empathetic, talented, and committed but I only want to pay them $10/hour.” See? Crazy. The contact centers jobs have become more and more complex with each passing year but the mindset hasn’t changed. Continue reading “Why you can’t afford the contact center of tomorrow.” »
A 15-person conference call to discuss your Voice of the Customer (VoC) program is a great example of a cluster you-know-what. Have you been on a conference call that is supposed to let all the departments weigh in on collective issues about the VoC customer program that turns into 90 minutes of your life you’ll never get back? Do you ever get anything accomplished with the management by consensus plan? When did our professional lives change from an army of forward-thinking leaders into a stagnant committee of followers? Are people getting too politically correct? Is there even such a thing? Continue reading “This is a Voice of the Customer Cluster You-Know-What” »
Contact centers are staffed with nice people who easily become punching bags. These people are ready and willing to answer questions and serve internal (in addition to external) customer needs. If you say jump, these kind contact center agents simply ask, how high? It is becoming more widely accepted that the contact center is the customer hub of any business. The people in contact centers selflessly serve the needs of the customer and report the customer experience data across all business units. But we know that the contact center does not always get the respect it so rightly deserves. Far too often the benefits the contact center delivers to the business as a whole is overlooked. But contact center professionals do not have to take punches. You can hold our heads up high and (in a nice way) battle back. Here is your chance to “get off the ropes”!
If you need to get off the ropes, here is a great opportunity for you to leverage your trusty post-call IVR survey. By collecting a statistically representative sample of customer interactions you have a stronger backbone because of customer experience data. And the more data you have (good, clean data that is), and the more you mine that data for customer insights, the stronger your backbone becomes. In the contact center you have powerful information and the rest of the company’s success relies on the collecting, mining and the distributing of this customer data. You don’t have to actually punch your way out, let the data do it for you. Ding! Round one of this boxing match just went to you in the contact center. Continue reading “Why contact center leaders feel like punching bags and how to fight back” »
When you think of a typical salesperson what comes to mind? Do you immediately conjure up visions of multi-colored flags, ‘zero-money down’ signs, and some sleaze-bag car salesman telling you to buy the over-priced lemon of your dreams? The term, salesperson, quickly makes us imagine this derogatory image, something that we do not want to be associated with as our career label.
Let me challenge your normal reaction to the word ‘salesperson’ with one of my favorite quotes from Robert Louis Stevenson, “Everyone lives by selling something.” Think about that for a moment. When you’re at the hair salon and he or she is discussing the option for highlights or the hair care products, this hairdresser is selling, right? If you are a marketer you’re hoping to ‘sell’ your audience with your subject line and convince them to open your email and look at your message. And even as a parent, you are ‘selling’ your six-year old on those healthy green beans (or at least trying to). But I bet if you asked that hairdresser, marketer or parent if they worked in sales their answers would be a resounding “No”. In fact, only one in nine people in the US are designated as being in sales, but most everyone is. Continue reading “Why selling in service contact centers fails and how to fix it.” »
How many of you are using post-call IVR surveys in your Voice of the Customer (VoC) customer experience programs? Good. Even if you are not, this will be of interest to you because they are in your future. In the contact center industry, you never want to say “never”. Now, how many of you believe that your surveys are well-executed customer satisfaction measurement tools that deliver more answers than questions? Ok, still a few of you left. Finally, are you using your post-call IVR surveys to be an internal auditor that helps you to identify policy and process problems that negatively impact the customer experience and the employee experience? Hmm…anyone left?
Contrary to popular belief, it’s hard to create that perfect post-call IVR survey program. Only the most skilled craftsmen know how to write questions from a customer experience perspective so they garner actionable insights. Then you must test to find the proper length so you know how many survey questions your customers are willing to answer. Then you have to work hard to get buy-in at all levels so that they develop an ownership to make the organization more customer-centric. Do you think this is enough? Continue reading “Is your post-call IVR survey program an internal auditor?” »
Have you ever been disappointed going to a restaurant based on a friend’s recommendation but the great food and service they raved about, and you expected, was just the opposite? I don’t know what’s worse, having the bad experience or lying to your friend so their feelings are not hurt.
Unfortunately, the same disappointment happens in contact centers too – customer experience inconsistency is the bane of our existence! In a perfect world the customers call in, reach a knowledgeable agent, and have their issue resolved promptly and professionally. Done. But, there is no worry in that. It’s the not-so-perfect world that we fear – the customers who have the opposite, disappointing and unexpected experience. Continue reading “How to safeguard against customer experience inconsistencies in your call center” »
If your data goes directly to the reporting platform from collection without survey calibration then expect your final Voice of the Customer (VoC) program to be riddled with erroneous information. Every post-call IVR survey needs to be evaluated in a survey calibration process because there are always occurrences of the customer not answering the questions correctly or a different agent being evaluated than the one to which the survey is attached. Across the programs we administer, there are hundreds of surveys each month that need to be adjusted to ensure the results are accurate. “I know you want me to review agent A, but I’m actually upset with agent B so I want to tell you about what he said to me when I called last week.” If one inaccurate survey makes it onto an agent’s report card, it’s easy to see how the trust in the feedback program will be undermined. Continue reading “Does your VoC program take a shortcut and skip Survey Calibration?” »
Recently two highly-publicized customer expectations lawsuits have been in the news; one for Anheuser-Busch misrepresenting the alcohol content in a variety of its beers and the other with Subway’s foot-long sandwiches for coming up short. In both cases the customer expectations were clearly set and advertised (Subway’s $5 foot-long sandwich deal and Anheuser-Busch light beers with the alcohol content of higher calorie brands). In both cases, expectations were so blatantly under-served that customer dissatisfaction went through the roof, the customer experience went in the toilet, and now both brands are dealing with multimillion dollar lawsuits and a serious image problem.
Join the club if you thought your company executed a world-class customer experience Voice of the Customer (VoC) program but now are struggling to identify actionable insights from the customer feedback. The primary goal is to succeed at the necessary process changes and customer initiatives to improve customer experience, so you must dig deep and ask customer experience focused-questions during your post-call IVR surveys. You get into the club by ending up with data that yields useless results. I wish there were no membership dues for this club but the cost is actually quite high. Continue reading “You aren’t alone with the struggle to extract actionable insights from your CX VoC program.” »
I bet your parents are like mine and love to share their call center experiences because they feel close to you when they deal in your world. It turns out that my mother has been dealing with a banking issue for some time now and has been assigned an agent to call directly. At first she thought she was fortunate to have a direct contact in a sea of 1-800 numbers and endless mazes of automated services but as she’s telling me about this, it’s clear that it’s anything but great.
We all can see that the bank is trying to provide a better customer experience by building a one-on-one relationship but my mother cannot understand why she’s in a silo where no one else in the bank can offer much assistance. Her agent is currently on vacation and no one else in the bank can help because her customer record hasn’t been updated with progress notes. She is unable to resolve the banking issue with another agent and is not happy with the idea of waiting until her agent returns. We can see how the bank is in desperate need of several process improvements but we are not “normal” customers. In their effort to satisfy, they have actually caused much dissatisfaction for everyone who falls into this coverage gap. Continue reading “Are your customer processes built on good intentions but fail operationally?” »
We live in a fickle and demanding world where customers have little loyalty to us but they expect a lifetime of guarantee on the item they purchased, no matter how small. If customers don’t get an immediate response or don’t get what they feel is due to them they can tweet about it, Facebook it, share it with their Google+ circles and about 900 other different ways. It’s kind of scary when you think about it, isn’t it? It’s downright terrifying for call center agents just trying to do their jobs.
We’ve written extensively about the pros and cons of social media customer service. On one hand it can augment the customer experience, offloading some of the common service/support questions that clog your call center by having those questions answered online. Conversely, many ‘terrorist-like’ customers gain quick fame using social media to get attention when their unrealistic customer experience expectations were not met.
Regardless of what side of the fence you’re on, time is wasted when you “chase the smoke” on social media and get caught up responding to the individual catty comments instead of focusing on the larger conversation. We’ve gathered some of our top stories discussing the pros and cons of social media customer service for you to decide for yourself. Do you have an interesting social customer experience story to share with me? Tweet me @jodiemonger! Continue reading “Social customer service; a place for brand terrorists or an agent’s best friend?” »
We all strive to improve customer experience in our organizations but one thing is for certain, change is hard. Positive customer experience process improvement is achieved through a variety of ways: external quality monitoring programs that uncover hidden issues, working through high customer experience dysfunction issues to streamline internal processes, and organizing mounds of customer experience Big Data to better service your customers’ needs are just a few. We selected some of our favorite stories below to show you some of the ways you can improve customer experience processes in your business. Do you find these stories helpful? We’d love to hear your feedback directly. Please tweet me at @jodiemonger. Enjoy!
Services for homeowners are intertwined. What part of each dollar for your product or service is needed to fund a company’s dysfunction? This is a very serious question! Continue reading “Profiting from Customer Experience Process Improvements.” »
My bank sent me a survey invitation after I logged into my account to review my mortgage. I was happy to click on the survey link to discuss my satisfaction with the online experience. After about 6 minutes of clicking through the pages of questions, I had to give up. Time to respond to the survey would take longer than the time I spent on the website.
Given my occupation and obsessive desire to measure customer experiences, I probably stuck with this survey longer than many other customers. Do not try to get all of your customer experience intelligence all at once from one customer experience survey. This is difficult to remember when everyone in the organization has a need for customer intelligence. Continue reading “Web Experience Survey Mistake #1 – Trying to Measure WAY too much!” »
Sometimes it’s good to take a break from the serious, so let’s look back at some of our funniest stories. Wild, 10+ hour customer experience calls, dissatisfied customers completely destroying brick-and-mortar stores, customer service terrorists going on multi-social channel rants — these are just some of our most shockingly true and amusing stories, and we hope you agree. They just have to make you laugh (what else can you do). Do you have a customer experience story or an outlandish customer comment that is laugh-out-loud ridiculous like those below? Tweet us @crmetrics and tell us all about it!
- Man destroys T-Mobile store with fire extinguisher - In Manchester, England a T-Mobile customer learned he would not get a refund. He chose not to take his case to social media, instead he destroyed the store and used a fire extinguisher to spray the place. Continue reading “Customer Relationship Metrics’ Most Comical Contact Center Stories” »