For External Relationships

/For External Relationships

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

Lost Art of Asking Questions is Priceless

Proper questioning and inquisition has become a lost art in modern society. For many, it has gone beyond being a lost art in society to becoming financial ruin in the marketplace. Asking the right questions is, in many ways, priceless. My overly curious eleven-year old asks a lot of questions. Her never unending barrage of [...]

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 to the [...]

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,… [...]

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 value of a dining experience and, by proxy, that they value my [...]

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 insurance bill and was surprised to find it had nearly doubled.   [...]

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. There are white papers and articles galore on the topic, and entire conferences and online forums dedicated to it. [...]

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

Yesterday, 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 customers’, such as 40% off certain items and free $25 gift certificates [...]

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 [...]

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) call center to your customers.  It begins with four vital questions… Step 1:  Answer some questions. According to W. Edwards [...]

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 sake of surveying customers.  Note that customer feedback results will [...]

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.