Are you a cool contact center manager?

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Where is your cape? All of the cool contact center managers wear superman and superwoman capes. Why? Because they do it all for their company, for their customers, and for their agents.

The everyday hero

Sure it’s exhausting sometimes, but most of the time it’s just amazing what is accomplished every day by these Super Heroes.

Doing it all and getting fantastic results – all in a day’s work, right? Actually, it’s expected.  But does your contact center get fantastic results? Is it effective for your company?

Certainly one of the main reasons for your contact center’s existence is to support customers, enhance the relationship, and increase the value of the brand. So how is all of that accomplished within the budget? Is it very carefully or heroic?

Leverage your strength

All companies have a limited pool of resources to operate and greatness is expected in return. While the input is numeric ($), the output from the Customer Service department is largely an intangible (to most mere mortals).

Adding further challenge for the superman manager is scrutiny on the contact center’s goodwill money. Goodwill funds allow agents to be flexible when a caller has a bona fide reason to be reimbursed for shipping, be allowed to return a product that technically shouldn’t be returned or for a warranty claim outside the allowed period.

Extraordinary customer service requires an investment and returns dividends to the company through increased customer life cycles and values.

customers-grade-the-callsBut it’s said that you are spending too much, giving away too much, and it needs to be reigned in. Sure that can be done, but at what cost to the customer relationship? Look CFO, argue all you want, the impact of this directive will be truly answered by your customers. Managers, prove how more strict goodwill rules impact key metrics and then let the executives decide if that change is worth what was saved.

This study can be easy with a customer experience measurement program where the customer actually evaluates the call. Surveying and feedback are not your salvation. You need to change your mindset and process to External (the customer) Quality Monitoring.

What’s the impact?

The impact of the proposed new policy can be quantitatively analyzed when the evaluations of the test group (using new policy) are compared to the evaluations of the control group (using current policy).

It’s so much safer to try new policies in a live situation, but with a small group. Let’s not roll out the changes to all of your customers and hope for the best.

Fully understand the impact within the test group, including the customer evaluation and subsequent impact on the brand and the agent. Quantify the savings (or loss). If there is a drop in any of your key metrics, is it significant and is it worth the saving? Analyze what is affecting the key metrics and build predictive models to fully understand.

Weak is bad

It is a natural intention to want surveys to be extremely short (weak) but you can’t be a hero when there’s not enough information to understand the impact to key metrics.

Even a superwoman cannot leverage a too short survey with no customer comments to define customer experience and certainly cannot prove the impact of a policy change.

While I am not advocating a survey that takes so long that customers drop out, do not let unskilled minds dictate what is long. Your customer should answer this question. Test it.

The super cool contact center managers

When it’s too short you miss opportunity to study the impact of policy and procedure on your customer relationships. And do not assume that you are receiving a benefit by just turning on an embedded survey in some software. Collecting data can be super easy. Knowing what and how to collect data and how to interpret the results are what the super cool managers do.

Beware the unskilled mind is kryptonite.

About Dr. Jodie Monger

Jodie Monger, Ph.D. is the president of Customer Relationship Metrics and a pioneer in voice of the customer research for the contact center industry. Before creating CRMetrics, she was the founding associate director of Purdue University's Center for Customer-Driven Quality.

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