Emerging customer retention model: hide your contact center information

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Emerging customer retention model: hide your contact center information

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What’s the big secret?  You sold me.  Someone wanted to buy me, so there!  Now that you have me, why are you trying to hide from me?  Why would you put customer relationships at risk; not to mention the immense pressure on your call center agents to field the angry customer calls when we figure it out?

My home alarm company practices the avoidance principle as a customer service strategy by burying their customer service numbers so deep that no one can find them.  When I got around to updating my billing information with my home security system, I went to their web site to find the customer service number.  The home security section on the site had vanished without explanation.  My auto-payments are still being debited and my alarm system still appears to be monitored.  What gives?

After an hour of searching the internet, I discover that a competitor has taken over their home security division.  I finally found the customer service number on the competitor’s (er, my new service company) web site, and by the time I made it to a live customer service agent I was told they couldn’t find my information because the data merge had not been completed.  They did give me an alternate number to call, but it’s too little too late.  I was never told about the merge, never given a new service number to call, never told how the merge might affect my service or the contract I had with my former company.  You can imagine the conversation with the contact center agent.

While you may not buy books of business, you have an example of how you put your business at risk when you leave your customers uninformed, and you put your agents at risk by setting them up to fail.  Don’t hide yourselves or the ways to forge deeper relationships.  Be glad that you have me as a customer!  Had the agent had a better explanation for me as to what they were doing to remedy this issue, or if she had even said she understood how confusing it must be, the entire scenario changes.  Customers are not mad, disenfranchised and the agents’ time is not wasted.

Are you detecting customer insights like these with your call center analytics programs:

“For five years my monthly service bill has been the same and this month it was $10 more.  Why did no one tell me this change was coming?  I simple letter or note would have sufficed with the information the agent gave me.”

“I’ve been ordering my supplies from your company for years.  I’ve literally spent tens of thousands of dollars with you.  When I called to place an order recently I was met with a message saying you had closed.  You would think after all the money I’ve spent you would have let me know you were going out of business.”

“I can’t believe you stopped carrying the replacement bulb for my home theater projector.  I guess you don’t value your customers because this is not a disposable product.  I need a bulb.”


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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