July 15th, 2010
From the Harvard Business Review:
Next time you’re on the phone with a call center, listen carefully to what the rep says. Chances are you’ll hear your name several times, hear a tone of empathy, maybe an “I’m sorry.” It would be nice to think the rep really cares — but of course she’s probably just following a script. That can be a bad idea, we’ve found. In our recent HBR article “Stop Trying to Delight Your Customers“, we explored how customer service drives loyalty, including the role of managing the emotional side of customer interactions. Here’s some further insight about that delicate dance.
Most companies still suffer from the checklist mentality when it comes to managing how their reps engage with customers. Use the standard greeting…check…say the customer’s name three times…check…show empathy…check…ask if you’ve fully resolved the issue…check, check, and check.
Most companies will tell you it’s all about consistency. But, let’s face it, consistency breeds robotic interactions which fail to result in a tailored, low-effort customer experience.
We’ve seen companies move away from this “one-size-fits-all” approach and creatively teach their reps to use simple word choice — and in some cases, approaches founded on behavioral economics — to radically shape how a customer perceives an interaction.
Interesting article. How has your call center utilized its script to drive customer experience?
May 18th, 2010
According to a new report conducted by Harris Interactive, a continuing trend of increased customer expectations combined with the power of social media to amplify consumer voices means it is more critical than ever to ensure a good customer experience. The report shows:
- 86% of consumers quit doing business with a company due to a bad customer experience, up 27% from 4 years ago
- Even in a down economy, customer experience remains the top priority; 60% of consumers will always or often pay more for a better experience, up from 58% in 2008
With consumers expecting a better experience, when they don’t get one, they are aggressively making it known!
- In 2006, respondents reacted to bad customer experiences by swearing (29%) or shouting (21%) which have fallen to 20% and 14% respectively. Nowadays, consumers are taking their anger and acting on it via word of mouth and social channels
- 82% of consumers that had a bad experience told others about it, up 22% since 2006
- Many consumers that had a bad customer experience and told others about it shared their experience online by posting a negative customer review on the company’s website (23%), Facebook (7%), or a blog (6%)
On the flip side, when a customer has a good experience, 53% of customers will recommend a company to someone else.
These stats go to show that guaranteeing a good customer experience is more important than ever. Call center operators can be expected to deliver these good customer experiences by addressing customer concerns in a timely, professional and helpful way. Ensuring agent quality through a comprehensive recruiting, screening and training process will go a long way to guaranteeing a high quality customer service experience.