If you are not familiar with the acronym IVR I can almost guarantee that you have used one. Interactive Voice Response is the menu system that call centres use to route you to the right agent to help you. You may be growling by now, you may hate IVRs, you would probably contest that they get you to the right agent. Well, that is because they are generally really badly designed.Read More
We are delighted to introduce our first guest blog. Please welcome "The Problem with Incentives" by James Lawther and take the opportunity to follow the link at the bottom to see his sometimes humorous, but always insightful, comments on customer experience.
THE PROBLEM WITH INCENTIVES
I have wasted (or was that murdered) 6 hours of my life in a QCRM (Quarterly Compliance Review Meeting, it trips off the tongue).
It was a truly dreadful meeting.
If you have found yourself here because you are a fan of Marvel Comics or you really enjoy quality time with a movie on the sofa then I apologise - you may be here under false pretences. I’m won't be writing about a cartoon character - the Ironman that I am talking about is the toughest single day endurance event in the world – swim 2.4 miles, cycle 112 miles and then run a 26.2 mile marathon. In 2011 after two years of preparation I crossed the finish line, in the dark, to hear “Dougie, you are an Ironman”.
But life isn’t all about endurance events! In the midst all of that training I had a day job and one of my responsibilities was co-ordinating and leading the response to crises.Read More
I am sure that we all know organisations that really hate email as a service channel and would love to kill it dead. Last week Sitel, the global outsourcing company, came out and said that email has passed it's pinnacle as customers have higher expectations for fast resolution. There are now faster, more interactive routes to resolution that customers are choosing. So is it time to kill off email as a support channel?Read More
I doubt many people would argue with me if I said that there are more critics of outsourcing than fans. As 30% of outsourced relationships are expected to fail every year it is unsurprising that there is a degree of scepticism. But does that always have to be the case?Read More
If I am being brutally honest, I am often sceptical when a CEO declares that he wants to follow a customer centric strategy. I should be delighted in my line of work – so why?
Well, normally what attracts the CEO to improving the customer experience is a laser-beam focus on the benefits enjoyed by well-loved companies – sticky customers, that buy more products and services and tell all their friends to buy from you. Often, the desired outcomes are thrashed out around the boardroom table and then the operational execution is left to the CEO’s lieutenants at their discretion. The reason that I am sceptical are that these intents are often what I would call a “yeah, but……” strategy as they move from the whiteboard through to execution.Read More
Many years ago when I was just a laddy working in the take-home beer business we had a tiny department in a dark corner of the building that was our Consumer Complaints Department. I was an accountant at the time and I have three vivid memories of the Customer Complaints DepartmentRead More
For a whole career, as a successful finance professional, everything that I held true was that efficiency was a key differentiator and my Presbyterian ethic told me that efficiency was a virtue. But it slowly dawned on me that tight KPI management was just lazy leadership. It was driving forwards really fast while looking in the rear view mirror. It was an attempt to influence a culture without putting the hard yards in first.Read More
How often do we see an advocacy question in the annual people survey? You know the one, something along the lines of “how likely are you to recommend our company’s product to potential customers”? And how often is the score considerably lower for your front-line advisors than for HQ or support people?
I love the expression that nothing is ever so bad that you can’t make it worse. And nowhere is that more true than in the hyper speed and white heat of social media - a negative sentiment can get much worse very, very quickly. But equally tricky, as we will see, a positive sentiment can also go completely awry. Suddenly, a warm, fuzzy moment can become a searingly hot furnace of discomfort.Read More
I frequently read this question on customer experience forums. And often a furious debate amongst customer experience advocates ensues with a prevailing wisdom that it is always better to run an operation in-house. Nonsense!Read More
The phone rings. The call comes from the CEO. He has been reading the Time magazine article “Could 2013 be the year that customer service gets better”. He wants these loyal customers, he wants........Read More