On any given day you probably sit back and think about your call center metrics. You’ll mull over anything from Average Handle Time (AHT), Service Levels (SLA’s), or the number of incoming calls. More importantly, you’ll likely study the amount of callers that abandon the queue while waiting on hold. You probably even notice patterns in call abandonment and can anticipate when the rates will spike. Perhaps there’s a certain length of time that a customer will wait on hold before they decide to drop a call. Let’s face it, we’ve all been that anxious customer sitting in limbo just wondering if we should hang-up or hold-on. Eventually, patience runs thin and hanging up is the only logical decision, but the result is a frustrated and unsatisfied customer. Continue reading
Category Archives: Customer Experience
It might seem like a simple job, but being successful in the customer service industry requires keen intuition, thick skin, and patience. When new CSRs come to work, it’s tempting to just throw them into the fire and let them handle the stress through first-hand experience, but good bosses know better. They know that if they don’t mentor their staff for success, high turnover rates and constant rehiring is bound to occur (which is counterproductive for any business). We’ve seen it over and over again, CSRs feel attacked or undervalued so they quit on the spot or never reach their full potential.
We’ve compiled 7 things any good boss would tell you if you asked them about working in customer service: Continue reading →
We’ve known for a while that Avaya needed to do some restructuring to help reduce its $6B pile of debt. There has been speculation that parts of the company may be sold off including their call center business. Last week, Reuters reported that there is indeed at least one suitor for that division and it is none other than Genesys, Avaya’s long-time competitor in the call center space. Having just raised $900M, Genesys was a logical suitor, yet the news seemed to catch most people off guard.
Avaya is an industry titan with over 300,000 customers, including 83% of the Fortune 500 companies. Such a transaction would be the most significant alteration of the call center vendor landscape in years; perhaps the largest shift since Avaya itself bought Nortel’s enterprise business in 2009. What does it mean for the industry? We asked some of the leading experts for their “hot take”. Continue reading →
Why is it that credit unions top the charts for customer satisfaction compared to other financial institutions? These member driven organizations have notably higher expectations than customers of banks do, and yet they consistently outrank them on client satisfaction scores. The explanation is simple – credit unions work overtime to woo disgruntled bank customers by delivering a personalized service experience. Simply put, the customer experience is at the top of their priority list!
The challenge is that in order to continue enjoying these positive outcomes, they’ll need to maintain and, if possible, improve their already extraordinary levels of customer satisfaction. One important metric that many credit unions are focusing on is high abandon rates in their call center (since this is a clear sign of member dissatisfaction). Luckily, there’s a secret sauce to improving this metric and creating the perfect customer experience recipe. Continue reading →
The customer experience has transformed significantly over the last century. From 1900 until the 1960s we saw the age of manufacturing, where mass distribution of products eventually ushered in the age of distribution to serve a global economy of buyers. By the 1990s, computer and internet communications graced us with the age of information, where those holding the keys to unlock valuable consumer data rule supreme. Today, we’ve entered a brand new era of customer service: The age of the customer, which calls for technology and industry leaders to catch up to increasing customer demands. Innovations like virtual assistants, chatbots, drones, and self-service portals are beginning to play a huge role in meeting customer expectations. But before we can consider these tools successful, we must acknowledge that there is still plenty of room for improvement.
So, what will the future of the customer experience look like in 50 years? It’s always hard to speculate about these things, so first, let’s take a look at the rate in which the industry has developed, and try making a hypothesis from there. Continue reading →
Live chat is an essential tool for contact centers aiming to improve customer engagement with an active online presence. Chat has been around for over a decade, but only in the last few years have companies realized its true potential. According to Econsultancy, live chat has the highest satisfaction levels for any customer service channel – chat was rated at 73%, compared to 61% for email and 44% for phone. Having live chat is now a standard feature for most companies looking to talk to customers in real-time.
However, providing great live chat support isn’t particularly easy. Chat is a conversational tool and performed in real-time, but it also requires strong writing skills. This means, agents need to encompass both phone and email skills simultaneously in order to be successful at chat.
So, as companies embrace live chat can we confidently say that contact centers have become masters at it yet? A little bit of help never hurt! Here are 5 simple steps you need to be cautious of when trying to be successful at chat support. Continue reading →
Recently, we saw a catastrophic customer service meltdown at Southwest Airlines, initiated by an unforeseen IT outage. For the most part, technology does its job to help businesses run more smoothly, but sometimes, things go a little haywire. Some businesses plan ahead to properly manage and control its customer service relationships during a crisis, and then there are others, who just sit in glass towers, crossing their fingers and toes.
Lack of preparation for unpredictable incidents like this can result in a loss of customer loyalty, or worse, a complete boycott of your company. Let’s take a look at how some of the most successful companies curb complaints and avoid turning their customers against them.
Newsflash: Only 1% of customers feel that their expectations of good customer service are always met. That factoid presents a gapping problem in the customer service industry and it’s about time we do something about it. If you’re experiencing higher than normal call volume, unbearable wait times, frustrated customers and depleting agent morale it’s time to get your customer service back on track.
Why you might ask? Other than keeping customers happy, customer service is the backbone of customer loyalty and revenue. By ignoring service and satisfaction you are ignoring up to 55% of consumers who have intended to make a purchase, but backed out because of poor customer service. In fact, 52% of consumers have made more purchases from a company after having a good customer service experience and 73% of consumers say friendly customer service reps can make them fall in love with a brand.
So, how can you get your customer service back on track and revenue back to your business? Here are 3 tips you need to follow: Continue reading →
The philosophy “Keeping up with the Joneses” relates to the need to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and the greatest benchmarks. For customer service professionals, ‘the Joneses’ are your customers, your industry, and your competitors. With technology constantly evolving and consumer behaviour consistently on the prowl for change, the modern call center MUST keep up.
How do you feel about the service you’re providing to customers? Are you proud and confident about it? Most importantly, does it surpasses that of your trendy neighbour (or in this case your competitor)?
To avoid letting your chic neighbour outshine your customer service efforts, keep these 3 strategies in mind and pay close attention to how they work together! Continue reading →
It’s time for a mid-summer’s round up of the worst onholdwith.com offenders we’ve seen this month. At the beginning of 2016 we released the “Top 10 Twitter Complaints to Start the Year” and it looks like we still have some familiar faces on the list, as well as some new offenders to shake a finger at.
Brand new to this month’s list is: Citibank, who catapulted all the way up to number two! Purolator also out #failed UPS with hold-time this month – inching into the 8th spot – knocking UPS off the list (but we won’t count UPS out of our year-end offender list just yet). And – in a somewhat surprising turn – this month’s highest complaint holder was Southwest Airlines, who jumped from seventh place to first place. Southwest recently encountered massive flight delays and cancellations due to poor weather, which essentially created a customer service catastrophe. Maybe next time they should have call-backs on tap to avert this kind of crisis. Continue reading →