What Do Consumers Value Most in a Service Experience?

As a customer experience professional, I am always interested in what customers value the most. If we get it right, we can successfully manage our resources, priorities and engagements to ensure we are providing the expected value to our customers and ultimately achieve our respective goals.

To that end, we conducted a study with consumers around the world earlier this year, “Customer Service Experience Study, Wave II“, and in it asked two key questions: “What do customers want in a great service experience?” and “What do companies and customers want from the technology behind that great customer experience?” The respondents [...]

Do you Know the Best Ways to Engage Multi-Generational Customers?

Millennials,  Gen X, Gen Y, Baby Boomer. How do these customer groups interact with organizations in today’s technology-driven markets? Are these descriptions accurate? Some attributes are specific to each group, but many cross all generations depending on the level of technical ability they possess, but more importantly the technology channels they prefer to use, as well as the manner in which they process the information they seek.

As customer experience strategies are developed and implemented across all industries, organizations must fully understand all aspects of how customers prefer to interact. There is a critical need to fully understand social technology [...]

Voice of the Customer – Are you Getting It?

If you’ve read any of my other posts, you might have noticed that I talk about quality frequently. I’m not afraid to say that I think you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to improve your customers’ experiences if you aren’t listening to those calls, chats, emails, etc.

There’s another side to this listening task. True voice of the customer is more than just the conversation they have with your agents. It’s also something you can catch through a post-call survey.

What is a post-call survey, you ask? This is typically an automated survey with just a few questions that are presented [...]

The Future of Customer Engagement Will Look Much More Like This

Earlier this summer, Amazon turned a service failure into a genuine feel-good moment. It was a great illustration of how the art of customer engagement is changing, for the better.

My family had gathered together to watch a movie while away for the weekend in wine country. The choice was finally made (after much debate), seats negotiated, licorice distributed and play button pushed. Suddenly the dreaded “death spiral” appeared on screen as the movie continued to buffer. After putting the room back in order, my family begrudgingly retreated to bed. Before my head hit the pillow, I decided to check [...]

Six Things I’ve Learned During my Nine and a Half Years at Interactive Intelligence

Nine and a half years is a long time at one company… in the same job. As a result, I’ve learned quite a bit along the way. And while the list of things I’ve learned as chief marketing officer might be longer, I’ve identified six key lessons that I think have been some of the most valuable:

There is no substitute for a visionary CEO. Market conditions are constantly changing. I’ve learned that a good, smart leader can usually get the current conditions right. But the secret to long-term sustained growth is a CEO who is constantly able to see what [...]

Why Aren’t You Using Quality Monitoring?

I come across people in my training classes all of the time who are not doing any sort of quality monitoring of their contact center agents and it completely baffles me. Now, when I say “quality monitoring”, I mean some sort of recording and scoring of the agents’ interactions with your customers. There are so many justifications for it, such as allowing the agents to actually hear what they sound like when speaking to customers, that it seems monitoring would just be an obvious thing to do and yet so many companies don’t.

Is it a financial thing? Perhaps the [...]

The Great Contact Center Role Reversal: Social Customer Service

Even since the dawn of the call center, and through to the morphed version of today’s modern-day contact center, the roles of the service provider and the customer have been pretty clearly defined. The customer needed answers. The agents have the answers (at least that is the hope). And the provider of the service determined the rules of how a customer would get to an agent, which agent he or she would be routed to, and how fast that routing would take place. Machines, like sophisticated automatic call distributors (ACDs) automated this process…but still the rules of how all the [...]

Relief – The Final Emotional Response of the Customer Experience

In my last post, “The Emotional Response of the Customer Experience”, I shared a rather negative interaction with the customer service team at my bank. As promised, here’s the follow-up detailing what happened next and how the customer service team redeemed itself and pulled me out of the “detractor” category, at least for now.

The final emotional response (relief) occurred shortly after 7:00am when I called in to the customer service center – again. This time, I decided to attack it from a different angle, and selected the option for checking account support. After only five minutes in queue, I [...]

Wanted – Innovative Technology Ideas for the Contact Center

Recently, I was asked by an executive at Interactive Intelligence about how excited contact center leaders get over cool new technology. “How jacked up would they get over smart watches or voice biometrics? If we could give them what they wanted in future technology, what would be on the list of cool things they would salivate to get?”

Uncharacteristically, I was at a loss for words on how to respond. I came to the realization that it was because contact center people are mainly doers, executors, tactically-driven people that get things done. We’re not dreamers. We take action. Successfully managing [...]

Measuring the Value of a Customer

I’m as big of an advocate for improving the customer experience as you will find. That said, one thing that bothers me is that too often companies don’t know the value of a customer to their business. When I ask, “What is the value of a customer to you?” Often the answer is, “A lot!” That’s akin to an exchange of, “How does this rocket engine work?” And the response comes back, “It works really well.”

Sure, that customer is valuable to you, but what specifically is the value of that customer? It’s pretty easy to calculate. Essentially, you need to [...]