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 [...]

Three Ways to Meet the Patient Experience Challenge

Patient engagement solutions and population management strategies have been at the top of the list for many healthcare providers. All of this is driven by recent regulations and changes enforced by the Affordable Care Act. At the end of the day, providers are looking to cut costs, reduce readmission, and avoid penalties. What many are missing is the power of the patient service centers (or contact centers) in assisting with these initiatives.

In a recent article I authored on the Advance Healthcare Network web site, entitled, “Improving Patient Engagement: Top five contact center initiatives for providers”, I outlined 5 areas [...]

Customer Experience Makeover – Contact Center Edition

Makeovers come in all shapes and sizes. New hair and makeup, new body curves, even a house transformation that makes those tired three bedrooms and 1800 square feet look shiny and new.

What if you took that same concept – out with the old and in with the new – and applied it to the experience you deliver your customers? And how about if that makeover goes right to the core of the customer experience — the contact center? Together with our friends from TMC we hatched the idea. Our plan is to do a complete, no-charge, makeover of the [...]

Learning Web Chat Lessons From Dell

Depending on the research report you read, chat looks to be the second most popular service communication channel, behind the ubiquitous telephone – and yes, ahead of email.

If that is the case, its no surprise that businesses are trying to figure out how to do chat well! Do I blend chat with my agents who also take phone calls? How many chats should an agent handle at once? What are the hiring criteria for a good chat agent? What tools do chat agents need in addition to what their phone counterparts have? What are the best KPIs to apply [...]

My Multichannel Customer Experience Experiment – Post Script

If you’ve followed my posts tracking my experience with Delta airlines (latest post, My Multichannel Customer Experience Part 3), you’ll know that the airline didn’t do too well relative to delivering a great customer experience. However, I think I might have been critical of Delta for the wrong reason. What I’ve now learned is, they’re not bad, they’re just slow!

All my comments about Delta not responding to my tweets, online posts, and phone calls were a bit premature. This weekend, I got two calls from the Delta customer care people following up on my complaint. I then received a [...]

My Multichannel Customer Experience Experiment – Part 3

So here are the results of the last part of my experiment, which in case you missed the overview, is set up in my blog post from last week, My Multichannel Customer Experience Experiment. Essentially, my experiment was designed to see how Delta Airlines would respond to a service compliment and a service complaint delivered over several channels. Here are the results of my “complaint” interaction:

Phone: Let’s start with the phone, since it proved to be the most interesting. I called the phone number listed below the comment/complaint tag on the Delta website. The speech-driven interactive voice response (IVR) prompted [...]

My Multichannel Customer Experience Experiment – Part 2

I outlined my experiment design in my post last week, My Multichannel Customer Experience Experiment. Essentially, my experiment was designed to see how Delta Airlines would respond to a service compliment and a service complaint delivered over several channels. Here are the results of my “compliment” interaction:

Email: Not offered on the Delta.com website

Webchat: Not offered on the Delta.com website

Online web form: The form was easy to find and had four demographic/ID questions and nine “tell us about your experience questions.” I filled out the form, listed the gate-agent by name, wrote a brief compliment and explanation about my [...]

My Multichannel Customer Experience Experiment

I’d like to let you in on my planned, non-scientific experiment (no animals or humans will be injured J). I hope you’ll enjoy watching this unfold.

In early January I had one of the most challenging travel weeks that I’ve had in a long time. Snow, ice, cold, all contributed to a series of missed flights, reroutes, and lost luggage. Now mind you, I travel enough each year to go around the world around seven times. I’m a million-miler and proudly carry my Diamond Medallion card like a badge of honor. So, I’m no travel wimp!

During my January travel [...]

Want to deliver a great customer experience? Empower your agents.

An experience last week at an airport “golden arches” emphasized the need to give employees (in contact center speak, those are the agents) the power to deliver a great customer experience.

While I waited for my food, a woman came up to the young man working the register and complained that her order was wrong. She would explain the mix up and the worker would explain which sandwich comes with which combo. This went back and forth several times, with neither of the two of them budging on the point. As an observer, I could see the frustration in both [...]

Self-Service and Customer Satisfaction – Do They Need to be Opposing Forces?

For years (and I suppose still for many a CFO), moving customers to self-service options was a cost savings measure, not a way to improve customer satisfaction scores. But it doesn’t have to be that way… if you do it correctly!

Let me start with a couple tips from the writers at www.softwareadvice.com in an article they published on the subject important features your self-service portals should include.

Couple their ideas about reducing customer effort and making the search bar the centerpiece of your self-service support, with a multichannel view of customer interactions and you’re off to a good start.

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