Are you just ‘ticking the box’?
As customer experience (CX) professionals we all claim that we put our customers ‘at the heart of what we do’ but can we really put our hand on that heart and say that we really do? What I mean by this is do we ask our customers and agents and other employees the right questions to adapt the services that we offer or are we just ticking a box?
Here are just a few scenarios that I’d encourage you to reflect upon for a moment.
Customer experience (CX)
When you carry out customer surveys are you really getting the insights that you want or are your questions just confirming some hypothesis that you are already trying to prove or disprove? For example, a major Telco was very keen for me to give them a 10 out of 10 NPS score – “if I have solved your problem today can you mark me as a 10 on the after call survey”. The only thing was that this was my third time of calling about the same issue and I wasn’t convinced that he had ‘solved my problem today’. The agent was obviously targeted on NPS but my customer experience with the organisation didn’t warrant a 10. I left a 0 score at least 10 times during my multiple attempts to have my problem resolved. I never once received a call back from a concerned middle manager who might own and resolve my problem. What was happening with their reporting? Possibly celebrating with the leadership team that 80% of customers are happy with the amazing service forgetting the 20% of us who were irate and leaving to go to a competitor – and, by the way, I did!
On the other hand a bank we were recently engaged with would review all the ‘zeros’ and in doing this they systematically began fixing all of the horrible housekeeping, as well as more material CX issues. As an example, and there are many, this activity gave traction to removing marketing promotional messages in the IVR, something most organisations want to do but don’t have any substantiated facts to back up how annoying this is for callers. This bank did, and these types of housekeeping fixes got addressed.
Do you ask your agents to evaluate the quality of the training they receive and their readiness to take that contact type? Is the timing of your evaluation appropriate in order to get a true answer? Do you validate their proficiency? Do you analyse trends in your quality monitoring in order to address ‘training gaps’ that manifest themselves in the ‘live’ environment? Do you then feedback these findings to your training team in order for them to adapt their material?
In our experience very few businesses do a really good job of this, and those that do see massive performance gains.
Are your quality measurements aligned to your core customer/business targets? I have worked with a number of clients where this has not been the case. For example, the quality team ‘marked down’ agents for not building rapport by asking ‘relationship questions’. This was driving up the AHT that the agents were targeted on attaining and really adding no value to the customer interaction. Another client focused solely on product knowledge, rewarding agents for being rude and surly because they were providing accurate product knowledge.
However, get this balance right and the benefits are immediate. We helped a bank take AHT down from 292 seconds to 161 seconds AND deliver service that was more tailored to these particular callers. Yes, this was a segment of callers, albeit pretty big, but it made a significant difference to overall performance and agent satisfaction. Clear boundaries/quality expectations = happy staff.
Do your team leaders target their coaching and plan appropriate coaching interventions or do they just have 1:1s with their agents as and when resourcing say that they can?
More on that one another time. We know what most businesses answer is to this one.
Do you carry out ‘exit interviews’ with employees who leave your contact centre, both to internal and external roles? When I became a Contact Centre Director I inherited a massive problem with attrition (47%). Although HR were doing the Exit interviews no-one was analyzing the findings. When I did look into the information I identified some of the following ‘little gems’… “working in a contact centre wasn’t what I expected”, “I’ve been here 3 months and had 4 team leaders”, “my team leader doesn’t even speak to me”, “I have been here 12 months and really enjoy it but I can’t get the holiday dates that I want and so I have to resign”. These insights, that were just sitting ‘gathering dust’, were really valuable and became core themes in my People Strategy and plan.
It’s really easy to get ‘busy’ at work and forget that we can observe the impact that we are having on our customers in every department and more importantly that we can make the necessary changes to positively impact our customers’ experience. If you answered Yes, more than you answered No, to the questions I raise then I suggest that you may want to go back through the list and check yourself…are you just ‘ticking the box’?
Flare Design CX Coaching
Flare-design CX (Customer Experience) Coaching for Results is a cultural change program that focuses on developing the skills and knowledge of the Contact Centre Team Managers who are pivotal in delivering your service experience. The initial emphasis of the program is on raising their understanding of what they can control in order to improve the customer experience. Once this is understood we then develop their skills in ‘how’ they can target their coaching and engage their teams to deliver a great customer experience. Why not give us a call to see how we can help you?
About Flare Design: Flare are leaders in customer experience design, IVR, contact centre performance, business change, and business process design. We bring a complete end-to-end view of the impacts, pitfalls and mitigating strategies of contact centre initiatives, change and the impact on staff. We are practitioners focussed on real benefits!