Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

Regaining Lost Business from Bad Customer Service Starts with Contact Center Employees

February 10, 2014

In an era of uncertain economic news, it’s unwise for any business to bypass opportunities and leave money on the table. Yet most businesses do this every day when they offer lackluster or even poor customer service.

In an economic boom, customers are more forgiving of so-so customer service. They have money to spend and are less likely to run to a competitor to save a few bucks. Now that consumers are less willing to part with cash, they expect value from the companies with which they do business and will quickly jump ship for another company. Industry analysts call it “serial switching,” or constantly shopping around for a better deal with a different company.

Part of the value customers expect is a top-notch customer experience, and when they don’t get it, they retaliate. A recent study by U.K.-based cloud contact center solutions provider NewVoiceMedia (News - Alert) put a price tag on bad customer service, estimating that U.S. companies that offer poor experiences are losing $41 billion each year. The survey found that 44 percent of American consumers take their business elsewhere as a result of bad service. Of those consumers, 89 percent report having switched at least once or twice in the last year. Some companies don’t even know what has hit them: fully 53 percent of American consumers, when denied an opportunity to speak to a live agent immediately, switch to a competitor without even attempting to resolve the problem. More than half of respondents – 58 percent – say they will never use a company again after a bad customer service experience.

image via shutterstock

The statistics are sobering, particularly for a company that simply doesn’t have the capital to rip and replace its entire customer support system and strategies. Some experts say, however, that it need not cost a lot to make big differences in the quality of customer support. CMSWire recently spoke to customer experience expert and author Shep Hyken for ideas about how to make improvements without spending too much. It all begins with a plan and a new way of managing employees.

To start, he says, companies need to get a grip on the customer experience they are offering now and what they have to do to improve it.

"Two basic things need to be in place before any customer service strategy can be executed,” Hyken told CMSWire. “First, there has to be a clear vision of what it is about.  Second you have to have good people who can execute on that vision.  From there you communicate the vision, train to it, recognize the effort and celebrate the success.”

The next step is bring contact center agents on board, helping them understand how important they are to the goals and how they can contribute to reaching them. This may involve putting more responsibility in the hands of agents, allowing them some autonomy and encouraging them to “take ownership” of their work. Hyken notes that before you can be a customer focused organization, you must become employee focused.

“The 'Employee Golden Rule' is to treat employees the way you want the customer treated,” he said. “That’s a lot different than the way you would like to be treated.  To be the best place to buy from, you must be the best place to work.”

The goal is to build responsible, skilled employees who stay in their jobs and who value their work in helping others. Treating agents as throw-away commodities will cause them to treat their jobs—and your customers—in the same way. Invest in your agents today, and you’ll be investing in your customers tomorrow. 




Edited by Ryan Sartor

Article comments powered by Disqus

Related Contact Center Solutions Articles

Contact Center Solutions Week in Review: Interactive Intelligence, Avaya and WebRTC

The Contact Center Solutions Community this week had a case of the pre-holiday need to spend a little time going shopping, literally and figuratively. However, the pre-holiday season by no means meant a lack of some seriously interesting news from the industry. [ Read More ]
12/20/2014

Interactive Intelligence Celebrates 20th Anniversary

For most of the members of the Contact Center Solutions Community, it might be hard to remember a time when our community host Interactive Intelligence was not a significant player in the industry. However, as someone who has been around a bit longer, it seems like only yesterday that I started becoming intrigued with the activities of this company, which chose as its headquarters the unlikely location of Indianapolis, IN. [ Read More ]
12/19/2014

Spoken Communications to Power Avaya Hybrid Cloud Solution for Contact Centers

Avaya adds hybrid option for contact center transformation powered by Spoken Communications. [ Read More ]
12/19/2014

WebRTC Support on SIP PBX Highlights use for Omnichannel Interactions

2015 is going to highlight how and why WebRTC, SIP and Contact Centers are perfect together. [ Read More ]
12/19/2014
Subscribe here for your FREE Contact
Center Solutions
enewslettter.

Events

Weekly Live Demo
Contact Center Solutions

Register Today!


Weekly Live Demo
CaaS Small Center

Register Today!