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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The 3 Biggest Call Center Lies and the Customer Experience

The 3 Biggest Call Center Lies and the Customer Experience

It was an interesting day a few weeks ago as I heard a Forrester Analyst nail the whole customer experience right on the head and then had a chat with a few friends who brought up the hilarious nature of contact centers.

Is it really that bad? You are so right its pathetic!

Corporations talk about how the customer experience is so important and how that this high level of service is a key differentiator

Here are the 3 biggest lies and I just took 20 minutes calling various organizations as a test

1) Your Call is important to us
2) We are experiencing an unusual number of calls and holding times will be longer than usual
3) We are recording this call for quality assurance purposes

These 3 on hold call center messages are the first signs of a company that is not attuned to customer service
Because what they really mean is the following:

1) If it was important we would answer by the third ring or at least 80 % of our calls would be answered within 30 seconds. A ring cycle is 6 seconds so you should get answered by the third ring.
2) That really is saying there are so many complaints we are constantly flooded with calls, our product is so bad people call in all the time to complain, or we only have two agents logged in so it will be a while
3) After being on hold for 32 minutes, punching in your account number, getting bounced a few times and having to provide the account number again …you may get upset and yell and threaten a lawsuit. They will have your threats recorded.

So you end up just emailing the complaint and the following appears:
“Thank You for your message, our award winning customer service ambassador will contact you in 72 hours.”

A week goes by and no response.

The winners in the marketplace will be those that are accessible, listen, take action and care about the customer experience. Those that don’t will only have themselves to blame.

People buy from people, they buy from those that they trust and they buy from those that take a negative experience and turn it into a positive one.
The winners in the marketplace embrace a customer-centric view of contact center economics. I urge every single senior level CXO, every manager to take the view of the customer, and call into their contact center and take notice of the customer experience. Take notes and choose an action plan to fix the inherent issues.

I personally have been recently WOWed by Apple (Total spend of $800), Borders (Total spend of $40), Amazon (Total spend of $50), Durham Radio (Total spend of $120), and Monitoring Times Magazine (Total spend of $16). I am still waiting for Metro to return an email after several negative shopping experiences (Total spend of almost $200) that I will never return to their stores and am so excited that Walmart will open nearby soon and give them a run for their grocery money.

That’s what happens when the retailer does not listen to the customer.

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