Customer Experience & Contact Center Consulting
I recently facilitated an Employee Feedback meeting for a client. Our discussion focused on employee observations related to Customer Experience. The feedback group included contact center agents, retail store employees and technicians. When I asked them if customers were receiving the best quality service during customer interactions, they unanimously said “no”.
I was a bit surprised at the emphatic response from everyone and asked why each felt that way. The top responses given were lack of consistency, hit or miss training and poorly designed web self-service.
The employees said that customers received conflicting, wrong and often confusing information both in personal interactions and when using the company website. Customers called or complained to store employees and installers that they couldn’t find answers or navigate the website pages without getting lost. I asked for examples of these poor customer experiences.
One employee spoke about a customer who had been given wrong billing information by someone at a Retail store which then caused the same customer to call the contact center to complain. She said it was clear from the customer notes that the retail employee had not been effectively trained on the new billing changes. The agent then had to apologize and calm down an irate customer.
Wasted time for the customer.
Unnecessary call into the center driving up wait times.
Another employee shared examples of calls from customers who told him that the website was hard to navigate through. Clicks led to dead ends or forced them to have to call instead of allowing them do it themselves online. Simple changes like Password updates were impossible to do. Customers said they spent more time trying to find the answer than if they had just picked up the phone.
More unhappy customers,
More calls in queue.
When I asked the employees what had occurred when they shared these stories with their leadership, they told me that in most cases, the supervisors had simply sent out an email reminding everyone to make sure they give “accurate” information. The leadership also referred employees to the company internal knowledge base, which itself had some old or conflicting information from what the group said. In other words, nothing had changed to improve these Customer Experience issues.
In all of these cases, the employees, who may have had every intention of providing a wonderful Customer Experience, have instead been set up to fail because the company had not done everything possible to eliminate inconsistencies and poor self-service procedures.
Employees spent most of their time apologizing and listening to complaints about poor systems, antiquated knowledge bases and web navigations going in circles.
We can’t hold Employees accountable if we ourselves do not take the steps necessary to set them up for success instead of failure. We cannot create a great Customer Experience if we aren’t focused on eliminating the communication inconsistencies, the knowledge base roadblocks and the added work we are creating for our customers in person, with our contact center and during online interactions.
Keep things simple to do and consistent. Customers will love you for it!
Melissa Kovacevic helps companies to successfully blend People, Process and Technology for the best Customer Experience and business success in both Contact Center and Retail settings. Her results-based Service and Sales Skills “Coach the Coach” program for managers and front-line leaders (coached onsite or via Skype) combines accountability with motivational techniques.
Melissa was named one of the “Top 25 Most Influential in Customer Service” by MindTouch and their readers, and her blog recently won the Call Centre Helper Magazine “Top 10 Call Centre Websites” award.
Ask me how this theory, addressed by Melissa can help with consistent customer services and reduce the noise coming through to your call centers.