By Edwin Margulies
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Systems have been serving-up automated self-service since the late seventies and the subject of running pop culture jokes on shows like Seinfeld and The Simpsons ever since. Now the “Systems We Love to Hate” have a new lease on life.
Pay the Devil His Due
IVR Systems do a lot of heavy lifting. From multiple data dips to grab customer account info or order status, to screen pops for agents to speech recognition input from callers. All that infrastructure and professional services to build-out a good IVR app comes at a heavy cost. Continue reading
By Joseph Katz
When you’ve spent as much time in the contact center space as I have, it tends to shape your thinking just a bit. For example, whenever the topic of Customer Experience Management comes up, I automatically think of customer service.
I realize that customer experience (or CX as it’s known) has been an area of heightened interest in recent years for the very reason that it does not limit itself to one particular area. To understand things from a customer’s perspective, you have to look at everything from which way the doors open at the local branch to the color of the envelope used to send the monthly bill.
The forest from the trees
Most companies nowadays have someone who heads up Customer Experience; I can think of a few companies who have a whole team of these folks. I’m always fascinated by these individuals because of their attention to detail and their ability to see things through the eyes of a customer. Most of us lose that view of the “forest” simply by living in and amongst the “trees” for too long.
By Michael Haisten
Waiting on hold to speak with a real person in a call center is a common complaint among consumers. So common that television shows and companies alike have capitalized on our collective pain by making fun of these frustrating experiences. Saturday Night Live performed the Julie skit, and Discover created its line of advertisements starring Peggy. A British study, commissioned in 2011 by the mobile network giffgaff, went so far as to indicate that waiting on hold for longer than 5 minutes and 58 seconds could actually lead to minor health problems due to increased blood pressure and anxiety.
Some companies are starting to listen to their customers, however, and are offering callbacks as an alternative to waiting on hold. Callbacks can be offered in a phone menu, website, or mobile application. I think most people and businesses would agree that a 10 minute wait time is generally a poor experience – a call center failure. But the first time I used such a service, I received a callback in exactly 10 minutes, and I thought it was a customer service breakthrough. I even told everyone at work the next day how great it was! It certainly beat the alternative of being captive to my phone line waiting on hold. It got me thinking about the fun or productive things people could be doing every day rather than waiting on hold with the companies we patronize.
Here’s my top 10: Continue reading
By Edwin Margulies
(Part III of III)
I don’t know too many people that enjoy “taking a survey” at the end of a call center transaction or even in a pop-up window on a web site. Yet more and more, people nonetheless want to broadcast their sentiment. Take all the tweets and Facebook posts on brands and products. Those are “democratic” or at least “free market” forms of feedback. And social feedback is on your customers’ terms.
So what about harnessing the trend towards sentiment feedback and taking the bold step of putting it right in your mobile phone application? Yes that would mean encouraging customers – with standard icons – to make mention of a customer service experience they just had with your firm. Continue reading