By Edwin Margulies
(Part I of III)
Sadly, the majority of Smartphone apps were built quickly to fulfill the “cool” mandate. Versions 1.0 rarely scratch the surface of customer care and provide only the fundamentals like checking balances or looking up credits. So what’s the problem? Well the fact that most enterprise Smartphone apps are built in a silo creates channel confusion (phone vs. web vs. chat vs. SMS) and can create more problems than they solve.
Do You Know What Your App Is Doing?
I often ask customer care practitioners if they really know what their Smartphone app is doing. For example, is there a likelihood that chances for cross-sell are getting blocked? Or chances for retention of an angry customer falling away? How about the “contact us” page? Is it nothing more than a speed dial? Can customers communicate with you without having to dump out of the app and go to a discrete communication channel? All of these questions and more are often answered with a knowing nod: “Yes it’s a mess and we have to figure out how to make it better.” 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 Sarah Rolfing
Today, when it comes to customer service, we all know who is calling the shots. Customers are loosing patience quicker and becoming less forgiving when they encounter a poor customer service experience. The 2012 American Express Global Customer Service Barometer shows that “over half (55%) of consumers have intended to conduct a business transaction or make a purchase, but decided not to based on a poor service experience.” Deciding when, where, and how they want service, the average customer’s service expectations, compared to a decade ago, have skyrocketed.
We can attribute much of the shift in customer service expectations to the smartphone and its precious app offspring. Apps, apps, and more apps! They entertain, teach, narrate our lives, inform, and most importantly, help us. A 2012 study by ClickFox found that “over 78 percent of consumers surveyed use mobile apps for customer service purposes such as billing, account status/updates and interactive chat.” The same study revealed, “over 90 percent of respondents would replace some or all traditional customer service channels with a mobile app if available.” Continue reading