Wednesday, November 13, 2019

SHOULD YOUR CONTACT CENTER BE BEST PRACTICE?

We constantly hear about “best practices,” and these are held up as the shining examples of what the best organizations do. The desire for us to want our organization or contact center to be “the best” can be a heady goal and many blindly start down the road to get their organization to be a “best practices” organization. But is this the best approach for your contact center, your staff, or your organization?
Best practice is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a procedure that has been shown by research and experience to produce optimal results and that is established or proposed as a standard suitable for widespread adoption.” This certainly sounds like a worthwhile goal, but as with many other things, the devil can be in the details.
Best practices may be validated by “research or experience,” but are the organizations researched like your organization? Is the “experience” relevant to your contact center and your organization? Too often the companies establishing and being referenced as “best practice” are leading performers in their sector or well regarded for the service they deliver. They tend to be organizations that have mature and robust service operations. s that similar to your contact center?
Contact centers operate in an ecosystem where people, processes, and technologies interact to deliver service to customers and prospects. There are high levels of interconnection and inter-dependencies woven throughout the contact center. This is why centers are often described as having “thousands of moving parts.” This lattice of interconnected and interdependent activities, processes, and workflows complicate initiatives to make changes in this environment. Striving to implement a best practice in one area will often bump into a number of pre-requisite activities that need to be completed before said “best practice” can be actioned. This is a difficult and complicated task, and even if it is successful, it will often fail to secure the expected benefits as other areas in the operation lack the maturity or robustness to properly support the attainment of the new “best practice.”
In his book, Good to Great, Jim Collins said, “good is the enemy of great,” and this is an accepted truth. If you are only striving for good, you may waste, time, effort and dollars pursuing an objective that may yield little more than what you had achieved as a good operation. This is the Pareto principle (commonly known as the 80/20 rule) in action. In contact centers, the same rationale can hold true. Most contact centers and most organizations stop at good, or in many cases “good enough.”
There needs to be a “bang for the buck” financial evaluation when considering implementing best practices. How will becoming “best practice” change the center or organization’s performance in the eyes of the customers or of leadership?
The costs to implement and the benefits achieved through best practices are not equal for all organizations as they will depend upon the starting point in terms of maturity as well as the vertical you are serving. Technology investments to support best practices may be “table stakes” in one industry and the rare exception in another. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. The cost should not be the only consideration, but it needs to be a part of the decision-making process.
While a “best practice” may have been shown to produce optimal results, the cost to achieve these optimal results may not make sense or be appropriate for all centers. It is important not to view “best practices” as exclusive of other improvement opportunities. There may be a few best practices that you can implement, but there will be a considerably larger list of “better” practices that are available to you.
The best practices that are accessible and that will improve the operation of a center will be related to the center maturity and current operating practices, structure, and available technologies. The same is true for better practices. We encourage every center not to consider this as a binary choice between becoming best practice or not, but rather as a journey from the current state to best or most appropriate practices. This journey is reflected in an iterative process of constantly employing better practices.

Follow Taylor Reach and Colin Taylor on Twitter at @Taylor_Reach and @colinsataylor.
To find out more about how Taylor Reach can help your company with contact center best practices, CLICK HERE to schedule a free consultation.
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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Resolving the Riddle of Retention


By: Colin Taylor The downside of a strong economy is low unemployment and job shortages. A strong economy doesn’t directly cause contact center attrition, but it does provide employees and agents options that may not exist in a weaker economy. This element of choice, though, will magnify any internal issues and challenges that may exist []
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Friday, October 7, 2016

Taylor Reach NPS Score +100

 

ct headshot 15-2By: Colin Taylor

Customer Satisfaction is critical for the success of any organization, and Taylor Reach is no different. Each member of the team strives to delight our customers and exceed their expectations.

To gauge the satisfaction of our clients we employ a customer satisfaction survey and all of our clients are asked to participate and complete a survey.

The results we achieved so far in 2016 have blown us away… our NPS[1] score is an impressive +100, a perfect score! This score is truly remarkable as “a Net Promoter Score of +30% is truly excellent” for B2B firms according to Deep Insight. Circle Research has indicated that score of +35 is the top quartile of all B2B NPS scores.

Thank you to all of clients that participated in this survey. We are delighted and honored to have our customers give us this vote of confidence. We will continue to work hard to earn and retain your trust and patronage.

Colin

[1] Net Promoter® and NPS® are registered trademarks and Net Promoter SystemSM and Net Promoter ScoreSM are trademarks of Bain & Company, Satmetrix Systems and Fred Reichheld



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Thursday, October 6, 2016

UK Launch – Taylor Reach

CT headshot 15-1By: Colin Taylor

Well it has been a busy month for Taylor Reach and for our Senior Consultant, Peter Elliot leading our UK team. Not only have we launched our Contact Centre, Call Centre and Customer Experience consulting services, but Peter is also relocating and changing his home address. Should you wish to reach Peter his email is pelliot@thetaylorreachgroup.com

Both Peter and I participated in the recent UK CX Awards held at the Park Plaza hotel, Westminster, where he and I both chaired judging panels. Peter judged the ‘New Product, Product Improvement Making the Most of New’ Technology category and I, Business Transformation. There we some brilliant entries and the judging was close, with little to differentiate between the finalists.

In the category of Business Transformation, the winner was Royal London, with Pelican Business Services receiving the Silver award.

1-business-transformation-royal-london-donhales-logo

Figure 1: Royal London winners with Don Hale- Business Transformation

In the New Product/Product Improvement – Loving The Customer category, which Peter judged the winner was Close Brothers Retail Finance, with Barclays – Continuous Improvement Debit Card Disputes receiving the runner up award.

Figure 2: Close Bros with Peter Elliot- New Product/Product Improvement – Loving The Customer

Figure 2: Close Bros with Peter Elliot- New Product/Product Improvement – Loving The CustomerIn addition Peter also presented a number of awards, including; New Product/Product Improvement – (Making The Most Of Technology), OmniChannelCX

In addition Peter also presented a number of awards, including; New Product/Product Improvement – (Making The Most Of Technology), OmniChannelCX

 

 

In the category of New Product/Product Improvement (Making the Most of Technology) the winner was My Home Move, with InMoment receiving the silver award.

Figure 3My Home Move and Peter Elliot- New Product/Product Improvement – (Making The Most Of Technology)

Figure 3: My Home Move and Peter Elliot- New Product/Product Improvement – (Making The Most Of Technology)

The OmnichannelCX category was won by FM Outsource, with the silver award going to Virgin Trains in partnership with Opinsta.

Figure 4: FM Outsource and Peter Elliot- OmnichannelCX

Figure 4: FM Outsource and Peter Elliot- OmnichannelCX

 

All in all it was a great and enjoyable event. It was my first time at the awards, Peter was a veteran having attended and judged previously. I have judge contact centre and customer experience awards on three continents and was quite impressed with the process and quality of the submissions. For anyone who is considering participation I would encourage you to do so and can attest to the level of rigor present in the judging process. For more information on the awards or to see the full list of winners, visit the UK CX Awards website.

Concurrent to the UK launch of Taylor Reach, we have also introduced a free 1 hour consultation available to anyone who has questions regarding their contact centre or wants our perspective on the industry or any aspect of contact centres or CX. You can take advantage of this opportunity by visiting our website and completing a request form  here.

September on this side of the pond has been a busy for Taylor Reach as we worked on a number of projects: we completed the design and implementation of a new quality program for a major power utility, continued to redevelop agent training for one of the most respected names in media, completed an contact centre assessment for a start-up in the cosmetics industry, and helped a major non-profit with the selection of a new contact centre telephony platform.

For more information on the consulting services offered by Taylor Reach, please visit our website or click on your area of interest below;

Contact Centre Assessment

Contact Centre Audit

Contact Centre Benchmarking

Technology Assessment

Outsource Suitability

Site Selection

Training Design and Development

Starting a New Contact Centre

Quality and CX Design and Implementation

Interim Management

CX Health Check

If you would like to stay informed on industry trends, news and updates from Taylor Reach, please subscribe to our Customer Reach Newsletter here

Remember Taylor Reach is vendor agnostic and does not ‘partner’ with any vendor and does not receive compensation from anyone but our clients, so you know we are truly independent.

 

 

 



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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Auditing, Made Easy.

Snapshotz™

Call Center and Contact Center Customer Service Auditing

Operational Efficiency, Excellence and Best Practice improvements can only be achieved once the opportunities have been identified. The reality is however, that due to the ever changing world of technology, communications and the customers themselves, the metrics that reveal the opportunities are constantly changing and adapting to new innovations, fads and management concepts. When in truth Operational Efficiency, Excellence and Best Practice improvements always need to be at the core of the center's overall strategy.

But How Do You Ensure Operational Excellence?

 

Although content marketing and curation has alleviated the pain of searching through articles to identify what's new and improved, they are only half the battle. In order to create a transparent vision for the contact center requires an understanding of how the center is operating today and how it stacks up to other centers. Conducting regular center audits are the most effective and most revealing solution, to achieve this goal. Through conducting a center audit, a full 360 degree view of where the business stands today in relation to where they should be can not only provide indications for improvement, but will reveal missed opportunities or new solutions that have never before been considered or discussed.

Now, while stressing the importance of continual center audits, is it also important to discuss the kind of audit one conducts.

"What are you measuring and what are the conditions being compared?" 

"Who are you being compared against, and how robust is the comparison?"
"What are the insights you are applying to your current situation and what are the steps to reaching the best practices?"

 

Snapshotz™ is the "All In One Audit", the online cloud tool that provides simplicity, clarity and in-depth detail of how a business compares on a global scale.  Unlike no other on the market, Snapshotz ™ provides benchmarking from over 1700 other centers, across 700 data points.  


Read below to see why Snapshotz™ is the tool your center needs to test.

Want More Information/ Have Any Questions?

Snapshotz Consultants
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Last
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Extending Their Call Center Consulting Services Further, Growing The Taylor Reach Group

Expanding Their Reach of Consulting Services Through the Addition of a New Expert Consultant

Taylor Reach Group Expands to Quebec

Toronto, ON.

Mr. Colin Taylor, The CEO and Chief Chaos Officer of The Taylor Reach Group, Inc. announced today that Alton Harewood has joined the customer experience and contact center consulting firm effective immediately.

 

The Taylor Reach Group expands to Quebec, Canada with the addition of Mr. Harewood to their team. Alton is a business and contact center consultant with over 25 years of experience in the industry. Alton has a strategic planning focus, with 250 projects under his belt.

The Taylor Reach Group is excited to have Mr. Harewood join the firm” says Mr. Taylor.  

His expertise and focus in leveraging technology platforms to enhance call center, customer service and sales operations fits directly into the methodology we employ at Taylor Reach. He will be a great asset in identifying solutions for centers, focusing in on technology acquisition, cloud, and work to further clients’ business developments

Most recently, Alton has been involved in working with call and contact centers to extend their reach online, focusing in on analytical and social development to assist organizations in moving to the cloud. His previous roles involved assessing strategic management and process planning for centers, verifying the customer experience gaps existing for clients, consulting on migration to cloud solutions and offering proficient and modern solutions.

 

Alton lives in Montreal, with his family. He is professionally capable in both French and English. Alton is an avid writer and content curator, maintaining multiple social media networks, all with a “millennial” attitude and runs the Canadian Executive Leadership Group on LinkedIn.

In joining The Taylor Reach Group, Alton is “excited to partner on strategic management consulting, work closely with other team members to utilize their specializations and combine previous expertise with new clientele to further grow both his and Taylor Reach’s Network” 

About The Taylor Reach

With offices in the United States, Canada, Australia, Europe and China, The Taylor Reach Group, Inc. (Taylor Reach) is a leading Call/Contact Center Consulting Customer Experience and Customer Service consulting firm. This award winning company founded in 2003 by Colin Taylor boasts today a stable of Fortune 1000 companies. The consulting staff at Taylor Reach each possess more than 20 years of ‘hands-on’ Call/Contact Center, Customer Experience, Customer Service and Customer Satisfaction experience in delivering effective and significant benefits from Operational Innovation.

 

 

The Taylor Reach Group, Inc. – Leaders in Call Center and Customer Service consulting – Bringing Order to Customer Service and Call Center Chaos since 2003.

For more information, visit our website,  The Taylor Reach Group, Inc. or contact Colin Taylor at 1-866-334-3730 ext 102 or ctaylor@thetaylorreachgroup.com



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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Customer Satisfaction as a Primary KPI?

By: Turaj Seyrafiaan

checklistThere have always been a number of contact center efficiency and effectiveness indicators. While each has a certain and important role, it should always be emphasized that we cannot analyze these indicators in solitude and need to view them as part of a larger holistic picture. From time to time, however, I have been asked which one of these indicators is the most important measurement for the business? Is there one measurement that a contact center manager can / must follow?
Well, I don’t know if “Customer Satisfaction” should be the only measurement but I do know that it should be the primary measurement. You see, we are all in business because we are trying to generate revenue from our products and services. We are the “Providers” who offer those products and services to customers. Without customers there is nothing for us to offer! We need customers!!
As contact centers play a bigger and bigger role in today’s businesses, their impact on the customers, and as a result on their loyalty to a company, become more and more evident. In fact best-in-class contact centers pride themselves in making the difference and increasing the overall customer satisfaction. Many years ago while doing a benchmarking study; I had an opportunity of discussing the role of the contact center with a senior VP of a multi-million Dollar mail order company. Several of our questions were focused on the sales process at the center, but he simply pointed out that “the catalog does the selling; we are here to serve customers and are responsible for their satisfaction”!! He had clearly understood that without satisfied customers the business could not grow and had entrenched that as the main role for his centers. Don’t get me wrong! They did have all kind of efficiency and effectiveness measurements and he knew his operation in fine detail, but the goal of the operation was to increase Customer Satisfaction.
Impact on Business
In the past twenty years, there have been many studies trying to define the impact of customer satisfaction on long term revenue / profit in more tangible relationship in order to convince those skeptical executives who felt the cost of customer satisfaction would far over weigh its benefits. Majority of these studies pointed to the same conclusion that customer satisfaction matters and can increase both short-term and long-term revenue for the organization.
Here are three of the well known conclusions:
• It costs significantly more (6-12 times) to attract a new customer than keeping an existing customer (“Satisfied” or “Very Satisfied”).
• In a competitive environment, a company with “excellent customer satisfaction” can charge up to 10% premium for similar products and services than its competitor (in other words it take 10% price differential for a “Very Satisfied” customer to consider changing his provider). This premium drops to under 3% for “Satisfied” customers. On the other side, those customers who rate their satisfaction as “Poor” and “Very Poor” will consider a change as soon as similar products and services are available from a competitor.
• Companies that provide multiple products and services can have up to 60% higher revenue from “Very Satisfied” customers than from “Satisfied” customers.
As mentioned all these studies deliver the same conclusion: customer satisfaction is important to the long term survival and growth of an organization. So, if we agree that customer satisfaction is important, how do we achieve that and how do we measure our progress?
There have been many theories around what is it that customers value, and how to increase their satisfaction. In general there are many factors contributing to the customers’ overall satisfaction. These factors vary from customer to customer and from environment to environment but typically include factors such as product (functionality, quality), price, delivery and service. Contact centers don’t have much to contribute to the product itself, price or fulfillment but can have a major impact on the service and this is where contact centers can differentiate themselves while creating wealth for the organization.
Customer Satisfaction is an ART
As a rule, customers’ expectation of a contact center can be grouped into three major categories: Access, Resolution and Treatment (ART for short). “Access” defines how easy it is for customers to reach a center (long wait time or a convoluted IVR certainly does not help). “Resolution” deals with the solutions that were offered / delivered to the customers during their contacts and how easy or difficult was to obtain such solutions (FCR comes to mind). Finally “Treatment” describes how customers were treated during their contacts. Each of these three major categories can be linked back to one or more of the efficiency / effectiveness measurement. For example Access can be linked back to Service Level and ASA.
Customer Satisfaction Index
Having customer satisfaction defined around ART, makes its measurement a lot easier. Typically, contact centers develop a short survey (5 to 10 questions) around these three categories (plus one or two loyalty questions which we will discuss later in this article) in order to measure the overall satisfaction. At the same time a secondary (detailed) survey is developed around each of these categories. These surveys are only used if and when there is a need for more detailed analysis (such as an improvement initiative or investigation about certain category).
Obviously different organizations use different scale for their survey measurement. These scales fall into two categories: Quantitative (such as 0 – 10) and Qualitative (such as Very Satisfied”, “Satisfied” and so on). Quantitative scale is more adaptable for numerical analysis, however, it makes it harder for customers to pick a number that represents their true feeling (for example what is the difference between a “6” vs. “7”). Qualitative scales, on the other hand, provide a better definition to the scale for customers to choose. Regardless of which scale you decide to use, the result can be presented as an index that combines all the results. An index is simply an average of all the numerical results. In case of qualitative scale each grade is given a numerical value in order to cover entire range (for example if the scale has only 4 options, then the lowest grade is 0, the highest grade is 100 and the other two are 33 and 66).
There are still a few organizations who report their result for top 1 or 2 grades only (for example “79% of customers rank their satisfaction as “Satisfied” and “Very Satisfied”). By choosing a specific grouping of the respondent, this method fails to provide a complete picture of what customers (all of them) think as we cannot tell if the majority of customers are “Very Satisfied” or just “Satisfied”. In addition there is no report about satisfaction of the other 21%.
iStock_000015959780_SmallAlthough it has been proven that customer satisfaction can and will lead to higher revenues, there is still the question of customer intention, especially when it comes to the large ticket items such as automobiles. Is the customer satisfaction a valid indicator of future revenues? Would a satisfied customer purchase the same brand when it is time for an upgrade? The problem here is that there are many other factors involved that will impact customers’ intention and as a result even a “Very Satisfied” customer may not become a repeat customer. (Although even in these situations, the probability of a customer becoming a repeat customer increases with the level of their satisfaction).
In order to gauge the likelihood of customers repeating their purchases and becoming repeat customers, many organization – large and small – have introduced one or two questions with regard to customer’s intention, loyalty and potential recommendation to others. When reviewing results from such surveys, we must keep in mind that: a) customers are evaluating the entire organization (including product features and quality, price, delivery and service); and b) customers provide their feelings at the moment of the survey which is highly influenced by their latest experience with the company. Such feelings may change over time depending on more recent interaction with the organization.
Net Promoter
Over the years, loyalty questions have expanded from individual customer’s purchase intention (would you use us again?) to his or her willingness to recommend the company’s products and services (would you recommend us to your colleagues?). The idea here is based on the old adage that word of the mouth is the best advertising. By including the question about recommendation, organizations hope to capture a simple and accurate indicator for future growth.
In 2003 Bain & Company introduced a more formal / structured format for this question and the related analysis called Net Promoter. The survey simply asks about the likelihood of a customer recommending the product and/or service to others on a scale of 0 (not at all likely) to 10 (extremely likely). Customers with scores between 0 and 6 are considered to be ‘Detractors’ while those customers with scores of 9 and 10 are considered to be ‘Promoters’ (customers with scores of 7 and 8 are considered to be ‘Passive’). Net Promoter Score (or NPS) is the difference between the percentage of ‘Promoters’ and ‘Detractors’. A positive number indicates that there are more customers recommending the company than those who are denouncing it. Clearly a higher positive number indicates higher number of ‘Promoters’ and higher possibility of revenue growth.
Although Bain & Company introduced this metric as the “the one number you need to grow”, there is no statistical evidence that this indicator is more accurate than any other loyalty indicators or for that matter any typical customer satisfaction indicators already in place.
The Bottom Line
Regardless of which method is used to survey and report customers’ intention, there is no question that customer satisfaction has a major impact on future buying decisions either from current customers or their network of acquaintance. In many organizations contact centers are major source of providing services to customers which magnifies the impact of customer satisfaction with the center on the overall survival / growth of an organization. For these contact centers customer satisfaction must become a major goal (if not the only goal) for the operation.



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