Monday, October 7, 2013
By Colin Taylor
Its Customer Service Week. This is the time of year to recognize and appreciate the contributions of all of the people that deliver customer service.
This week in call centers across the globe there will be pizza days, cakes, give aways of small dollar value goodies, staff dressed casually and visits by senior staff that may never have found their way to the center before. Now please don’t get me wrong, attention paid to your customer facing staff will never be a waste of time. But how much more effective and engaged could we be if we paid attention to our customer service pros all 52 weeks of the year.
Customer service is not an easy job, speaking on the phone with customers can be very challenging and the people who do this for a career deserve our gratitude and appreciation. We need to recognize their contribution to our lives. Every day tens of thousands of product orders are processed thanks to a customer service agent being able to address a customer question of concern, inaccurate bills, invoice and outstanding charges are resolved and our economic engine is allowed to skip forward thanks to customer service professionals who have sanded some of the rough edges off.
Of course the situation isn’t perfect: too many companies employ ‘mushroom management’ with their customer service and call center staff, too often the wizards in Marketing pull off a great campaign that the call centers agents get to hear about from the callers and too many companies create policies and procedures to protect them from their customers and ask the call center and customer service staff to be the enforcers.
Yes there is a long way to go to deliver the level and quality of customer service we all would like to receive and provide, but lets not kill the messengers, its not the agents that can make customer service and call center interactions as much fun as a tooth extraction, it is their managers and their companies.
So take a moment, this week and every week, to think about the customer service people you interact with and have appreciate what they are able to do to help you and to help their organizations. Then, next week perhaps, you can consider what your organization can do to make the role of your customer service and call center staff more productive and enjoyable…remove nonsensical policies that create work and penalize customers, provide tools to the front line that speed and aid their efforts, realistically fund the center to deliver the customer experience you want to deliver and lastly appreciate your front line customer service staff by taking active steps to improve engagement and autonomy.
via The Taylor Reach Group - Call Center Consultants http://thetaylorreachgroup.com/2013/10/07/its-customer-service-week-so-what-about-the-other-51-weeks/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=its-customer-service-week-so-what-about-the-other-51-weeks
Thursday, October 3, 2013
By Colin Taylor
People are the key to any successful business and this is especially so in call centers. The sales and customer service staff in the call center are the face of the organization. Each time a customer speaks with the call center the person they speak with is the company. The customers’ opinion of the company and the brand improves or erodes based upon an interaction with the center. A Purdue University study that found that 92% of customers based their opinion or an organization based upon their interaction with the company’s’ call center.
Too many organizations fail to invest the proper effort and attention in selecting new staff. This is manifest in: vague job descriptions, no defined skills,competencies, no skills testing, weak or absent background and reference checks. It is not surprising to me that the staff selected may not be well suited for the role.
With the cost for a new hire ranging from $7,000 to $10,000 the company is making a significant investment. This level of investment warrants attention, especially in an industry with chronic turnover issues. So what are the best practices, that any contact center can implement? Here is quick reference list that will help you to improve your selection and retention in your center.
Make sure your job descriptions relevant to the role. Describe the role accurately, surface details related the task activities, systems interactions, level of activity etc. State required skills (keyboarding, math, typing etc.). Identify the background checks that will be completed; i.e. references, background checks, personality profile, credit check, criminal check, drug test etc. – there is no point bringing anyone into the office who knows they can’t pass one, or more of these tests. Be sure to follow through on all the background checks you have committed to.
Employ role play tests and/or listen to real call problems and ask the candidate how they would respond. Remember we can’t expect them to have the correct answer, but we want to see their listening skills, attitude and approach to problem solving.
In our next post we will examine how to align your hiring and recruiting process with your training and on- boarding process.
via The Taylor Reach Group - Call Center Consultants http://thetaylorreachgroup.com/2013/10/03/people-your-single-biggest-expense-and-your-biggest-asset-in-your-call-center/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=people-your-single-biggest-expense-and-your-biggest-asset-in-your-call-center