Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Social Media: a distributed communication channel

2010 was the year that Social Media was really adopted by the mass. There is no way you could have missed that. You can’t watch a TV show without someone telling you to follow them on Facebook or Twitter. Customer complaints turned to media hypes and dominated the news. 2011 will be the year that companies start to realize that Social Media have induced a major shift in balance of power from companies to consumers and can no longer be ignored. Time to incorporate this 'distributed communication' channel in your multi channel customer contact strategy!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Youp 2.0: kwaliteit van klantenservice is exponentieel met aantal volgers

Afgelopen zaterdag herinnerde Youp van 't Hek ons er weer eens aan dat het goed hommeles is met de klantenservice van een grote telecom operator (bedrijf T), iets wat iedereen al wist maar waar ieder normaal mens zich al lang bij neergelegd heeft.

Zo niet Youp. Nadat hij 40.000 Twitter volgers had laten smullen van zijn klantenservice ervaring brak de pleures uit op het hoofdkantoor van deze telecom operator.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Customer Process Management enhances satisfaction

Customer Process Management is a practical management approach which aims to handle, manage and continuously improve customer contact processes and its internal workflows. Its goal is to increase customer satisfaction, retention, productivity and operating profits. It also contributes greatly to employee satisfaction. CPM is about unlocking all relevant customer information and integrally present it to your CSRs. And CPM is all about defining procedures and capture these procedures into processes.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

How to create the Wow in customer experiences.

Customer experiences have a massive impact on companies performance as a whole. Research by Ogilvy indicates that companies that delivered "wow" experiences, because of the great product and experience they offered, scored higher on retention ratios, 84% vs. 30% and cross-sell ratios, 82% vs. 16%, compared with companies that did not. Just take a look at brands like Zappos, Virgin, Apple and Amazon. It seems that they found their way in it. Curious about how to create the "wow" experience yourself?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

KPI's in perspective.

Increasing customer loyalty and decreasing their efforts it no rocket science. In fact, a lot of issues are already known, a lot of software applications and databases have already been installed, most reps have been trained properly and internal processes and procedures have been defined. And yet customers are unsatisfied and disloyal. So, how do you stop that? You could try to analyze the their frustrations. Customers can tell you what's wrong. Then define new, low effort, customer service processes and get some easy to use software which makes it easy for your organization to properly handle a call, integrally present relevant customer information, start up workflows in which customer information can be edited.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Customer service through a website?

How can a company move customers to visit the self-service website? And, how can customers stick to that channel? It is a fair question, because self-service websites are a lot cheaper than a customer service rep (CSR) and additionally, most questions customers ask, can be found on the website. Unfortunately research of the Customer Contact Council shows that 57% of the customers surveyed, have already been on the website first, before calling the organization.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Motives from Apple.

What is the similarity between Mac, iMac, iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes and other products Apple has ever created and will create in the future? Apart from having created products and services with a great design and a great user interface, Apple products and services deliver great user experiences. From the very start of the company until the introduction of the iPad, almost 40 years later, Apple always knows what customers want and why they want it. How does Apple know that? And, more important, what can you learn from it?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Interpersonal issues in customer contact events.

Now that we have started removing obstacles in order to decrease customers' effort, why don't we address other aspects on this subject. For example the emotional side of customer interactions. It may be an aspect hard to measure, but how things are being said, sometimes prevail on what is being said. When the message itself is clear to a customer, he or she does not necessarily have to agree with it.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Increase customer satisfaction? Reduce effort.

One might wonder how many times customer call up a company, after they have already visited the website. These numbers don't show up in KPI reports and metrics such as average handling time and first time resolution. But one can take into account the effort a customer has to take to have an issue solved or a question answered. Take a look at this example, pretend it is your company:

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Customers have to call back

What is the biggest cause of customer effort? Customers who have to call back. Customers find it annoying, it takes time and it can be avoided. Though companies believe they perform well on this subject, because of strong first-contact-resolution scores (FCR). However 22% of the repeat calls involve downstream issues that relate to the problem that caused the original call. There is a message here: Do not only resolve the current issue, be ahead of the next one.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Business process management and a lot more.

This post is somewhat more practical and longer then you are used to on this weblog. It starts with a description of business process management and it transforms into a post about customer process managment. As you know, business process management (BPM) is a method to identify, to model, to optimize and to manage the internal processes of an organization. It makes organizations more transparent and measurable in performance. Output elements are the key performance indicators (KPIs) such as average turnaround time, customer satisfaction and the number of complaints.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Customer Effort Score

A lot customers face obstacles when contacting their supplier. They have to contact the organization repeatedly, are being transferred all the time, have to repeat information and have to switch channels to get an issue resolved. Unsatisfied customers, due to bad customer service is bad for business. Customer service companies can reduce these types of effort by using a new type of metric: the Customer Effort Score (CES).

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Virgin is not sleeping. What about you?

The worldwide known Virgin brand stands for Value for money, Quality and Fun. It offers a lot for less and it works out fine. Almost every time when Virgin enters a market it succeeds in gaining a profitable market share and most of the time, Virgin changed the rules of the game. It happened with Virgin Records, Virgin Megastores, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Express, Virgin Mobile, Virgin Trains, Virgin Money.... and so on. What is the secret? What does Branson do all the time? Is everybody else sleeping?

Make it easy, make it no effort.

During the service interaction, customer service companies only can create loyal customers by helping them solving their problems quickly and easily. Just make it easy for customers to do business with you and when they do have questions or complaints, serve them appropriately. How do you do that? By removing obstacles and reduce the effort a customer has to do to solve a problem.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

No mistake, First Time Right

Customer Process Management (CPM) merges the domains CRM and BPM. It effectively and efficiently manages customer contacts and the processes that follow as a consequence. CPM aims at an increase in customer satisfaction, productivity and operating profits. One of the indicators that will improve by CPM is the First Time Right ratio. The higher this ratio, the better it is.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cut the crap and solve customers problems

A lot of companies execute customer service strategies to delight their customers. When a customer files a complaint, by phone, mail or another channel, a well trained customer service representative (CSR) will do his utmost to satisfy the customer. Maybe you have had some experiences yourself when contacting your phone company, cable provider, insurance company or energy supplier. You just had a simple request, but you had to call back a few times to get it fixed.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Smiling customers at is a US based online retailer. Initially it started selling shoes online but now offers a wider range of fashion items. The company was built from scratch and turned in just one decade into a huge succesful online retaler grossing $ 1,2 billion in revenues in 2009. What did do to get from zero to a billion dollar venture and what can we learn from it?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Win customers' loyality by just solving their problems.

"Stop trying to delight your customers". To really win their loyalty, forget the bells and whistles and just solve their problems. This is the title and subtitle of a Harvard Businsess Review article, issue july/august 2010 by Matthew Dixon, Karen Freeman and Nicholas Toman. They are associated with the Customer Contact Council, which is a division of the Corporate Executive Board

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Increase your sales results

Customer Process Management (CPM) is focussed at customer contact processes and the continuous improvement of internal customer processes. CPM results in an increase in customer satisfaction, productivity and operating profits. Unique marketing and sales opportunities arise by making available all relevant customer information to customer contact employees.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Drop Average Handling Time

How do organizations ensure that employees improve productivity during customer interaction events? How do they do that without compromising on customer satisfaction? How can organizations achieve an increase in sales volume? How can organizations instruct their employees? How can organizations increase employees' accountabillity? How do organizations implement this all? How will they get the employees to participate?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

First Time Right

Customer Process Management focusses at customer contact processes and the continuous improvement of internal processes. As a result customer satisfaction, productivity and profit will increase. One of the indicators that will improve is First Time Right ratio.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Pixar the great movie company, You the great customer service company

A lot of people may have heard about Pixar. The animation movie company, owned by Disney Corporation after Steve Jobs swapped his Pixar shares and became a major shareholder in Disney. Probably more people have heard of movies like Toy Story, Cars and WALL-E. How is it possible, for a relatively small and young company, to produce blockbuster movies? Pixar creates just one animation movie per year and brings a smile on the faces of millions of people. And not only kids!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Improve Average Handling Time

A valid question for customer service organizations and its managers, is how to improve Handling Time Average (AHT). But by improving AHT customer service representatives (CSR) can lose focus on the main goal of the customer service center: serving customers. So, how does an organization improves its AHT will it still satisfies its customers?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Increase your profitability

Customer Process Management is aimed at continuously improving customer contact processes and the internal processes which follow as a consequence. Its goal is to increase customer satisfaction, productivity and operating profits. By making available all relevant customer information, to customer contact employees or CSR, organizations can achieve these goals.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Lean Six Sigma in perspective

Many people think that Lean Six Sigma is strongly influenced by Japanese companies like Toyota. That may be so, but Lean Six Sigma has strong American roots. Industrialists like Henry Ford and William Edwards Deming, who after the Second World War was heavily involved rebuilding the Japanese industry, have been great pioneers of the philosophy. Lean Six Sigma consists of two combined methods: Lean Thinking and Six Sigma. Both are focused at improving business processes and customers.

The Lean Thinking philosophy is aimed at those elements that do not add value to be eliminated from the process. As a result the final product improves in quality, which has positive effects on revenue streams. The Six Sigma philosophy focuses on the quality per element in the process and has a strong customer focus.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

What is Customer Process Management?

In the field of Customer Process Management (CPM), the principles of Business Process Management (BPM), Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Customer Interaction Management (CIM) come together. CPM connects back office systems with customer contact processes. Because of this connection, customer contact employees are better able to manage customer contact well and quickly.

Monday, July 12, 2010


Customer Process Management is the merger of Business Process Management and Customer Relationship Management and it has led to a step forward in the area of Customer Interaction Management. Understanding that, why should an organization consider CPM?

Processes which follow on customer contacts, like a phone call, usually extend departments and involves several employees. For exemple, a customer calls or sends an email with a question about an invoice and he or she want to pass on a change in address as well. CPM manages these processes in a flexible, effective and efficient way. As a result, the Average Handling Time significantly decreased.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Customer Process Management? Never heard of it....

Customer Process Management is a new perspective in the way how companies can manage and optimize their customer contact processes. The CPM domain reaches deep into backoffice applications and extend across departments, supporting constant change and business agility.

CPM is the convergence of Customer Relationship Management and Business Process Management. While BPM is a holistic management approach focused on aligning all aspects of an organization with the wants and needs of clients, and CRM is a widely-implemented strategy for managing and nurturing a company’s interactions with customers, clients and sales prospects, CPM is a management strategy focused on optimizing complex customer contact processes.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Workflow management

For many organizations, workflow management is more than just a point of interest. Processes must take place without errors to ensure that clients remain loyal and keep their competitive edge. In addition, costs must be kept under control in order to generate profits. Although workflow management can help, it cannot handle everything on its own.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Principles of customer contact handling

Three dimensions
When handling customer contacts, three dimensions can be identified within which a certain level of performance must be delivered:

•Customer satisfaction
Within the limits of the chosen CRM strategy, customer satisfaction will have to be maximum.
Subsequently, the customer must be satisfied as quickly as possible. The achievement of short 'Average Handling Times' is a necessity.
•Employee satisfaction
The previously demonstrated relationship between satisfied employees, happy customers, and profitability also makes this dimension an important one.