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.