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Up Where Expectations Soar: Customer Care in the Age of Entitlement - Blue Ocean Contact Centers - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog

Up Where Expectations Soar: Customer Care in the Age of Entitlement

 

Admit it, you love it when you’re handed that Starbucks beverage with your name spelled neatly and correctly on the side. Maybe that’s where it all started: that innocent coffee cup with the green mermaid staring back at you. The trend of personalized customer experience has since transformed almost every industry as we know it. From the retail experience to social media connections to issue resolution via the contact center, customers want their individual needs known and reflected in the interactions, services, and products they pay for.

The upside to this personalized, high-touch service is the humanness of it all. When we stop seeing fellow human beings as mere transactions, surely that’s a good thing. The dark side is that for many customers, the expectation of personalization can be a direct path to a sense of entitlement. And a customer who feels they are owed the right to “special treatment” can quickly become an unhappy customer. Cue the angry phone calls and spiteful social posts.

It’s your contact center agents who are left to make things right and, hopefully, earn the customer’s continued loyalty – and they have to be well supported to do it effectively. So, what is the best way to support customers with extremely high service expectations? How do we deliver amazing customer experiences despite increasingly challenging stressors?

The Tools to Tackle Customer Entitlement

First and foremost, there needs to be a very tight relationship between the contact center team and the company leadership team. Everyone, from top to bottom, needs to have an equal commitment to providing an optimal customer experience, and there must be regular communication to determine what that looks like.

In our world, this takes the shape of a unified and documented blueprint of the customer journey, as well as the appropriate tools and systems to support that journey and equip agents to deliver the optimal experience. Omnichannel support, where all contact channels seamlessly integrate in real-time and the customer can transition without having to repeat themselves, is the best foundation to engage customers for the entire lifecycle. But we want to call out the impact of social media in the hands of customers whose expectations haven’t been met. We’ve all seen Twitter explosions over poor customer service (sorry, Comcast). So, for brands that seem to attract more than their fair share of snarky customers, proactive social media support teams are essential, as is a seamless transition from social media to other channels. Again, a smooth digital transition from social to an empowered agent is key.

A strategic Tier 2 support team may also be necessary. Often, with intensely disgruntled customers who feel they deserved better service, the situation often stands the best chance of recovery when your Tier 1 agent escalates the call to someone who is perceived as having greater authority. An efficient escalation process and a well-trained Tier 2 team who are expert communicators can make the difference between a lost customer and a loyal customer.

In some cases, the regular array of tools and resources aren’t enough, and more strategic solutions are required to satisfy frustrated customers. For example, a client of ours in the grocery sector recognized that simply providing a credit for missing or damaged items wasn’t enough for agents to be able to deliver an excellent experience. The stakes were too high for this standard solution to be completely effective. As it turns out, when it comes to food, people often react viscerally to a service mishap or product disappointment, and straightforward make-goods or discounts often don’t cut it. Our client realized they needed to achieve the near-impossible and provide ways for agents to truly win over customers who expected nothing less than perfect service. Part of their solution was a business partnership that allowed agents to facilitate the replacement and delivery of any missed or damaged items within mere hours.

Finally, in the rare case that we interact with a customer whose expectations go beyond the realm of possibility, we flag the contact for review with our client. This is where close collaboration is essential. We want our client engaged in deciding how to manage the customer relationship – we want to understand their decision-making process and use that intel when similar complex interactions arise in the future. It is the closed loop concept – feed the decisions back downstream to recruiting and training teams as well as agents and coach teams to get in front of the problem next time.

The Training to Prepare for Entitled Customers

What is the right hiring profile for a brand whose customers have sky high service expectations? The best agents in these scenarios are people who are highly self-aware and who do not feed off of negative energy – that’s a shortcut to losing customers left and right. We actively recruit for people who self-identify as able to create positive energy in others. We want solution-focused people who can empathize with every customer and can shake off the negativity that comes with handling a barrage of complaints. Even if it’s the fifteenth identical call of the day, a customer needs to believe their situation is unique, and that takes an agent with high emotional intelligence.

But being able to deliver amazing service to even the most entitled customer requires more than the right hiring profile. The training process has to start with imparting a comprehensive understanding of the brand an agent is serving. They need to understand the impact of the service or product they support on that customer’s life, time, family, or career. This foundational knowledge enables genuine interactions, in which angry customers come away with the belief that the agent understands their struggle and is as invested in figuring out a solution as the customer. Beyond comprehending the why and the how, your agents need to care. To paraphrase The Heath Brothers in their book, The Power of Moments, you don’t just need your agents to understand something, you need them to feel something. How outsourcers build that connection between agent/customer/client brand is the secret sauce – and if you are going to RFP for a new customer care provider, that’s where you should be probing for specific examples and process details.

The training doesn’t end in their first few days or weeks. A robust, ongoing coaching program is a necessity. You can’t expect someone to have the skills to handle challenging customers if they don’t know how well they’re doing or where they need improvement on regular interactions. Side-by-side coaching, opportunities for self-evaluation, and regular scorecards are all ways to help agents prepare for difficult interactions with entitled customers.

How to Support Your Toughest Customers

Maybe it’s generational or cultural – or simply a result of personable coffee mermaids; either way, today’s consumers believe they are entitled to and deserve “special” treatment. There is a whole host of studies and surveys out there trying to explain the topic of entitlement. Challenging customers are always going to show up, and your brand’s reputation depends upon how well you are able to serve them.

Source: https://blueocean.ca/customer-care-entitlement/

Publish Date: April 15, 2019 5:00 AM


2021 Buyers Guide Inbound Call Handling Services

 
1.) 
2Ring

2Ring Gadgets for Cisco Finesse
2Ring Gadgets for Cisco Finesse, offered in three bundles (standard, enhanced, premium), empowers supervisors and enables agents to become more efficient.

Supervisors are able to handle everyday tasks on their own from within Cisco Finesse: reskill agents, view detailed information about agents and customer interactions in real-time, receive alerts about important call center events (RONA, Calls in Queue, ..), send messages to agents, or even change wallboards on the fly. Be flexible to provide help when needed.

Agents gain all the features that they need to serve customers faster - repetitive tasks are automated, alerts about important call center events pop-up on top of all the appli...
(read more)

2.) 
3Fiftynine

Branches
Calls are received by the right person or department. The right corresponding information is shown to the agent which makes that appointments are handled quicker and more secure.

3.) 
Agara

Agara is an autonomous virtual voice agent powered by Real-time Voice AI. It is designed to have intelligent conversations with your customers, vendors, and partners without any assistance from human agents. It can handle a wide variety of calls including inbound customer care calls, outbound lead generation calls, appointment scheduling calls, and overdue payment recovery calls.

Agara is available for several industries including banking, insurance, retail, e-commerce, airlines, and telecom. Powered by advanced Real-time Voice AI that understands speech in real-time, automatically determines the right process to follow and guides the caller along in the process with natural conversation.

4.) 
Call Center Studio

Call Center Studio
Call Center Studio is the world’s first call center built on Google and is one of the most secure and stable systems with some of the industry’s best reporting. It is one of the most full-featured enterprise grade systems (with the most calling features, one of the best call distribution, outbound dialing features and integrations—including IVR, AI Speech Recognition, blended inbound/outbound calling and includes Google’s new Dialogflow and Speech API. Call Center Studio is the absolute easiest to use (with a 10 minute setup), and is the price performance leader with lower equipment cost and less setup time.

5.) 
Connect Assist

Contact Centre Services
We’re a specialist Contact Centre business and market leaders helping socially focused organisations deliver quality support to their clients and service users. We do this by providing 24/7 helplines, software solutions and consultancy services.

Since launching in 2006, we’ve operated at the sharp end of customer service, supporting some of society’s most vulnerable people. We’ve pioneered in our space to become a specialist in helplines, whilst using the most advanced communication and database technologies available.

Our social mission has remained a constant throughout, providing many meaningful career prospects and growth opportunities to people within our local communities and fur...
(read more)

6.) 
Jointly International Inc.

Front Office Solutions
Front office is your Company’s first line of customer interaction and serves as the mirror of your business. Focus on your core business and let our competent staff handle your various front office needs such as:

* Customer Service via chat, email or phone
* Technical Support via chat, email or phone
* Helpdesk
* Virtual Assistant/Receptionist
* Answering Service
* Lead Generation
* Appointment Setting
* Verification
* Surveys
* Debt Recover, Collections

7.) 
MattsenKumar LLC

Contact Center Outsourcing
By catering valuable, usable and enjoyable customer service, businesses can increase their CSAT Score and Customer Retention Rate. We help organizations to provide quality customer service through varied channels like email, phone and live chat. Ensuring quality after-sales support is our USP and we rely on proven approaches to ensure quality customer service.

8.) 
OpsTel Services

SPEED
The SPEED solution solves for service level issues while cost optimizing the environment with automation.

Provides an enhanced way to speed up & optimize invoking temporary agent skills configuration changes into the contact center environment.

Speed allows you to schedule both future changes & temporary changes that auto-revert back to the original state when scheduled time expires.

Speed features:

*Automated / Scheduled Temporary Agent Skills Configuration Management
*Immediate Temporary or Reoccurring Schedule Skills Configuration Changes
*Easy to Use/Operations Administration Focused
*Descriptive Monitoring Activity Dashboard
*Detailed “End to End’ Audit Trail and Performance Monitoring

9.) 
Vads

VADS Inbound Contact Center
VADS Inbound Contact Center Services provide live operators who answer incoming calls as you would yourself. A team of professional script writers is available to help you script a greeting and experience programmers will set up a time and money saving program. Our unique approach to call center services is client-focused, and takes each project’s unique needs into account to our client’s satisfaction. We offer solution as part of our service to keep you in touch with your client and drive sales.

- Customer Service
- Walk In Center
- Service Desk

10.) 
Tru29 Outsource Solutions Inc.

Front Office Solutions
Any part of your business operations that requires constant end-customer facing task is an essential part of your business.

This task requires a good customer experience results for every customer interaction. Our extensive experience in handling Front Office related tasks can help you focus on your core business while being cost-efficient at the same time.
 



View more from Blue Ocean Contact Centers

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