I've recently purchased a new software application for my business. The tool has been helpful in making our team and myself more productive. There is of course a bit of a learning curve and a few areas where I've struggled to figure things out but not enough to contact the provider’s help desk or customer service line.
To my delight and surprise the software provider of this tool has reached out to me…proactively. Checking to see if they can help me in any way. They offer useful tips and suggestions to make sure we are getting the most out of the tool.
And sure enough, the approach works.
I am more engaged with the tool, taking more advantage of the features I may not have been aware of otherwise. And, I am likely to become more dependent on this tool. Ah…there is the key…customer stickiness. I am now more likely to be a long term, loyal customer who renews my subscription.
The experience is great. It makes me wonder if the proactive approach is the new norm for providing an exceptional customer experience. Is it what will be expected for customers to be wowed by the products they use rather than just somewhat satisfied or pleased?
Providing this little bit of extra attention could end up going a long ways in impacting the experience of the customer.
I also think about large contact centers who service and support thousands and thousands of customers. How might a contact center team prepare, staff and cost-justify the additional expense? The agents making the contact will have to be well coached experts about the products or the call may backfire. What if the customer is unhappy? Do you also provide a proactive refund and enable the agents to make that call with the customer on the line?
The well-intended call could have implications that are very broad and complex for a large organization to digest and manage. But if this is the new normal then we will need to adapt.
Also, how will companies incorporate the proactive contact into their operations? Is it a phone call or email and how many times do we attempt to contact our busy end customer? Might a company use the opportunity to up-sell their customer on other products to help offset the expense? Or is the long-term value of the customer justification enough to take this extra step?
If your company is not engaging in proactive customer service, it may be a new strategy for your organization to consider. The opportunities and customer retention delivering this proactive service may very well outweigh the challenges.
Publish Date: January 22, 2019
No matter what type of contact center, we all have agents with different levels of tenure, skill and motivation that inevitably leads to a bell curve of agent performance and effectiveness. We all desire our agents move to the upper end of the curve where that magic combination of high productivity and quality exists.
The typical performance bell curve for contact center agents shows us that we have highly effective agents, those that are considered average performers and agents that are below average. Most of us focus on coaching and developing agents that are in the lower part of the bell curve, the agents that are in need of the most help in improving effectiveness. However, does it also make sense to also spend time coaching your best agents on an ongoing basis?
Perhaps we don’t need to look any further than Rafael Nadal for the answer. In this year’s US Open, Nadal won the final game of the championship in three straight sets coming into the tournament ranked as the world’s #1 tennis player and continuing his dominance in the sport. However, while Nadal is at the top of his game, he has a coach who continues to work with him on refining his serve, return, and volley. In fact, he now has two coaches as he seeks different input and approaches to continue to improve his game and maintain his #1 ranking.
The lesson learned? As we look within our own contact centers, continuing to invest in the effectiveness of our top performers is important and can keep them at the top of their game. Coach them to not just serve within the lines, but to hit an ace and win more matches by being better, faster and smarter.
Publish Date: September 28, 2017
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