Cookie Preference Centre

Your Privacy
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Performance Cookies
Functional Cookies
Targeting Cookies

Your Privacy

When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences, your device or used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually identify you directly, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. You can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, you should know that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on the site and the services we are able to offer.

Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site may not work then.

Cookies used

ContactCenterWorld.com

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources, so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies, we will not know when you have visited our site.

Cookies used

Google Analytics

Functional Cookies

These cookies allow the provision of enhance functionality and personalization, such as videos and live chats. They may be set by us or by third party providers whose services we have added to our pages. If you do not allow these cookies, then some or all of these functionalities may not function properly.

Cookies used

Twitter

Facebook

LinkedIn

Targeting Cookies

These cookies are set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant ads on other sites. They work by uniquely identifying your browser and device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will not experience our targeted advertising across different websites.

Cookies used

LinkedIn

This site uses cookies and other tracking technologies to assist with navigation and your ability to provide feedback, analyse your use of our products and services, assist with our promotional and marketing efforts, and provide content from third parties

OK
Become a Basic Member for free. Click Here

Customer Service Edge Cases. To Empower or Not to Empower? - FCR - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog

Customer Service Edge Cases. To Empower or Not to Empower?

Have you noticed the change in professional sports television viewing over the past few years where it’s become standard for a rules official, oftentimes a former referee, to provide expert interpretations of the rules and judgment calls in instant replay situations. If you’re not into sports, just take my word for it. My point is that if you’ve worked as a leader in a contact center, chances are you’ve felt like that rules official a time or two.

It’s been nearly two years since I shared my Recipe for Consistent Customer Service, and while that covers many customer service situations, there are still plenty of scenarios, or edge cases that require a rules interpretation from a manager or supervisor. In this article, I’m going to summarize a couple recent situations that challenged this recipe and then I’ll talk about how to address these and whether or not agents should be empowered to handle them.

Scenario #1: What if taking care of the customer might mean stepping on some toes?

A colleague recently approached me with a question. A support ticket had been handled by someone in another office and the customer was unhappy with the service they received. Remember that I work for an outsourcer and it’s not uncommon for our clients to have internal customer service teams as well as other outsourcing vendors. For one reason or another, the ticket came to our attention and we felt compelled to reach out to the customer to make it right.

Typically in the event that a customer is dissatisfied with the service provided by one of our agents, we review those cases, using them as opportunities to coach agents to provide better service. That didn’t apply in this case because someone at another office or vendor originally handled the ticket. While my colleague wanted to follow our normal process, she didn’t feel it was her place to reassign the case to an agent at another office or provide any coaching to them. After all, she didn’t manage that person and also ran the risk of making another vendor look bad in the eyes of our client.

When she asked for my recommendation I immediately asked, “What’s the top priority here?”

Yes, coaching agents for better quality and consistency and playing nice with our partners makes the list, but we agreed that the most important thing was to take care of the customer. We were then able to find a path to do so without causing a stir with the other vendor.

Scenario #2: Where’s the line when it comes to taking care of the customer?

A former colleague asked for my opinion on a recent customer service situation. She learned that a long time, repeat customer of theirs had passed away. Upon hearing the news she felt compelled to send flowers to the family of the deceased customer only to have the gesture vetoed by her boss. Thanks to Zappos and the effect they’ve had on global customer service, some might feel it’s their obligation to make a grand gesture in these cases — and anything less would be bad customer service. Furthermore, the boss that says no is heartless, right?

As we chatted, however, I encouraged her to look at this from the perspective of an owner of a small, but growing startup. Yes, we absolutely want to take care of the customer, but let’s also consider that having flowers delivered could run as much as $50. Is there something less expensive that can adequately express our sympathies — like a card or a phone call? Maybe the boss isn’t such a bad guy but is concerned about setting a precedent in the event that this happens again in the future. Or perhaps the customer, while a valued customer, only paid a few dollars per month.

To empower or not to empower

In my previous article, I spoke of authorizing or empowering agents to make decisions and take action on behalf of customers. In the two stories I’ve shared, you could make the argument that depending on the company, it would be easy to empower agents to handle these cases. But let’s assume these are indeed edge cases and talk about the best course of action. Here are four things to consider:

  • On support teams the old adage of one to say yes, two to say no isn’t a bad thing. While it certainly means more questions for supervisors and managers and it might reek to some of bureaucracy, it’s important to build checks and balances into your support operation where agents, if they don’t know the answer or aren’t empowered to make a decision, seek a second opinion. But before you shake your head no or wave your magic wand and make it so, you can still prepare your agents for the next level by reasoning through a decision with them. Ask them what they’d do if the decision was all theirs. Rather than shooting them down, take the time to affirm their judgment and steer them in the right direction. What a vote of confidence it is for your agents if they help make the decision and learned something along the way.
  • Keep track of the occurrences. Whether it’s a disposition or tag in a ticketing system or a tally on a whiteboard, keep track of how often such edge cases arise. You may find that some of these only come up once in a blue moon, like a customer passing away, whereas others are more frequent and require you to adjust policy and agent training to be able to guide these situations. That’s one of the benefits of requiring a second opinion because it helps leaders keep their finger on the pulse of what’s going on and how often these issues arise.
  • Point back to your north star. In my first story, there was never a question that the right thing to do was to take care of the customer with the unresolved issue. There were, however, a few other things in the way that required a bit of care and consideration. How often do we get bogged down with policy and procedure and forget that without our customers we don’t have a business? Think about that for a microsecond, the fact that we’re here to take care of the customer, and many of the other details become trivial and begin to fall into line.
  • Also don’t forget about customer lifetime value. I’ve heard a number of folks mention a customer lifeboat so I’m not sure who to attribute it to. To summarize, it’s a set dollar amount up to which agents are authorized to spend to make it right for a customer. At a previous job, we were authorized to credit a free month of service up to $50. At the Ritz-Carlton, employees are authorized for up to $2,000. While we want to take care of customers and share gratitude or sympathies, it’s possible that sending $50 worth of flowers is bad business — especially if the customer only spends a few bucks a month. Think about how much customers spend and give accordingly, but by all means, be sincere about it.

As I reflect back on these stories I’ve shared, my favorite aspect of both of them is that my colleagues were wrestling with this stuff. They genuinely cared about the customer and wanted to do right by them. If you do nothing else, be sure to continue to foster that in your company culture. My hope is that these few tips help us, like a good referee, make the right call.

Source: https://www.gofcr.com/customer-service-edge-cases/

Publish Date: January 18, 2019 5:00 AM


2020 Buyers Guide Payment Services

 
1.) 
Eckoh

CallGuard, ChatGuard,
Securing payments for on-premise or remote agents for telephone, IVR, web, mobile, Chat and Chatbot.

A patented technology that is flexible way to take secure, PCI DSS compliant payments via live agents over the telephone, web, Chat, Chatbot, or IVR. No sensitive data enters the contact centre environment so, agents do not see, hear, store or record any card or personal details.

CallGuard can be deployed in various ways to fit the way your contact centre works. The solution can de-scope all, or parts, of your contact centre from the scope of PCI DSS compliance and works just as well for on-premise or home/remote working agents.

ChatGuard makes payments in Chat PCI DSS compliant and...
(read more)
PH: 01442 458300
 



View more from FCR

Recent Blog Posts:
When Friendly Customer Service is SecondaryFebruary 20, 2019 5:00 AM
Customer Service Edge Cases. To Empower or Not to Empower?January 18, 2019 5:00 AM
FCR Solutions Spotlight: 5 Contact Center Tech Upgrades to Consider in 2019January 11, 2019 5:00 AM
How Chat Analytics Differs from Voice AnalyticsJanuary 3, 2019 5:00 AM
Sad and Happy GoodbyesDecember 21, 2018 5:00 AM
Creating A Customer Service Quality Assurance Form Doesn’t Have To Be Scary (Here’s How)December 14, 2018 5:00 AM
A Miscellaneous Lot of Thoughts on Quality ScoringDecember 10, 2018 5:00 AM
7 Essentials for a Customer Service Voice and Style GuideNovember 29, 2018 5:00 AM
The Customer Service Advice We’re Thankful ForNovember 21, 2018 5:00 AM
Customer Experience Insights From the InnovatorsNovember 15, 2018 5:00 AM

ABOUT US IN 60 seconds!

Latest Americas Newsletter
both ids empty
session userid =
session UserTempID =
session adminlevel =
session blnTempHelpChatShow =
CMS =
session cookie set = True
session page-view-total =
session page-view-total =
applicaiton blnAwardsClosed =
session blnCompletedAwardInterestPopup =
session blnCheckNewsletterInterestPopup =
session blnCompletedNewsletterInterestPopup =