Cirque du Service: 7 Ways to Sprinkle a Little Magic into Your Call Center - mattersight - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog
Cirque du Soleil performances are like the sprinkles on a cupcake. They touch you in an emotional way and with a kind of whimsical flair. They make you want to eat the icing and skip the cake. Sprinkles make a treat alluring, not just delicious.
Analyzing the magic of a Cirque du Soleil show can be in very instructive in what it can teach us about call center service with sprinkles. Every one of the 20+ different Cirque du Soleil performances, from the Beatles Love in Las Vegas to Varekai in Vienna is laced with color, acrobatics, dance, and over-the-top music. It is a sensory menagerie. There is little predictable about any performance. Instead, you get head-turning surprise every few minutes.
What if Cirque du Soleil were in charge of your call center experience? Here’s what the show might look like:
Conversation, not checklist.
I can spot a script a mile away. Even done with the skill of a master thespian, it reminds me of those boring days of “Thank you for shopping a J Mart, next.” Talk with me like a good friend, not like you are primed to ask me some call center variation of “Would you like fries with that?”
Inconsistency, not robotics.
I appreciate the virtues of consistency. It makes operations much easier to manage and measure. But, people-communicating-with-people is by definition inconsistent. Customers hope for untidy and inefficient personalization. Don’t be so methodical you fail to leave room for serendipity, ingenuity and personality.
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Needs, not handle time.
I can always tell when I am disrupting an operator’s AHT. Please take the time that is required to get me what I need. When you force me to call back on the same issue, your stats are already blown. If I was your best friend, would you rush me? Well, I’m not your best friend; I’m your paycheck!
Mentoring, not just manners.
Smart operators give me security. I am impressed when they are savvy enough to tutor me on things that improve my experience. It tells me I am dealing with an ambassador concerned with the welfare of his or her organization, not a person just filling a seat and waiting to punch out.
Problem solving, not transaction management.
Some of my contact center calls are for information or purchases; most are related to an issue. My problem is not solved until I believe it is solved. Just taking me through your steps or procedures may feel like real work to you. But, without closure, it is just a noisy hassle that wastes my time.
Easy, not laborious.
Wait time tells me either your organization does not care about customers or your contact center is poorly managed. I am unmoved by your excuses and indifferent to your attempts to remind me of my importance as I wait to be served. Making me repeat anything tells me your systems are archaic and perhaps I should steer clear what you are selling.
Personality, not prowess.
As your customer, I do not care how much you know until I know how much you care. Be the interpersonal sprinkle in my day. Make me remember my awesome experience long after I have forgotten what I contacted you for. If you were charging me admission for this interaction, what would make me believe I got my money’s worth?
Customers today only want value for their hard-earned dollar and that includes their experiences, not just your products and services. They are far less brand-loyal and will often abandon an organization on a single hiccup. Social media makes the voice of the customer louder and gives it greater reach than ever.
It all means expectations are climbing quickly — about 30% higher in the last year — and it requires call centers to choreograph the customer performances they deliver with the precision and passion of Cirque du Soleil. So get that headset on and smile. It’s showtime!
Chip R. Bell is a renowned customer service speaker and the author of several national bestselling books. His newest book is the just-released Sprinkles: Creating Awesome Experiences Through Innovative Service. Chip will be the keynote speaker at Mattersight’s 2016 Call to Loyalty. He can be reached at www.chipbell.com
Image copyright: luckybusiness / 123RF Stock Photo
Publish Date: April 21, 2016 5:00 AM
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