Tag Archives: call centre

Which customer contact matters the most? Our findings…

PollThank you to those who participated in our poll to find out which customer touchpoints have the most impact on customer experience. With over 50 practitioners voting, we have some interesting results.

The feeling is that almost 60% of customer experience can be assigned to just four interaction moments. And not one voter believes that sponsorship has any bearing or impact on customer experience.

 

In priority order, practitioners highlighted the following as the most important interactions:

  1. Call centre (inbound enquiries/complaints)
  2. Customer review sites
  3. Website
  4. Scandal in PR

The call centre may be obvious and may explain why some companies mistakenly let customer service own customer experience, which can limit the breadth of customer experience improvements to the web and call centre.

The second vote here interests me. I have visited two clients in the last couple of weeks who admit to missing this particular touch point in their customer journey mapping activity. Since the adoption of the internet as a shopping tool, we have known consumers stray from the AIDCA model we grew up on, so we need to ensure our customer journey mapping is less linear too.

Thanks again to all who voted. More topics to follow shortly.

Posted by Christopher Brooks.

Lexden is a Customer Strategy Agency. We put customers at the start and the heart of the business strategy.

We work with brands to attract and retain happy customers. We achieve this by helping them to understand what makes their customers tick, building memorable customer experience strategies and creating engaging customer value propositions.

If you like what you’ve read sign-up to our ‘Putting Customers First’ Lexden newsletter.

For more information on how we can help you, contact christopherbrooks@lexdengroup.com or call us on T: +44 (0) 7968 316548.  And you can follow us on LinkedIn Facebook and Twitter @consultingchris 

Unordinary Thinking No. 37: Finding fun in failure (aka The Customer Games)

With the anniversary of the London 2012 Olympics upon us, I thought I’d look to see if there is any chance of replicating that sense of euphoria which engulfed us last year. ‘I decided to take on the role of the sporting gladiator and find some games out there that I can compete in’.

First I tried the ‘stop the pump on zero’ game where you attempt to stop filling up your car with petrol on exactly zero-zero on the pence indicator. But since the price of fuel has rocketed up so much, the dials move too quickly to get the petrol to stop at the right point any more. So I started looking further afield. I realised quite quickly I didn’t need to invent anything. There are already a host of consumer games underway which I can take part in. Here are three of my favourites.

The Which? games

Championed by Which? the latest craze in customer experience is ‘beat the call centre’. Customers are encouraged to try various tactics to get past the dreaded IVR and talk to a person. A host of tips to ‘break the system’ have been submitted. They include:

–          ‘call the sales number’ – no-one gets turned away when they are a prospect it seems

–          stay silent and you get rerouted to an operator

–          calling from abroad so the international code overrides the IVR coding

It’s interesting how a poor customer experience can lead to such customer engagement to combat it.

And we can look to pure fun for the inspiration behind weq4umy favourite consumer solution in this space. Whenever I’ve been to a theme park with my family we’ve valued the time we have there so have opted to use the virtual queuing system. We are not taking anyone’s place in the queue because an electronic tag is queuing for us and telling us when it’s our turn to go on the ride. This means we can maximise our time elsewhere getting more out of the day – perfect.

WeQ4U has taken that example into the world of call centre waiting to find a way of minimising a less enjoyable experience. WeQ4U is an app that will step in for you and queue so you don’t have to. Taking the painful part of the interaction with your telco or utility provider away from you, but like the theme park queue-bots, it informs you when you need to step back in line. I wonder what the difference in Customer Satisfaction scores is between those who actually queue and those who virtual queue?

Instabug games

instabugConsumers like ‘smart’ solutions which help them have their say, get their way but don’t reshape their day. Another great example of this is a new ‘de-bugging’ app from Instabug which activates when you to shake your phone in frustration when an app doesn’t work and informing the makers.

A pair of 22-year-old Cairo University graduates behind Instabug designed the app to create a bug notification system for the app developers which is triggered when the device is physically shaken. “It really enables greater collaboration between developers and users. Now it’s fun to report bugs.”

A very low level co-creation experience but again it highlights consumers openness to ‘play the game’ under the right circumstances.

E.ON games

A much grander example is the E.ON initiative from last year. If you want to really see how much of a sport you can make your business E.ON prove you can go some way. It’s no secret that getting consumers engaged with ‘The Green Deal’ is a tough ask. So E.ON created a Channel 4 series ‘Home of the Future’ and invited a customer family to equip their house with all the latest energy saving devices to highlight how the savings outweighed the cost and make their lives better.

eonThis idea led to the E.ON innovations hub where customers were invited to get inventing new energy efficiency solutions. The competition ran last year and resulted in this gem of a grand final winner.

Steve McNair “Eon Care Sense – Technology Helps the aged and vulnerable” 

Steve McNair saw a role for E.ON in helping us all care for ageing or vulnerable people in their own homes. Smart sensors could detect unusual patterns of energy use (only usually thought about as a way to save money or energy) that might suggest a problem for that vulnerable person in the home, and alert family members or care workers. Simple but a stunning piece of customer gaming using a benefit of the technology it wasn’t intended for.

Whilst most look studiously at fixing customer experience, it’s worth remembering that the most effective relationships are those where the customer experience can be described as enjoyable. A failure or broken experience could lead to something amazingly good. It might seem like a tall ask for some sectors but E.ON prove you can get customers to engage. Let the customer games begin.

Posted by Christopher Brooks.

Lexden is a Customer Strategy Agency. We put customers at the start and the heart of the business strategy.

We work with brands to attract and retain happy customers. We achieve this by helping them to understand what makes their customers tick, building memorable customer experience strategies and creating engaging customer value propositions.

If you like what you’ve read sign-up to our ‘Putting Customers First’ Lexden newsletter.

For more information on how we can help you, contact christopherbrooks@lexdengroup.com or call us on M: +44 (0) 7968 316548.  And you can follow us on LinkedIn Facebook and Twitter @consultingchris 

Customer-centric thinking at its best, we believe

At Lexden, we spend our time on various customer strategy commissions across Europe and occasionally further afield. Whilst we are engaged in a project we are thinking ‘customer first’. But when we are not running a live project we are still thinking ‘customer first’. That’s our business so it keeps us fresh and up to date. The truth is we are always thinking ‘customer first’.

newBy looking at the world this way we sometimes come across brand new propositions which are outstanding. Ideas which are brilliantly simple and simply brilliant.

Often the client isn’t aware that the perfect solution is out there and because the solution provider hasn’t positioned it in a way that it chimes with the clients requirements they don’t see how it’s the right solution.

But we live in two worlds; 1. the client side world thinking about customers and their emotional and rational needs and 2. The consumers world thinking about how brands can make lives better by fulfilling emotional drivers. This means we can see how to connect innovations and product ideas from one market to client needs in another.

We are always hunting down small ideas which have a big impact as per our recent blog. Those which cause the least disruption to a business stand the greatest chance of actually getting to market.

That’s why we’re are rather excited about our latest finding. It’s simplicity is brilliant and it’s potential has stunned us, and that’s not easy.

We’ve come across a NEW customer experience concept that answers so many of the client requirements we come across on assignment. This idea is up there with the best of them and we anticipate it will revolutionise some clients business models. Reassuringly the developer has a global track record of success too.

If you are the CEO, CFO, in customer experience, e-commerce, marketing strategy and planning, customer insight, customer services or brand, you will find this idea really interesting.

You’ll know straight away if it’s something you should look at if you are tackling any of these issues at the moment:

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“(1) We need to reduce our call volumes down because our (2) cost to serve is too high (3) our quality of call resolution is impaired or (4) our call waiting times are unacceptable.

“(5) But we need to achieve this and increase our customer satisfaction scores at the same time. Our customers are leaving because they can’t get hold of us”

Beyond this there are a host of further benefits to a business improving its customer strategies it provides…

“(6) When we have unresolved queries from customers we are unable to effectively or efficiently get a resolution back to them meaning that often they remain unresolved even though we have an answer or it costs us heavily to set up a ‘work around’ to contact them and resolve their query”

“(7) We are unable to move between channels as quickly as our customers choose to and we are not able to keep an up to date record of the conversation between channel either which annoys our customers, makes us looks stupid and costs us in duplicated effort time”

“(8) Depending who a customer contacts in our business, through which channel and on which day will determine what answer they get back. It’s this inconsistency that means we end up spending money dealing with ‘over promises’ and ‘under deliver’. We upset customers as we’ve let them down which then impacts CSAT scores and retention rates”

“(9) We’ve got some really good customer service people and some less good ones. If we could bottle the good ones and deliver that experience to customers we would be market leaders, but it’s impossible isn’t it?”

“(10) When we close at the end of the day, there is no way of helping customers beyond what they find on our website. Because we have no ‘night shift equivalent’ we offer to resolve their basic or more complex needs they leave us for our competitors who do. But we haven’t found a cost effective alternative which would be accepted by customers”

“We are looking for more customers to self-serve online to reduce servicing costs but the truth is (11) the experience online isn’t as good as it needs to be at the moment or (12) even if it was great (or on a mobile app) many of our customers would still want to talk to someone to get the answers they can get online. It’s just how they are”

“(13) We are unable to control the quality or the consistency of the way the brand is presented when customers interact with the company. It’s fine when it’s presented in an ad or through a mail pack, but as soon as it becomes ‘personalised’, such as the call centre, it becomes unpredictable and inconsistent”

“(14) Our customer feedback tools are disparate and provide conflicting insights which we have to work through and interpret. (15) Whilst they can inform what the issues are and what is irritating customers they can’t provide planning intelligence such as which products are most effective to cross sell to which segments at which point in the journey or what products are trending with our customers at the moment and why”

“(16) We are in a commoditised service market where brand and experience are the most important driver of relationship, we need an innovative USP that could give us the competitive edge”

“(17) I need to reduce my call centre costs overnight but wont be able to switch off the calls”

If you could relate to more than one of these issues it’s worth taking a look at this solution. But if you are looking to reduce call volumes and improve you customer experience at the same time then bingo – it’s well worth an hour to take a look.

Solutions to these challenges can actually all be delivered through one platform and be operational within a few weeks.

If you know us at Lexden, you will know we are only interested in customer centric solutions that are commercially advantageous to our clients. That’s where we fit in? Lexden have partnered with the innovator to pioneer this new concept into market as an advancement in personalisation, presentation and performance for the customer experience industry.

Sorry but we are not revealing anything more unless we know you are interested. So if you’d like meet up to learn more and how it can relate it to your requirements, email me christopherbrooks@lexdengroup.com. Sector exclusive deals will be considered.

Lexden is a Customer Strategy Agency. We put customers at the start and the heart of the business strategy.

We work with brands to attract and retain happy customers. We achieve this by helping them to understand what makes their customers tick, building memorable customer experience strategies and creating engaging customer value propositions.

If you like what you’ve read sign-up to our ‘Putting Customers First’ Lexden newsletter.

For more information about how we can help you take your customer strategy forward please contact christopherbrooks@lexdengroup.com or call us on M: +44 (0) 7968 316548. You can follow us on LinkedIn Facebook and Twitter @consultingchris.