Pipeline Publishing, Volume 4, Issue 2
This Month's Issue:
Keeping Customers
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Tit for Tat: Meeting Customer Expectations

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Payoff #2: an ability to identify and take action to save a customer that was in danger of quitting the service. This approach reduced churn in a very economical way. Bell Canada realized that if they could identify, first filtering for and then reviewing the recordings of customer that had a probability of a bad service experience or a CSR miss-resolution, they could intervene to recapture the customer. The window was 4 hours from the problem call ended before the opportunity was lost. Bell Canada developed special programs that identified high probability events and kicked off an analytics review. Based on detailed review of the call, the team could brainstorm a solution to offer the customer. Than a special tiger team in the Call Center would proactively contact the customer and negotiate a happier ending (frequently offering the customer some form of freebie.) The correction approaches found successful reduced whatever a customer would need to do in the correction. The best interventions keep the work & cost on the company side. This pilot study with their TV delivery business unit resulted in 25% reduction in churn. At scale, this identification, review, and intervention process is expected to reduce turnover in this business line by 90%.

Payoff #3: The call recording graphs allowed the analytics team to snip out customer and agent identifiers, thus relieving any security issue associated with distribution and wider review of selected calls. The analytics team management therefore was able to present actual examples of customers describing their experiences with the product. These real data points were shared with the appropriate managers and executives in the company. The call center managers got clear examples of issues out of their ability to correct and an understanding of when to ‘pass the buck.’ Network engineers directly heard about signal issues. Product teams were presented with actual experiences in product use, flaws, or failures – ones they could not ignore. Executives were given very real examples of just how the Brand message was being received by customers. The improvements from this are still to come, but likely this data and the way the company responds to it, could separate the ‘just good’ company from the great companies.

This is just one example of Contact Center technologies and approaches being integrated into larger business process engaging the business units of a company. There and many clever applications in use within the modern contact center. Several applications could help in time shifting and at-home work plans. Knowledge Management & Analytics can be used in the SOC and NOC to improve response times there. Further integration of

the call center, OSS and the business lines is to be expected and certainly encouraged by these authors. But the best way the applications could be made reusable throughout the corporation is to re-engineer the software as SOA services.

And this evolution of the Contact Center is not hidden from the major Contact Center technology vendors. Taking one public example: Avaya’s company vision is to extend Contact Center technology into the full corporation. Their argument goes as follows: A call center of 200 agents attached to a company with 400 more staff becomes a company with 600 customer service resources. The agent qualifies the issue and responds, “let me introduce you to a ‘subject matter expert’”, and transfers the call under control of the soft-ACD and the plethora of services in the newly minted Contact Center application suite. At this time, extending the mechanics of the call from the contact center into the business unit is simple to deploy - because of the advent of VoIP technology. With this approach, every call is tracked and available for reporting, monitoring and analytics.

Representative Behavior

Call center agents receive extensive training – but as we saw with Bell Canada, this needs rethinking for the business strategies of the lean service provider. Besides recording and coaching on calls internal to the company – deeper lessons are there. Companies should start introspective reviews, utilizing the process pattern of the Bell Canada analytics team: a classification, quick answer, process invocation, introduction of company goal, and rapid action to achieve that goal.

When a CSR is engaged in up-sell of services, or even in bargaining for a replacement that converts the caller from an irate enemy to a re-bonded customer, advanced sales techniques are needed skills. For example, it is important to vary treatment of the customer, based on personality type. This requires analysis of the customer’s mood, separation of their immediate need from the personality type, smoothing and stabilization of the mood, and satisfying the customer by treating them as their personality type expects.

Stu Schlackman of Competitive Excellence, a sales training company, explains: “Most studies of temperament and personality styles tend to place people into one of four categories. You have probably heard of some of these like Myers-Briggs, Keirsey, DISC, and Insight Learning. As we understand a person’s dominant personality temperament, it becomes easier to address the needs, issues, and values that are most important to them. Temperament is not the same as attitude. A customer who seems resistant or indifferent might just have a skeptical temperament and want proof; a company representative might mistakenly think the customer is resistant to

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