This has been the hottest topic we have blogged about so far. Obviously, it’s of interest so let’s blog about it again. The first time around we covered the topic of IVR sincerity, now let’s talk about whether or not the IVR can truly help your business.
For this blog we will consider an IVR a system that at the very least enables you to decide as a business which employee group your customers will speak with. For example, if you are a bank, a different group of employees may be trained on general account information vs. credit card inquires.
Onto our assessment:
We believe, IF USED EFFECTIVELY, an IVR is a smart investment and an important tool in delivering a more complete customer experience. It offers customers increased choice while improving organizational efficiency. Just be mindful of the problems that can occur if it isn’t deployed and maintained intelligently.
Good read in the Toronto Star today on this topic - Have a read here: Article
We are Customer Service Simplified. Learn how we can help at www.simplifyingservice.com.
Another great article shows the impact making things simple has on the customer experience. Check out the article here: South West and Simplicity
So what is South West doing to separate themselves from the rest of the airline pack?
You may be wondering, saying these things is nice but is that really the customer experience?
How do we know South West is delivering? And what are some of the specific ways they are creating a simplified customer experience?
Let's start with the evidence:
Survey after survey indicates U.S. flyers (we don't have the luxury of flying SW in Canada) prefer flying SW and they are by FAR the American airline of choice. That has to count for something. Beyond that, we have done a little research of our own and there are many things SW is getting right such as:
I spoke with Hope who provides customer service and works in their Call Centre and I asked her what makes working for South West so great? The answer will not surprise you. She told me that she feels like she is treated the same way she treats her customers - If that's not poetic I don't know what it is. And we know how South West treats their customers - Unbelievably Well!
Now if only they could fly to and from Canada!
Have a look at our blog on Amazon just below this one to learn more about another first class service company and don't forget to like us on facebook and follow us on twitter
We are Customer Service Simplified - Learn more at simplifyingservice.com
A book by a formidable Bloomberg Business Week writer was just released on Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos. You can catch a peek at Ellen Roseman's observations here: The Star Amazon article
Ellen is the Toronto Star's chief Consumers Affairs advocate and was kind enough to seek input from Customer Service Simplified for her article. Thank you so much Ellen for letting us contribute! We sincerely appreciate it!
The most recent MSN survey of 1500 American consumers shows them as being number 1 in Customer Service 3 years running. Wow! Let us know what you think about the article.
To learn more about our approach to Customer Service visit us at www.simplifyingservice.com
One of the largest opportunities for organizations is being disaster ready. If the unexpected happens, is your business ready? Can you still service your customers? Most would say likely not.
A recent survey (click here to learn more) shows 72% of companies would be unprepared if a disaster struck. Think of the customer impact when that happens! Everyone, regardless of organizational size, should have a plan. Before we talk about becoming disaster ready, let's look at some of the causes.
What are some of the causes that can substantially impact your business?
What happens when one or more of these things occurs?
It can vary from a difficult couple of hours to being completely out of commission. In these circumstances, your customers are closely evaluating you and within reason, still expect to be serviced. The investment of time, energy and effort to build a disaster readiness plan will pay for itself tenfold.
Earlier in my career, I oversaw the national Contact Centre disaster readiness plan for a major CDN bank during the infamous power outage of 2003. For almost 48 hours, most of Toronto was dark. While it took a huge team effort to execute our plan, we would have been in big trouble had we not had plan to begin with. As a result, we were able to take care of our employees and service our customers.
So, what are some initial steps you can take to get ready for the unexpected?
Preparing for a disaster isn't exciting stuff - But it can make or break your business so be ready!
We are Customer Service Simplified and being disaster ready is one of our specialties. If we can help, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or 647-202-7385. Learn about all our services by clicking here.
In an earlier blog I talked about a few key activities that can really improve the employee experience. Now, I’d like to talk about the X Factor. No, not the Simon Cowell music talent search, but the search for that one thing that most impacts employee engagement.
In my humble opinion, the greatest influence on employee engagement is APPRECIATION.
We learn early on the value of appreciation and I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t feel just a bit better when he/she is sincerely appreciated. Let me re-emphasize that again – not just appreciation, but SINCERE appreciation. If the gesture isn't received genuinely then it isn't received at all.
Sincerely appreciating someone comes in many forms. It can be planned or spontaneous, spoken or written, private or public, accompanying a gift or on its own.There are countless ways to appreciate someone and I believe a diverse approach works best. Do it sincerely, do it often, and do it differently.
I don’t read a lot of self help books – no, not because I can’t be better, because I absolutely can – it’s because I find very few truly interesting. One exception is Stephen Covey’s infamous Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. One of the topics he covers is a concept called the Emotional Bank Account.
The concept is simple and ties in nicely to employee appreciation. It works like this: Every nice thing you do for someone is a deposit into his/her emotional bank account. On the contrary, for each not so nice thing you do, a withdrawal is made from his/her account. The intent is to keep the bank account heavily funded with deposits so that when a withdrawal is made, there is plenty of emotional cash left.
This is not to imply that we over appreciate just to protect us from the mistakes we may ultimately make. On the contrary, over time employees who have been sincerely and frequently appreciated will simply forgive and/or will be more understanding if something does not go their way at work.
Here are a few ways to effectively appreciate your employees:
1. Be Consistent. Whatever your approach stay the course and avoid appreciating someone the same way all the time. Change what you appreciate someone for and vary the approach, frequency and impact. For example, it could be a private thank you in your office for simply being part of the team or a public acknowledgement and a gift for completing a big project.
2. Be Genuine. I talked about sincerity at the beginning. This plays off the same theme. Before giving appreciation, role play with someone. Find out how you come across. You’d be amazed how easily we come across insincerely. It’s not because we don’t want to be sincere, giving praise just makes some of us uncomfortable. Test out your approach and then sincerely appreciate someone.
3. Be Bold. Here’s another X Factor within the X Factor. Celebrate semi annually in a grand, out of the ordinary way. Have what I refer to as an Employee Appreciation Day. Make it a time to really celebrate your employees. You can even turn it into a week long celebration. Be creative – decorate, write thank you letters, play games, giveaway prizes, feed everyone, and ask Marketing to pay for it! Make it an event to remember and the impact will be lasting and substantial!
Remember, Happy and Engaged employees = Satisfied and Loyal customers!
Your comments are welcome! We are Customer Service Simplified. If you’d like to learn more about how to improve your Customer Service/Call Centre infrastructure go to www.simplifyingservice.com