What's New in In Queue
Paul Stockford, Research Director, NACC and Chief Analyst, Saddletree Research, Paul.[email protected]
At Last – Webinar Relief is Here.
Your days are already overscheduled. You’re pulled in ten
different directions at once. You’re juggling and multi-tasking and now
you’ve received your 20th invitation this week to attend a
webinar. You don’t have time to take yet another hour out of your
week for yet another webinar. We get it, and we’re here to help.
As much as we like webinars, we have an alternative for you –
podcasts. You can download and listen to a podcast at your
convenience, and you’ll learn something in about the time it takes to
drink a cup of coffee at your desk. Most podcasts are 12 minutes
or less and don’t require any advanced scheduling!
For those of you interested in contact center mobility and customer
care for the mobile customer, give a listen to my latest podcast
entitled, “The Evolving Challenge of Mobile Customer Service.”
Lots of survey data is shared along with insights from Cisco’s John
Hernandez. You can find this podcast here.
If analytics is on your list of interests, or if you’re just
intellectually curious about the application of analytics in the
enterprise, don’t miss this podcast I recorded with John Bowden of Time
Warner Cable. Entitled “Applied Analytics at Time Warner Cable,”
this podcast will give you a quick but thorough look at the role of
analytics at one of the nation’s largest providers of video, high-speed
data and voice services. All podcasts can be accessed at here.
Multi-Channel Customer Service Survey Results.
We recently received some fascinating customer service data courtesy of
a survey of 2,500 American adults underwritten by Aspect
Software. The focus of the research was the measurement of
customer service satisfaction levels among a statistically valid
population sample. To give you an idea of respondent sentiment,
42 percent stated that they would rather stand in line at the DMV than
contact a customer care center. Details of this highly insightful
research can be found below. Don’t skip this article!
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Most Customers Are Not Happy Campers:
Paul Stockford, Research Director, NACC and Chief Analyst, Saddletree Research, [email protected]
New Aspect Software Research Puts Data Behind The Sentiment
research undertaken by Ogilvy Public Relations and underwritten by
Aspect Software (www.aspect.com) has verified what many customer
service professionals will tacitly acknowledge; that most customers are
not happy campers. Despite what can only be described as heroic
efforts by many contact centers to provide a world-class service
experience to their customers, the efforts often fall short. This
survey of 2,500 American adults provides highly useful insights into
what it takes to optimize the customer service experience.
The top three factors that create frustration on the part of customers
when contacting customer service, and the percentage of respondents who
cited these factors, are as follows:
a long time to reach a live
directed to an automated
Repeating information multiple times to multiple people 65%
While this data confirms suspicions, it also confirms that despite
incredible advances in contact center technology and management
philosophy the contact center industry is still dealing with many of
the same issues it has been facing for years. As a result,
customer sentiment has seen very little change.
The survey revealed that 84 percent of Americans feel like they’re
being ignored when they wait a long time for customer service. 64
percent of Americans responded that they often feel like they’re not
treated like a valuable customer when they interact with customer
service. 42 percent of survey respondents stated that they would
rather stand in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) than
have to deal with the customer service department.
On the positive side, respondents who have contacted a customer service
center feel that companies with multiple communications channels offer
them better service and make the customer feel more in control.
77 percent of Americans believe that the companies that offer multiple
communications channels are easier to do business with and 74 percent
believe that these companies provide better service. Ironically,
63 percent of Americans feel that the telephone is still the best way
to contact customer service and experience a positive
interaction. So, while customers look favorably on a company that
provides multiple communications channels, the telephone is still the
This survey illustrates the fact that as an industry, customer service
still has some work to do. Despite the best efforts of management
to create a positive customer experience, there are still hurdles to be
negotiated on the front lines and even before the call reaches an
agent. For more information on this fascinating study, or to view
all the results of this research project, visit www.aspect.com.
Tornado + Internet + Comfortable Chair = New Purchasing Practices
David Butler, Executive Director, NACC, [email protected]
On February 12, 2013, a
tornado hit Hattiesburg, Mississippi, the headquarters of the National
Association of Call Centers and my home town. Though my home was not in
the direct line of the tornado -- it was just two blocks away – it was
damaged by the 30 foot branches that fell on the roof and created holes
that allowed in the torrential rainfall.
Following the resettling of my family to an apartment and settlement
negotiations with the insurance adjuster, my contractor was ready to
begin reconstruction. Two weeks ago this construction began. Part of my
responsibility as the homeowner was to secure the new flooring to
replace the lost carpet and to secure the ceiling fans and light
fixtures in the damaged rooms. After many long days of home
relocation stress and work, the last thing I wanted to do was make the
trip to Home Depot and the lighting store. As I was about to put
on my shoes for the shopping trip, a thought struck me. Could I
make these purchases without having to leave the comfort of my living
Taking my seat once again, I looked at the cell phone in my left hand
and got to work. Using Google Maps on the phone I found the
nearest Home Depot store and called the flooring department.
Since I purchased the flooring for my home at Home Depot in 2008 it
seemed to me the logical starting point for replacement flooring.
I asked the sales associate on the other end of the phone if they had
my flooring order from 2008 on file. Receiving confirmation that
they did have my order on file and that they still sold that type of
flooring, I placed an order with my credit card. Fifty percent of
my errands done and I hadn’t left my easy chair!
Next up was the lighting store. Finding them online and calling
the nearest store, I went through the same process with them as I went
through with Home Depot. They still had my 2008 lighting purchase
in their database and they could still get the same ceiling fans and
lights that I originally purchased. After an exchange of order
and credit card information, my purchase was complete. Mission
accomplished, and I didn’t even have to put my shoes on.
Although these purchases are considered brick-and-mortar store sales,
they are more like an online Internet sale. Ten years ago it
wouldn’t have dawned on me to attempt these purchases from my living
room chair but the combined effects of frequent online shopping, mobile
phone usage, database management and credit card acceptance are
changing our shopping and buying habits. Of course, it helped
that I knew exactly what I wanted and that negated the value of having
to physically visit a store to make my purchase.
Although I didn’t technically interact with a contact center, there’s
no reason why a contact center with similar access to a customer
database couldn’t provide the same level of convenient customer
service. Knowledge of the consumer and consumer expectations will
continue to grow in importance for the contact center industry.
Consumers continue to demonstrate an enthusiastic willingness to make
remote purchases. The challenge will be making your contact
center ready for them.
Call Center Comics!
If you like this comic and would like to see more, write Ozzie at [email protected] and visit his website at http://callcentercomics.com/cartoon_categories.htm
or just click on the comic to take you to his page. The NACC
appreciates Ozzie letting us use some of his comics in our newsletter.
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Copyright 2013 National Association of Call Centers