Can Voice Analytics Stem the Customer-Satisfaction Skid?

Big data, in the form of speech analytics, is revolutionizing the way customer service is delivered. Can it jump-start stagnant customer satisfaction levels as well?

I’ll admit it. As predictions go, mine wasn’t as bold as the ones that foresaw flying cars, the end of the world or even that spam (the digital variety) would soon be eradicated from the earth.

But unlike those not-so-prescient prognostications, my prediction actually came true.

Several years ago I forecast that corporate contact centers would soon dive headlong into “big data” to provide a better, more personalized customer service experience. Continue reading

Traditional Wireless Technology Is A Waste of Space

As businesses embrace the benefits of wireless technology telephony, they quickly run up against space limitations in today’s cheek-by-jowl office environments. New wireless standards offers a chance to re-think the office space. 

Communications technology might be making distances irrelevant, but people are acutely aware of the way that their own personal space is diminishing. The proportion of the planet living in urban areas has grown from 34 per cent in 1960 to over half in 2014, and we’re living and working in ever-smaller spaces. The average UK living room has shrunk by a third since the 1970s, for example; while in the US, each worker has lost 20 square feet of personal space since 1992.  Continue reading

Customers don’t care about it, but will leave you because of it.

The bad news. There are five issues common to Call Centers that can cause you to lose 9 out of 10 customers.

The good news. Once addressed, you can make your top call agents almost twice as productive as their least industrious counterparts – boosting customer satisfaction and upping retention rates.

 

When someone rings in to a call center looking to resolve a problem, they’re going to be pretty selfish. They might even be angry. They’ll probably be impatient, too. And so they should be. They purchased a product or a service and, for whatever reason, something has gone wrong. They don’t care about your problems as a service provider – they simply care about their problems going away. And if you can’t help, they’ll be the ones going… directly to your competition. Continue reading

Your Customers Are Calling…. But Who’s Answering?

With consumers now firmly in charge of the digitized customer journey, the demand for prompt, accurate and personal service is critical. It is time to once again move our customer service efforts closer to those who matter most: the customer.

Among the biggest casualties of companies’ decades-long drive to cut costs has been the customer service organization. With an eye toward short-term results, many “conversations” with customers that were previously handled in-house were either outsourced, shipped overseas or both.

That no doubt pleased investors and made our finance people heroes, but it’s also had the perverse effect of placing our customer service functions even farther away from the customer, instead of closer. Continue reading

Google Searches Leave Customer Service with the Tough Calls

Thanks to the explosion of information online, customers are more knowledgeable – and more demanding – than ever. Here’s how to make sure that “hyper-informed customers” also remain loyal, satisfied ones.

At the dizzying rate information accumulates online, we see a staggering rise of what I call “hyper-informed customers” – those who diligently scour social media, blogs, review sites and more to know virtually all there is to know about our products and services. Continue reading

6 Rules for Mastering the Art of Conversation

Conversations are the lifeblood of interpersonal communication. But, for some people, they’re the equivalent of a trip to the dentist. Here are some tips for breaking the ice and engaging in good, meaningful conversations.

I recently attended a great dinner party. It had everything you’d expect of a terrific get-together – fabulous food, interesting people and fascinating conversations all around the table.

Well, almost…. Continue reading

Why a Nice Lunch Beats Facebook and LinkedIn – Every Time

Emails, LinkedIn, Facebook, and other digital solutions are great for information sharing but are killing innovation, collaboration, and efficiency in modern knowledge-based companies. It’s time to enter the era of meaningful conversation. I just rediscovered an old book that shows us how.

Just the other day I finished re-reading the New York Times bestseller, “Never eat alone,” written by Keith Ferrazzi. The book is basically a cookbook in achieving success by building and utilizing your personal network to get better jobs, more business, new opportunities, or whatever you crave in life.

The concept is simple: if you build a large personal network, the network will, over time, reward you with more opportunities in life. All you need is to plan your targets and execute your plan, and, of course, buy Mr. Ferrazzi’s book.

“Never eat alone” is about your personal success; re-reading the book made me realize that it also holds a hidden gem for the successful companies of the future. Continue reading

Mind the Automation Gap: Why the Human Touch is Critical in the Public Sector

By  Cheryle Walline

Digital automation has made its way to the public sector. But there’s at least one place where human interaction is – and always will be – vital.

The headlines were breathless:

“Most Government Workers Could Be replaced By Robots, New Study Finds”

“Automation Threatens Public Sector”

Continue reading

Humanize the Conversation – Your Customers Will Love You!

Focusing on customer satisfaction is a no-brainer for every organization. But if you truly want to build long-lasting relationships with our customers, we need to humanize our interactions.

Our organizations are obsessed with customer satisfaction. Maybe too obsessed.

It’s pretty clear why, judging from the research. Customers who receive the best experiences spend 140% more than those with who receive the poorest ones. And far from being cost-prohibitive, providing superior customer experience actually reduces the cost of serving customers by as much as 33%. Continue reading

Listen to me! Listen to me!! LISTEN TO ME!!!

We’re losing our ability to listen. This potential crisis threatens our relationships with our customers, organizations, families and entire nations. Here’s what we can do about it.

The art of listening is under attack.

This skill, among the most important we as humans possess, is getting drowned out from all sides: Increasing noise levels, myriad distractions, shorter attention spans and more people who just want to hear themselves talk. Continue reading