Tag Archives: Contact Centers

Best Service is No Service – Bill Price

Insights from our Contact Center 360 Summit today:

First up “The Best Service is no Service.” – with Bill Price, formerly of Amazon.Com

- “The best service is no service,” was Bill’s response to Jeff Bezos’ question about his philosophy of customer service when interviewing for a job leading Customer Satisfaction for Amazon. Bill gives voice to something many of us have been thinking about for years – think of a call to a contact center as a breakdown in the service model.

Bill calls non value adding calls “dumb contacts.”

‘ Dumb contacts are ones that are not valuable to the customer or the business.
‘ If a contact is dumb it should be automated.

Companies that get this are measuring there % of Self Service. Many target as high as 90%, but Bill suggests using 80% as a workable goal. % Service provides a much better focus for service program than FCR or other traditional contact center metrics.

Bill relayed great examples of how self-service adds value based on knowing the customer’s needs: Two struck me as wow:

  • The Autobahn breaking into your FM radio program with an automated message warning off raffic ahead and then activating your GPS to show you where to get off
  • MM’s allowing online requests of personalized candies for special occasions.

Each example drove home the need for innovation in service design.

Here is a real gem about dealing with an age old challenge at call centers – How to melt “snowballs.” Yes, snowballs. Snowballs are repeat contacts because once they start rolling each call comes in with a bigger and bigger AHT Key to “melting them?” Unlimited Handle Time allowed for specific question types to do as much research as required, as long as it takes…to get to a First Call resolution.

Bottom line on Bill’s talk:
Great service is table stakes.
Value comes from innovating ways to take the service call out of the equation.

Customer service and technology

Bruce Dresser ponders what the effect of the new president-elect on the goals of customer service and technology for the businesses of the United States.

Within the contact center industry, we’re likely to see an acceleration of hosted contact center deployments that require no capital expense yet let firms compete better and still focus on providing high levels of customer service. And the example being set may not be just other companies that have already seen the benefits of this type of hosted technology deployment, but from the new regime in Washington.

What effects do you think we’ll see on customer service now that Obama’s in office? Do you believe technology will take on a significant role?

Improving Contact Centers for Improved Customer Service

One of our media partners for our NACCM Customers 1st event, 1 to 1 Media, discussed the relationship between call centers and customer service on this post from their blog today. These are some of the points that the author noted after discussing ways to achieve success with individuals who worked there.- Managers want to use e-learning modules for training, but are torn about taking agents off the phones to train.
- There’s a need for bilingual capabilities, but confusion about how to implement them.
- Getting all departments in the enterprise, from R&D to marketing, to give all necessary information to the contact center for agent training purposes.
Department heads and executives need to spend more time in the contact center listening and learning.
Some contact centers are partnering agent training with recruiting.
Daycare workers (college educated moms) and retirees are becoming the hot new workforce in contact centers.
- Agents are getting coached about how to hear and manage a lifecycle change on a customer call.In summary, many of these points highlight on the need for improved training, and the importance of integrating the departments in a more cohesive manner. This is imperative for employees at these call centers, since they are often times the main point of contact for consumers.