Day 2 of NACCM 2010 in Photos:
On the last day of NACCM 2010, we caught up with Curtis Bingham, President and Founder, CHIEF CUSTOMER OFFICER COUNCIL, the Chair for the 2010 Conference.
-Millennials are 2-3x more accepting to new technologies
-Millennials prefer structure for their day
-Millennials would rather work as a group than as individuals
How do you retain Millennials? Trust, balance and structure
Career builder only keeps people in their call center for 24-36 months, otherwise they get burnt out. Create a fun environment with degrees in psychology, philosophy, then go on and invest in their training. They do at least 3 events a year to build leadership, such as ‘Extreme Events’. They reward by creating videos. Employees share these videos, and it makes it easy to attract the right type of people to your company.
They’ve created an App to refer candidates on Facebook. By sharing content, they were able to successfully communicate to more people
Presented by Sue Brinker, AVP Property & Casualty Learning, Hartford Insurance
Hartford’s Advance 50 team is comprised of 5,000 highly credentialed reps with advanced degrees in an aging-related field. The obvious gap is that the customers being served average an age of 65, while the reps are 24 years old. Therefore hiring for attitude is critical, with training, individual coaching, enabling systems, metrics, and rewards to do the rest.
Their training is very deliberate and lasts 11 weeks, 6 weeks of which is live work with customers. New hires are on the phone side-by-side with their mentor as soon as day 8, which enables the employee to learn, apply the knowledge, and be coached.
Empathy and patience are critical for these 24-year olds, since many of their AARP customers are recently widowed, have suffered a stroke, or have hearing loss. They task the rep with working on their own improvement plans where opportunities are discovered. And they maintain the ‘best call’ library contest that serves as both a recognition vehicle and also provide examples as an excellent resource.
Presented by Kalus Buellesbach, NACCM 2010
Helping you is the most important thing we have to do today.
As the world’s largest retail cooperative, Ace has 4600 independent stores served by 4,200 direct employees. Their challenge has always been to create a support environment that emphasizes quality while scaling the business.
To that end they implemented the Ace Care Center project, which focused on improving service by utilizing the resources from 85 people in 7 different helpdesks that served retailers, consumers, vendors, and employees. Starting with unifying contact processes and rationalizing service hours, they were then able to improve service levels and drive quality. Since they had little budget, they were able to implement a call recording system using $100 devices from Radio Shack and provide robust agent scorecards using Excel-based tools, using the budget for bonus compensation that rewards agent performance.
Patricia Dilane, Director Member Service Delivery, Blue Cross Blue Shield Massachusetts
Service Sabbatical is an innovative program from BCBS-Mass that improves quality, reduces attrition, and generates goodwill in the community, driving hard ROI.
The initial objective they had in mind was to provide the ability for associates to grow professionally, not just job training, and also be able to provide stronger ties to the communities they serve. The thinking was that this approach could improve quality and attrition metrics, paying for itself.
The week-long curriculum focuses on
‘ Big-picture call-center operations
‘ Business challenges that the center faces
‘ Team building through development of solutions to those problems, including interviewing executives to gain context and knowledge while gaining more exposure
‘ and a community event that ‘gives back’
They run the program regularly, accepting 10-12 associates into the program each quarter from a pool of approximately 50 applicants. Senior management believes in this and attends the sessions as well, both participating and encouraging. They even now have a wait-list from senior executives that all want to participate.
Feedback from the associates has been incredible ‘ survey responses are tremendously positive. But beyond that, BCBS quality metrics have increased for all participants, many have been promoted and attrition has decreased. The program has even expanded into Claims and Provider Services areas, further facilitating cross-functional collaboration and teamwork.
Jay Steinfeld, CEO, Blinds.Com
It’s hard to do one thing 100% better than everyone, but you can do 100 things 1% better. It all adds up.
Blinds.Com is the largest provider of window treatments on-line, and has revenue per employee equal to Amazon and Facebook. Their mission is to create an experience that makes buying complex and customizable products surprisingly easy and exciting.
To accomplish this Jay runs the business by the numbers, with a critical number KPI being Gross Margin per visit since this reflects conversion rates and sales growth, and provides a leads into where to dig deeper. But repeat business and referral rates, and Net Promoter Scores are also extremely important, and Jay uses those to make sure they can get customer needs addressed with the right priority.
Jay spent many years driving to customers’ homes before going on-line , and believes in the power of customer feedback at the individual level. In that regard, Blinds.Com establishes Net Promoter Scores around the organization, even down to the individual agent level, calculating NPS for each agent. Driving some internal competition, Blinds.Com believes in the effectiveness of transparency and publishes all scores out to everyone. This rather unique practice drives other great behaviors, including better information sharing between departments, better collaboration between teams.
Those interactions with customers have shaped their core values: improve continually, and experiment without fear. Jay hires people that are aligned with these beliefs, asking prospective employees during the interview how they have strived to improve themselves within the last 6 months, and what they did to change for the better. As a result Blinds.Com has a team of people that works together and strives to do better, especially when it comes to improving the customer experience.
Jay attributes their incredible growth over the years to those core values. In fact, the business didn’t really take off until those values were formally established and became part of the business’ DNA.
Some examples of how this manifests itself in some simple practices:
‘ All employees have the opportunity to present at regular all-hands meetings
‘ Teams maintain open whiteboards showing the things they are working on with facilitated areas for new ideas.
Jay writes a regular column on BNet called the No-nonsense Boss. Sounds more than worth checking out.
The Customer Monitoring Center ‘ take calls for customers at times of emergency, answering calls for over 90,000 alarms a day. They also serve as the security for all WalMart products.
Employee engagement at ADT: IT’s critical to their success.
Four ways to link engagement to high performance with employees:
1) Build a line of sight
2) Increase involvement
3) Share of accurate decision making decisions
4) Reward and recognition
When evaluating individuals, the information goes to the direct manager’s boss. Every quarter, there is a meeting with the director a level above their manager. In addition, each quarter, one team from each center collects the information, collaborate across call centers, and then develop a report and share it on the company’s portal. It’s an easy way to get employee engagement and views from the front line.
Photos of Day 1 at NACCM 2010 in Orlando, Florida:
Moving from as tech support oriented community with forums into a more engaging business community required Verizon to realize that social media isn’t a campaign; it is a strategy to build relationships. Viral activities are fleeting ‘ customer evangelism lasts.
Communities allow companies to listen in to conversations and benefit from the insight. And customers have the opportunity to get answers to broader questions beyond Verizon offerings. They have 12 individual customers that lead their communities (not employees), doing this work out of sheer love and passion, and selected from their contribution to the community every 6 months.
As part of the effort, Verizon also monitors and engages via Twitter, via their ‘Idea Exchange’ site, and provides educational and lifestyle content through ‘Room to Learn.’ These activities provide other channels for communication, since customers have different needs and not all use the forums.
And if you think this is all too expensive to do, note that Verizon has only a team of 3 plus their community software vendor. Lean and mean!
The Verizon community is open to everyone, not just customers. As a vehicle to grow their business, the communities also enable Verizon can also get closer to the customer, gain new insights, and drive improvements in customer retention. And for customers, they now are able to self-serve, learn, and have a place to be heard.
Becky recommends starting within your own community: Go into your company’s forums and see what people are saying, passing along the insight in customer-speak. You can then go to external social sites like Twitter and Facebook, using that ‘customer-speak’ from your own forums to find the things that are the best opportunities for engaging customers on your own site.