Tag Archives: NACCM Live

Pre-Event Preview: NACCM 2010 in Photos

Headed to NACCM next week? Take a look at these photos from our 2010 event to preview your experience:

Be it inspirational keynotes, networking or stunning stories from 1to1 Media Customer Champion award winners NACCM is sure to be an exciting experience!

Not to be missed: Our top rated session of last year’s event with Bill Greenwald, Director, Performance Coaching and Advisory Practice (PCAP) at Humana, Inc is coming back this year as a full day workshop, check out my exclusive interview with Bill here.

Interested? It’s not too late to register. Not able to make it this year? Follow along here or on twitter at hashtag #NACCM for live coverage and make sure to Opt In to get updates on future events!

NACCM 2009 Kicks off on Monday!


We hope that you’ll be joining us next week in sunny Phoenix for the 2009 NACCM Customer 1st event. We’ll be LIVE on-site as we blog, Tweet and record all that NACCM has to offer.

Follow us right here for our coverage of the conference. Also, be sure to follow along on Twitter and join in the conversation with #NACCM.
Check below for a glimpse of what’s in store for us next week.

Take a look at all we have to offer:

‘ 40+ insightful presenters focused on delivering real world case studies showcasing new innovative approaches for delivering customer-centricity.
‘ 7 Exciting new keynote sessions: fresh sources of motivation and inspiration to help you make an impact. Keynote themes include Authentic Leadership, CCO Perspectives, WOW Experiences, Customer Trends, Human Factors, Customer Service and more!
‘ More networking activities than ever – including a Mexican Fiesta Dinner, Wild West Party and dinners with peers around the resort to ensure you’re making the right connections and getting the right face-time with your industry counterparts.
‘ New Programs added to ensure your investment delivers the value you need and expect… including the ROA (Return on Attendance) tool, event mentorship program, post-event executive summary and participant key takeaways report.

‘ Outdoor sessions and activities bringing the insights and knowledge sharing into an open-air environment.
‘ Event Concierge offering personalized attention aimed at helping you with all your planning needs.

‘ All New Tracks & Summits, the value of 5 conferences for the price of one: Customer-Centric Social Media, Next Generation Loyalty & Retention Strategies, Strategic Leadership & Customer-Centric Culture, Organizational & Operational Excellence, Innovating the Customer Experience

Plus – Connect, Engage and Learn from your Peers…here is a list of companies who’ve already signed on to attend:

Affinion Loyalty Group
ALSAC St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Arizona Public Service
Baxter Healthcare Corporation
Blueocean Market Intelligence
BrightSight Group
Burke Inc.
CACI International Inc.
Canadian Blood Services
CIGNA Healthcare
Comcast Corporation
Compassion Canada
Conway Freight
Customers Rock!
Data Development Worldwide
Dell Inc.
Enumclaw Insurance Group
Essilor
First Data Merchant Services
Forum
Freeman
GFK Custom Research
GlaxoSmithKline
Hallmark Insights
Helzberg Diamonds
Hewlett Packard Company
Home Nursing Agency
Homestead Technologies
HSN
inContact
Intel Corporation
Intercontinental Hotels Group
JetBlue Airways
LaCrosse Footwear Inc.
Lexis Nexis
Marriott International
Mastercard Worldwide Medallia Inc.
NCO Group
Norwegian Cruise Line
OnCURE Medical Corp.
Powerhouse Consulting
Predictive Consulting Group Inc.
Pyramid
Quest Diagnostics
Regence
Research In Motion
San Diego Gas Electric
Scotiabank
Scottsdale Insurance Company
Sensory Logic
Setar
Sony Electronics
Southern California Edison
Southwest Airlines
Sportgiving.com
TELUS
The Disney Institute
The Forum Corporation
The Hartford
Thomson Reuters
Towerbank International
Travelocity
Ubercool LLC
Union Bank & Trust Co.
Union Bank of California
United States Olympic Committee
Verizon Wireless
Wachovia
Walk the Walk
Wyndham Hotel Group
YMCA of the USA
Zappos.com

NACCM 2008: Another Day


By Becky Carroll, Customers Rock!

At the NACCM Customers 1st Conference today, we had the opportunity to listen to some fabulous keynotes as well as start to dig-in to the sessions. Along the way, we may have even gotten a little Goofy! Lots of nuggets, video, and photos, including Keith Ferrazzi, Joe Torre, and Peter Guber. Keep reading! Inspiring Employees
The theme across all of the keynotes today was one of community, relationship building, and emotions. (Customers Rock! note – many of these themes work very well with the social media tools that are available to connect with customers, and with each other.) JoAnna Brandi kicked off the day with an energetic discussion of being leaders that inspire customers to be more engaged at work, which, in turn, leads to better customer engagement. As leaders, we need to use more positive emotion; this will affect our employees and our customers. Keep your employees out of the fear we are seeing, and start focusing on the positive. What is right? What is possible? What is the next solution we can find?
She also challenged attendees to stop focusing exclusively on customer satisfaction, as customers don’t want things that are just ‘satisfactory’. They want something better than that! While important, satisfaction is not the end game. The pot of gold at the other side of the rainbow is joy, happiness, Wow, and Magic. We have to start creating emotional relationships with our customers. This is done by showing up at work with emotion, not checking it at the door! It is the leader’s job to make sure everyone around them uses Magic ‘ Make a Great Impression on the Customer. Never Eat Alone The first keynote was Keith Ferrazzi, author of Never Eat Alone.He turned this into a working session to give people a personal relationship action plan for the upcoming year. Who do you need to work with to get you where you want to go? People are critical to your success, and relationships are the core. We discussed which words describe business relationships: Trust, human, feedback, fun, candor, collaborative. Which words add for most personal relationships? Laughter, love, listening, intimacy, reliable, trust, passion. The shift ‘ a business relationship is a personal relationship in a business environment. Make it purposeful; strategically guide your relationships. It is not about waiting for someone else to start the relationship; it is about you being proactive with others. If you have strong personal relationships, you will be more easily forgiven when you mess it up! Video of Keith: you can’t get there alone. Keith had the group go through a series of exercises to help crystallize thinking around this. Our job in this world is to create an environment around ourselves that invites people in to have a better relationship with us. It is all about what we do ‘ it is our responsibility. Lower our guard, invite people in. As we talk to people, we ought to be having the following internal conversation: – Is there something I can care about with this person? A way to connect and remember?
- Is there a way I can help? ‘How can I help you? Who can I introduce you to’? How powerful is that?! Keith also discussed the ‘Fluffy’ factor. This was referring to a phone conversation where the service rep could hear a dog barking in the background ‘ ‘Fluffy’. “What is the name of your dog,” this rep might ask, as a way to connect with the other person and see them as a human being (not just an irritating caller). We need to show up as the human and empathetic individual they want to see. If all call center folks projected a wonderful positive outcome, in their own minds, it would begin to manifest itself. How are your customer service people seeing your customers? As a pain, or as a real person with real issues? Keith also shared about the importance of being real, authentic, and human to others. He stated that others can tell right away if we are not being truthful or transparent with them, even over the phone! We need to have the following mindset, with customers or with those we want to build relationships with: We really care. We want to hear you (people need to be heard). When we have this mindset, we begin to empathize. I will wrap up this section on Keith with a video of him telling the story about someone who cared about another human being and how it changed lives. We then had the pleasure of listening to Joe Torre, manager of the LA Dodgers, share nuggets from his many years in baseball. Here are some highlights:

  • You only get better (at whatever you do) when you have to deal with setbacks. Tough times don’t last; tough people do.
  • It’s the little things in a game that help you win. Concentrate on the little things; big things will happen.
  • Be loyal to each other on the team, and have respect for that other guy who is out there, perhaps where you want to be.
  • You can’t assume your customers are yours forever.
  • What can I help us do to win today?
  • Whatever line of work you are in, it is all about the people.

Making Connections Through Storytelling The morning ended with a fascinating speech by Peter Guber, Chairman and Founder, Mandalay Entertainment. Peter has quite a line of Hollywood successes, including his role as producer for such films as Gorillas in the Mist, The Deep, The Color Purple, and Rain Man, to name a few.
Per Peter: “Coping with failure in uncertain times is a necessity; it has always been a partner in my journey.” He shared three navigational states for these times and how to get through them – fear, uncertainty, and change. Peter also shared that the game changer, the secret sauce, is the story we tell ourselves and the story we tell our customers and clients. Oral storytelling. It is in all of us. We need to connect our story to the emotions of our customers and employees to help them propel themselves through all of this. We are all wired to do oral storytelling. When we do it, it changes the word from “customer/client/patron” to “audience”. One thing to keep in mind about an audience: they expect experiences and to be engaged emotionally. They want to be moved. Here is a video of Peter talking about how human beings are “wired” to tell oral stories. Peter encouraged us to unleash our story for our benefit, and do it by MAGIC. MAGIC ‘ like a hand, each of the following concepts works independently, but they work better together. Motivating your Audience to your Goal Interactively with great Content Are you motivated about your story? Yes ‘ you can craft a powerful story. You can tell, before someone says a word, whether they are authentic. Be calm; be coherent with it. Then tell it. Demonstrate you are authentic with your story. This engages people. Audience ‘ everybody you talk with (not to) is an audience. How do I get their attention? If it’s not a good time to do it, don’t tell your story! Know what is interesting. Try to be interested in them, create an emotional connection. The context makes the story different for everyone. What are they interested in? Find out then connect it to that. Aim for the heart, not the head. Feelings. Often times a story, elegantly presented, can change the results. Here is another video of Peter discussing how he convinced the head of the studio to let him make the film Gorillas in the Mist. In this video, Peter was just talking about how he had come to realize that he was not connecting with his audience (the studio head). So, he became a wounded gorilla in order to help explain why it was important to tell the story of saving gorillas: Goal ‘ specifically direct someone to a call to action. We have to have authentic goals that are generous; then, we both win. Virally-advocated stories are authentic; they have to be real. Interactively ‘ it has to be a conversation. The more senses you engage in your story, the more likely you are to own it. They feel they are participating in the story ‘ let your audience own it so they can tell it for you. It’s the way we are wired. Interactivity ‘ think about it before you start. You have to surrender control. Why do you think you control the customer or your brand? When you relinquish control, it allows them to come forward and own the information in a unique way. Content ‘ The actual story is the Holy Grail. Look to your own experience ‘ true story, inspired by story. Use observation ‘ retell other people’s stories. Use them for emotional transportation. Look at history and use artifacts; make emotional connections today from it. Use metaphor and analogy; he became a gorilla for the studio head to get him to connect with the story and make the movie. Think of your customers as an audience, interact with them with really great content, and enjoy the front row seat to your success. Other Goodies The afternoon consisted of 4 main tracks of sessions. I attended the session on Disney presented by Maritz and The Disney Institute. Bruce Kimbrell was again the presenter, along with Kathy Oughton from Maritz. Bruce told a great story about how serious Disney is about surveying customers in the theme park. He shared that some days, the survey at the entrance gate to the park might only ask for your zip code. On other days, the conversation might go like this: Disney: “Hi, do you have a some time to take our guest survey? We would need about 2 hours of your time.” Guest: “Uh, no, that would take up a big chunk of my time here.” Disney: “Well, how about if we take care of you for tomorrow?” Guest: “No, I would have to change my flights, my hotel…” Disney: “What if we took care of that? Would you be willing to give us your time?” Now that is serious focus on getting the voice of the customer! I also had the opportunity to sit in on JoAnna Brandi‘s session/discussion about what makes people feel good at work. Here were some of the attendee responses – - Liking the people I work with – Harmony – Making a difference – Being recognized by others, especially when you find out about it later JoAnna is trying to understand these motivators so she can help coach others on how to improve employee retention and loyalty. There’s More! Go check out my blog, the flickr group, and my Tweets to see/hear more about the day. Last day – tomorrow!

Day 1 Keynotes – It’s all about people!

Three powerful keynotes on Day 1 – and it was all about people.

Relationships between you and other people as the key to your personal and professional success.

Managing by knowing your people, really knowing them, not just by the numbers.

And telling stories to people as a way to achieve your goals – starting off with your own.

This last point brings me full circle back to last night at Kevin Carroll’s talk. What made that so powerful was the simple truth that his story is his life’s work. Telling it is what he does and in so doing he motivates others to pursue their passions.

There is clearly a theme running here in our keynotes!

Now back to today this morning.

First off was Keith Ferrazi, author of Never Eat Alone (which based on the line after his talk we now all have a copy) who found in a way to get us all talking to total intimately to total strangers. Sure we were only practicing, but he drove home through these exercises how superficial our interactions often are and how we need a different way of being in the world if we are to build mutually beneficial lasting relationships. As you really don’t get anything done in this world alone, everything requires other people to help you do it. Keith smashed our paradigm of the business relationship helping us to see we need personal relationships at work.

Keys to building those relationships?

  1. Don’t wait for relationships to happen – be intentional about building them
  2. Get out of your own way – letting go of behaviors that are barriers to true intimacy
  3. Be authentic – be present for others – not just for the sake of connecting
  4. Be vulnerable – encouraging others to tell it like it us, not just what we want to hear

I was truly moved by his idea that our job is to walk around the world and produce an environment that invites people in…and that to do that we need to find something in everyone we talk to that we can care about and also how we can help them. I sensed a lot of us left his talk wondering if we are up to that challenge.

By the way, I was a circle (other choices were triangle, squares and z’s). Which were you? And was that a bunch of Z’s I saw partying late last night in Downtown Disney?

Next up was Joe Torre, known to anyone who knows anything about baseball as one of its most winning managers and known to Boston Red Sox fans (like me) as one scary dude. What was always so scary about Joe was the calm way he sat in the dugout, nothing ever seeming to phase him, as if he knew his team would find a way to win. And they usually did.

Joe kept his message simple – It’s about people. Managing by the numbers has become all the rage in Baseball, but in the end it comes down to people. A hitter facing a pitcher. An outfielder going for a ball. Baseball is a stange sport that features team play – one player at a time.

Torre emphasized how over the years he worked to make this paradox clear to his players – that if they wanted to to win they need to ignore their individual stats and focus on the only numbers that matter – wins and losses. Each day he urged his players to think of what they needed to do better to help the team. Little things, he noted, like getting high paid stars to run faster to first place – can make the difference in a tight ball game. And that means every player has to come to play every single day – you win or lose as a team.

Then we heard from Peter Guber – one of Holllywood’s most successful producers (my favorite Guber flick was the Tim Burton production of Batman) – telling us the simple truth that people were born to tell stories – that throughout our prehistory that is all we could do – no writing, just orally conveyed information. This ability Guber explained is in us and is ready to be tapped as a tool we can use to accomplish our goals.

Telling great stories – important – got it. But how you do that?

Well, Peter explained, it’s MAGIC:

Motivating your
Audience to achieve your
Goal
Interactively with great
Content

Echoing strains we heard from Carroll and Ferrazzi, Guber suggested we start by connecting better with our own stories, learning to tell them, connecting them to what we passionately want to achieve, using them as a motivating force for others. We also should take care to let negative aspects of our personal story get in the way of us achieving our goals.

He challenged us to think of our customers as an audience. Our job is not just to satisfy them or handle their complaints – it is to provide them with a great experience, to engage them emotionally. This reminded me of Disney’s mantra – “we make magic happen every day.”

Guber urged us to bring the audience into the production, use artificacts passed around the circle to engage them in the telling of the story. What story? Whatever story we need to tell to close the deal, win the case, make change happen in our company, convey to customers what our brand really means. He closed imploring us to think of the story at the heart of what we are trying to achieve. “It’s the holy grail.”

A great morning – many stories to tell – and they’re all about people!!!

NACCM 2008: What’s Your Red Ball

The Conference has arrived, and I have to say, in my opinion, it began with a bang. A day long pre-conference summit that lead to the official launch of the conference opened by JoAnna Brandi, Publisher, Customer Care Coach & President, Joanna Brandi & Co. who in turn introduced our opening conference keynote, Kevin Carroll. Kevin is a remarkable presenter with a personal story of conviction, personal success in the face of great strife and difficulty. He has been inspired by the truly simple and discovered the remarkable and innovative in his life. His opening keynote was not only a chance to share that perspective but to also to help us consider the opportunity we have being here to develop, network and share. Everyone came away very enthusiastic and excited.

I have here a snippet of his presentation. He discusses the inspirational moment that he describes “saved his life.”

Afterwards, we sat down with Kevin and JoAnna who discuss some of their shared perspectives:

After seeing these videos, I’m sure you’ll want to learn more, so be sure and visit his website and blog and his own social network related to his books.

Then I sat down with Becky Carroll, from CustomersRock! who has already been participating in many great sessions and will be here posting her thoughts during the conference. Here she discusses the Disney experience

If you haven’t subscribed to our feed, be sure and do so, you don’t want to miss more of her great insights and thoughts during the next few days.

Next, I met Fred Broce, Program Manager of Request IT for GSK. He’s here presenting later today on the IT Service Catalog: Opening New Customer Channels While Driving Service. I asked him to share some highlights on what attendees can expect during his presentation:

Finally, last night, the CSIA and ICCSO who hosted the International Service Excellence Awards that honored companies large and small, and individuals in customer service positions based on the highest industry standards. I actually had a chance to record a great deal of material, but I’m going to need a little more time than one night to edit it all. But I will share this clip from the opening remarks from Brett Whitford, Secretary-General of the ICCSO, as he tells a rather extraordinary story of individuals going that extra step of customer service.

We have two more days of great experiences and presentations we’ll be sharing. Gregory North has joined us and is also blogging his experiences. So be sure and check back here and our event website to see the many updates including photos and videos we’ll be posting.

Customer Loyalty: Pre-Conference Summit

Cross-post from Customers Rock! by Becky Carroll

Today was my second day here at the NACCM Customers 1st Conference, and it was filled with pre-conference summits and the official kick-off to the event by Kevin Carroll, author of Rules of the Red Rubber Ball. Here is an overview and some nuggets from Disney Institute, nGenera, JetBlue, and of course, Kevin. (Note – if you follow me on Twitter, you already have a taste of what went on at the summit!) Disney Loyalty The day started with Bruce Kimbrell from The Disney Institute who keynoted with a great speech on Disney and their keys to customer loyalty. Bruce asked a great question: Who are you loyal to and why? Some of the answers included the following:

  • Nordstrom – they treat you like you matter
  • Keen shoes – high quality product, and solid customer service if there is a problem
  • Sports team – get a sense of community
  • State Farm Insurance – they are there before the police!
  • Kroger Foods – great customer service experience

Each responder had their own reason for being loyal. Bruce shared that at Disney, they believe the greater the connection, the greater the loyalty! Relationships are built when two things happen:

  1. Customers want to associate with your brand beyond the transaction
  2. Your customers and employees interact positively with each other

Disney gets 80,000 people at their parks in one day. How do you positively interact with all of them? On average, each guest (Disney speak for customer) has 60 interactions with Disney cast members (employees) per day. This is 60 opportunities to make or break the experience; they are the face of Disney! If 59 are great, but number 60 is a jerk, what do I go home and talk about? Disney uses experience mapping to identify all points of contact with customers, look at the experience through the customers’ eyes, and then align Disney strengths to “moments of magic”. Key takeaway: plan it out! Identify and prioritize key opportunties in the customer experience, match specific tools to each opportunity, select partners to involve, then go make it happen! Thank you, Bruce, for all of your Disney insight. Swarming the Magic Kingdom I spent most of my day in this highly interactive activity, led by Frank Capek of nGenera (Don Tapscott’s company). He laid the foundation for the day by discussing the next generation customer experience. In other words, with the potential for collaboration found in social media (such as blogs, wikis, social networks, YouTube, etc), how can we enable customers to actively co-create their own experiences? This isn’t experience by intent (improving service levels) or experience by design (creating based on customer needs and priorities) but experience on demand (engage and co-create). After talking about this for awhile, Frank set us loose in Disneyland to take a closer look at what customer experiences are taking place there – down to the smallest detail. We rode rides, analyzed Main Street USA, and listened to Christmas music being aired in the park. We observed what it felt like to be a first-timer, what it felt like to stand in line, and how easy/difficult it was to get around the park. At the end of the day, we came back together and used our collective thinking to brainstorm ideas around not just improved customer experiences, but specifically how customer experiences could be different for those who are “digitally connected” (especially young people who live on social networks). Ideas included the following:

  • “Log in” at the park to learn about wait times in lines, get a personalized experience
  • Have Disney “follow you” around the park (opt-in, of course) via your mobile phone or simply your park ticket (inserted at various attractions) to log your activities and create a “storybook” of your day that could be emailed/link sent to you. You could even opt to have your log update your Facebook or MySpace status throughout the day, sharing your experience with your friends.
  • Using texting/Twitter to share issues with Disney in real-time

It was a great session to get out in the sunshine, look at things from a different perspective, then take and apply it back to our own companies: Walk in your customers’ shoes. Innovate the customer experience. Don’t forget social media! JetBlue and “Jetitude” Rob Maruster, Senior VP of Customer Service at JetBlue held a great session to share how they are bringing humanity back to air travel through servant leadership. Here are some tidbits:

  • JetBlue administers 35 customer surveys each flight (regardless of how full they are); 8% of customers give their feedback (a decent response rate)
  • They use Net Promoter Score (NPS), rather than just customer satisfaction, to gauge how well they are performing and look for opportunities for improvement. It seems to be directly correlated to whether they are running flights on time in a particular month!
  • If something doesn’t go as planned, JetBlue invokes their Customer Bill of Rights and, within 7 days of the flight, they send out flight vouchers to help make up for the inconvenience. “Please, let us try again!”
  • You have to be relevant to customers in order to drive customer loyalty.

I liked the way Rob shared about JetBlue’s customer-focused thinking as he discussed one of the key inputs to their Balanced Scorecard: Drive a Low Cost Culture. He was quick to point out that it is important to be smart about costs, but not to be cheap! “Don’t touch the things that touch the customer.” Great motto, Rob! Rob also talked about their JetBlue attitude, or “jetitude”. They have five “Be’s”:

  1. Be in Blue always (you are always on stage – see my related post!)
  2. Be personal
  3. Be the answer (don’t pass the buck; execs, please walk the talk)
  4. Be engaging (reach out to customers; don’t wait for them to come to you)
  5. Be thankful to every customer (actually thank them for their business)

Finally, Rob talked about the importance of “servant leadership”. Leadership brings all of the above together to serve the employee and, in turn, the customer. They need total transparency, and they need to be willing to get their hands dirty in order to help make it happen. Great talk, Rob! Oh, by the way, JetBlue collected business cards from everyone in the summit and gave away 2 JetBlue travel vouchers! Wow! Great way to show appreciation. The Red Rubber Ball Kevin Carroll opened the official conference at day’s end with his inspiring speech on the importance of play. Per Kevin,

“Play is serious business!”

Kevin encouraged all of us to harness the power of sport and play in everything we do – including our jobs. What inspires you? For Kevin, a simple red, rubber ball (like a playground ball) inspired him to live differently, with purpose, passion, and intention. In fact, he has an amazing life story that took him from a difficult childhood to the military, the NBA, to Nike, and ultimately to being a speaker/author who helps others reach for their dreams. He is a life-long learner, and he shared his “lessons from the playground”:

  1. Commit to it (find what you are passionate about and commit to it)
  2. Seek out encouragers (surround yourself with people who give you permission to dream big)
  3. Work out your creative muscle (need to reawaken our creative side)
  4. Prepare to shine (create your vision, make it clear)
  5. Speak up (stand up for something, what you believe in)
  6. Expect the unexpected (be forever curious, you never know where you will end up!)
  7. Maximize the day (live each day to the fullest – don’t try to get to tomorrow too soon)

Kevin was inspiring, entertaining, and unpredictable. He even tossed out balls into the audience and shared a video of playing “tag” at Nike – with 4,000 coworkers! He challenged us to get the most we can out of each day, as well as out of this conference. After his talk, Yemil Martinez (Director of New Media for the conference) and I had the opportunity to video Kevin’s discussion with Joanna Brandi, conference co-chair, as they discussed the future of this country and how play can help. I will upload that video later this week. Kevin then freely gave me a nice gift for my older son to encourage him to find his passion in life. Thank you, Kevin! Kevin was also nice enough to give me two minutes of his time to share his thoughts with my Customers Rock! readers (and you) on the importance of building community with customers. Thank you so much for your time and energy, Kevin! We will be following you. (Photo credit: nruboc)

Virtual Contact Centers

Leslie Nelson, responsible for customer management at Bluefly a retailer that strives to be the store of first resort for designer fashions, gave an exciting talk about their experience with virtual contact centers.

Why do they go the virtual route?

– quality problems
-costs were spiraling out of control
- problems with attendance
-trouble with training
– “superagents” were training, even though they were not trained as trainers

They tried adding call centers, but then they quickly decided to outsource as they are NOT an expert in call center management. They looked at many different potential partners.
They selected a firm, VIP Desk, known for their virtual approach to customer service and their hosting support for luxury brands

Now Bluefly has people who, because they are virtual, have a much better worl/life situation. And they don’t have to fill up their tank on the way to their office! So, Bluefly has a 95% retention rate. They are several KPI’s the Blue “Brand Ambassodors” are assesed on and the better they do the more flexibility they have.

Results?

1st six months. Cost per contact down by 18%.
Year to date: cost per contact down 32%
Year to date, sales conversion has doubled.
Scale is now easy and fast.
Set up of new of new queues for promotions in days.

Team structure? Service leaders are responsible for quality and training only and they have a defined team.

Keys to managing outstouced virtual teams?
– Doing all of the training material in house
– Great service leaders in the outsourcer
– A communication strategy that enables agile knowledge transfer like Daily Huddles and IM, weekly business reviews and forecasting
– Online training in Webrooms allowing two way conversations led by professional trainers
word of caution: virtual training takes 150% to make sure people are engaged
– Online materials like Bluefly’s “Flashionista U”
– A passionate desire to assure people on the front line have the information they need to answer the question
- Motiving teams by incentivizing with your products on which they are now more knowledgable

All in all an exciting window into the virtual contact center world!

A Key to Next Generation Quality: Speech Analytics

Erika Van Noort of Bell Canada walked us through the evolution of customer care at Bell Canada and provided a deep dive on the power of Speech Analytics.

Bell is moving from a more fragmented business, built through acquisition, towards a more integrated , optimized environment for the customer. One way to optimize is through mining existing data, including call data.

Here was Bell’s wish list of what they wanted to learn from their call data:
– Root causes to why customers call
– What value add vs. non value add
– Get at the true Voice of the Customer
– Reduce what Price called earlier dumb contacts and increase time for value adding contacts
– Customer intelligence (preferences, drivers of behaviors, etc.)

In response to these and other questions, one approach to data mining is speech analytics.

“Speech Analytics, Erika explained, ” does not mean you never have to listen to customer call again. Only if you don’t care about your customers.” But through speech analytics Bell has learned a lot about process, products and service, more than they could have learned from traditional call monitoring, including:

Benefits of speech analytics?
– Root cause analysis
– Real time feedback
– Positive impact on FCR
– Reduced low value calls
– Opportunities for cross selling

And this is using the superset of all calls, not a sample, something you just can’t do with traditional call monitoring.

An analytics tree – how Bell looks at each call
– a call we want?
– routed correctly?
– resolved well?
– a church opportunity?

Speech Analytics: What Bell does

– take all calls
– break them down by reasons why customers call
– look at trends and outliers
– get at root causes
– identify real time call back opportunities

Results were great: FCR up, Sat. up, escalations down, productivity up, revenue way up

And employee feedback was very positive. “At last you have realized a dish that goes at 2Am is not my fault.”

Making the wins real:

– 1 customer event took 3 and 1/2 months.
– 6 customer calls and transfers
– 1 hour and a half of call time
– Cost? $400

Now multiply that by all the repeat calls and you are talking real money!

Understanding length of call by call type enables Bell to set thresholds for talk time based on what is really needed to get the customer’s work done right the first time.

Finally, this information drives changes to process, product and service design based on a systematic analysis of true voice of the customer. And this VOC is used at the highest levels of the company.

All Hands on Deck

Empowering Agents to Use Tacit Knowledge and Exceed Customer Expectations

Dr. Susan Reisinger of the US Navy’s Global Distance Support Center

“If you don’t give them the opportunity to fail, you won’t give them the opportunity to succeed.”

With these words, Susan explained how management just has to get over the risks that empowered service agents might make mistakes, might go too far…because this is the best way to get FCR up, employee morale up and turnover down. In her talk she described how the Distance Support Center gets the job done well often in complex circumstances connecting elements of the Navy family around the globe.

The cornerstone of their success in empowering their agents? Use of Tacit Knowldge.

What is tacit knowledge? “It’s our agents know, but don’t know they know,” explained Susan.

The Support Center systemtically captures and shares cases describing how tacit knowledge is used…but does not try to turn these cases into cookie cutter scripts. The goal is to expand the scope of what an agent can and knows how to do.

Results are clear -
Their customer sat ratings range between 92 and 95% every month and
FCR averages 96%!
And agent satisfaction is up and turnover down.

Keys to this approach:

  • Go beyond a scripted, procedural approach -Use cases for training – real-life scenarios
  • Use a WIKI to share these in real time -Goal is to share what works
  • Consider peer review as a way to evaluate what works and what does not
  • Delineate when it is okay to go outside the box and when it is not, and how far they can go.
  • You can get to these guardrails through trial and error

Empowered agents like their jobs better and do a better job for the customer. Not a surprise, perhaps, but how the Support Center gets there is something special.

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.