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Measuring the ROI of Your CRM

Posted on  15 May 13  by 


ROI of CRMThis post, and the related research brief, was recently written by our colleagues of the CEB Sales Leadership Council. 

CRM system is not only an integral part of the sales (and customer support) workflow, but is the lifeblood of the sales (and support) process, providing reps with the right information for the right customer at the right time.

The deep integration of CRM with the sales process has led some executives to take CRM for granted. Yet, these systems require huge yearly investments, and should be subject to the same scrutiny as any other investment. However, “How do you track the ROI of your CRM?” is a question no Sales Ops executive wants to, or can easily, answer.

Such was the case when we took this question to four member organizations. Most of the conversations began with a laugh or a sigh as we proceeded to uncover the complexities of each members’ processes of tracking and reporting the various elements of their CRM. We asked four main questions: Read More »

The Soft Side of Organizational Change

Posted on  14 May 13  by 


dv485092Customer service and support organizations undergo significant changes in staffing models for various reasons, including organizational redesigns, employee role changes, and technology changes.  While practical concerns around plan execution may be at the front of your mind, addressing the emotional needs of your employees is not a trivial factor to ignore.

Fears of losing jobs, uncertainty about the future, and costs associated with upskilling new employees can add unforeseen – and unnecessary – complications to your plans.

Read More »

Customer Service in the News | Week of May 13th

Posted on  13 May 13  by 


Customer Service News

  • How Zappos creates the ultimate customer experience [Forbes]
  • 5 jobs that your company will need on your customer service teams for the future [B2C]
  • How Big Data can improve customer service and marketing [CIO Magazine]
  • Spirit Airlines gets rid of its toll-free customer service line [Gadling]
  • 7 customer service lessons from the founder of Virgin Group [Forbes]

How to Send Subliminal Messages in Your IVR

Posted on  8 May 13  by 

Comment (1)

subliminal IVR messagingSetting customer expectations can be a very delicate matter.  There are times when you need to be very transparent to help customers understand what to expect next—and to avoid them from calling you back unnecessarily—

Your estimated wait time is 2 minutes. 

We will reply to your email in 24 hours.

Your order will ship next Tuesday.

But, there are other times when being that straightforward is not appropriate—and frequently the IVR script is one of those times.  We want customers to use the IVR, and we want them to understand its value in serving them…but customers aren’t always ready to listen when it comes to telling them about the features and benefits of an IVR.  So, that’s when subliminal messages start to sound like a good idea.

How can you send subliminal messages in your IVR?  Try these on for size: Read More »

Customer Service in the News | Week of May 6th

Posted on  7 May 13  by 


news3Service News

  • The Risk of Using SMS for Customer Service [Forbes]
  • Gamification for Customer Service: Does it Work? [CustomerThink]
  • Infographic: Social Customer Service [five9]
  • Insurers See Value in Social Media’s Customer Service Capabilities [Insurance Networking News]

Why You Make it Hard for Reps to be Low-Effort

Posted on  7 May 13  by 


May7There is no doubt that the No.1 goal for service organizations is to make it easy for customers to solve their issues. But have you ever thought of whether you have made it easy for your frontline reps to deliver that service?  If reps have to put forth a lot of effort during customer interactions, how can you expect them to create easy experiences for customers? In fact, our data collected from “Service Organization Culture Assessment” as part of our major research initiative this year showed that nearly half of reps (48.6%) we surveyed agreed that they had to put in a great deal of energy to handle with customer issues.

If you haven’t previously considered how hard it may be for reps to provide good service, this data point should really make you start thinking about what created this reality and how you can make it easier for reps to deliver low-effort service experiences. Specifically, here are some reasons we think are driving effort for reps in the current contact center world. Read More »

You’re Probably Not Hiring Correctly

Posted on  3 May 13  by 


hiring Our parent company, CEB, recently acquired a company at the forefront of talent acquisition analytics. SHL, a leader in talent measurement solutions, has a suite of offerings—one of them being contact center frontline rep hiring. We are excited about the offerings that they have and the exciting research they’ve done on how to hire smartly. And it’s led us to do a little thinking of our own about hiring in the contact center environment.

It’s no secret that a lot of things have changed in the contact center environment—so how you hire for reps should be one of them. Reps were once expected to handle simple issues in a straightforward way, so hiring primarily focused on basic skills. Organizations could rely on resumes to assess work experience, office skills, and intelligence. Today, however, the role of the rep has fundamentally altered. Dynamic work environments, difficult issues, and demanding customers all create a need for a more robust hiring process. In fact, we’ve learned today’s high performing rep possesses a different skill—the ability to take ownership—that we’ve coined the Control Quotient. This means your entire hiring process should change, and here are three things you can do differently:

Read More »

Why You Need to Trust Reps

Posted on  1 May 13  by 

Comment (1)

We recently came across an interesting article in the Harvard Business Review that explains the importance of trusting your employees to achieve good outcomes, rather than telling them what to do.

SMAC model employeeThe author asserts that by trusting your employees, you encourage individuals to be more committed, produce higher quality work, and be proud to work for you.  We couldn’t help but recognize the similarities in the author’s findings and our own work on trusting employees to achieve outcomes and increasing employee engagement as a result.

The author outlines the following actions to demonstrate trust in your employees, and at CEB Customer Contact, we couldn’t agree more:
Read More »

Peer Perspectives: How Gap Inc. Moved the Dial on Coaching

Posted on  30 April 13  by 


QandAAt CEB Customer Contact, we’re big proponents of the power of effective coaching to impact staff performance. There’s reason for our focus on coaching: coaching is the most significant driver of staff performance, and it’s also one of the top three drivers of rep retention.

We shed some light on how a few companies with top-notch coaching programs got to where they are in our recent webinar on coaching effectiveness, and we were excited to see how interested our members are in the different stages of the coaching journey. Read More »

Customer Service in the News | Week of April 29th

Posted on  30 April 13  by 


customer service newsHow to create a successful multichannel customer service strategy [1-to-1 Media]

US Government tackles federal customer service quality in hopes of improvement, savings [Houston Chron]

Ritz-Carlton goes a long way to delight an unhappy customer — with penguins [HLN]

McDonald’s creates new “runner” role to ease dissatisfied customers [Business Insider]