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Customer Service in the News | Week of June 3rd

Posted on  3 June 13  by 

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Service in the newsCheck out these top reads for customer service managers [The Week]

Mobile may be the way to go when it comes to building brand loyalty [Econsultancy]

If you already have or are planning to launch a mobile app, consider providing customer service through the app itself [VentureBeat]

The importance of customer service is increasing in China [NPR]

Learn how one company integrated and bolstered their brand using technology [Business 2 Community]

When Efficiency Is Not Good

Posted on  29 May 13  by 

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As many of you probably know, CEB Customer Contact set out to study the culture of service organizations as our major research initiative this year. In our survey we asked nearly 10,000 reps to describe in one word both their current and ideal organizational cultures. To our surprise, an overwhelming number of reps actually described their current and ideal culture in the SAME one word. However, it does not mean that most service organizations have already created the ideal culture for their reps to work in. Let’s take a closer look at each of the word clouds below to see how the same word can mean very different things.   Read More »

Customer Service from Australia to America

Posted on  29 May 13  by 

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customer service australia to americaby Devin Poole

In 2008, I made one of the biggest decisions in my life: I was going to move to Australia for a one year overseas deployment for CEB.  It took me 5 wonderful years in Sydney to remember I’d forgotten to leave!  But just over a month ago I finally returned to the States.

Now I don’t have to tell you that moving around the world is never easy.  But this sentiment is not simply because I love a sunburnt country.  It’s also driven through my extensive experiences with service organisations on both sides of the Pacific.  In fact, I’ve spoken to, chatted with, emailed, IVRed, or Facebooked reps in so many industries that I can hardly remember a day in the past month where I haven’t had need to contact some company for something!  As you might suspect, the experiences have varied from the outstanding to the downright dreadful.  So here are a few things I’ve noticed along the way. Read More »

Customer Service in the News | Week of May 27th

Posted on  27 May 13  by 

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IBM’s Watson supercomputer now provides customer service (Forbes)

Customers find most service websites outdated (CIO)

Improve difficult customer service situations through “perspective taking” (Forbes)

Verizon ranked number one among customer service carriers, according to customer survey (BGR)

How to Ease the Pain of Waiting

Posted on  24 May 13  by 

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customers wait It’s bound to happen. Seasonal peak volumes, periods when you’re understaffed, changes in your product or service offerings that invite an influx of calls… your live resources are going to be scarce and you’re going to make your customers wait longer than they want to.

Customers hate to wait, and it seems impossible to change your capabilities, but what if we told you there are some simple things you can do to drastically change the perception of waiting? In other words, how can you help ease the pain of waiting for your customers and do so in a way that doesn’t drive up effort? Here are a few tips:

Read More »

What You Should be Reading This Summer

Posted on  22 May 13  by 

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fileIt’ summertime again and I’m sure you’re looking forward to some relaxing reading by the beach (or on the couch for those of you taking a staycation this year). A surefire way to have more fun reading this summer is to mix some thought-provoking, work-related reading to those relaxing beach reads. Don’t believe me? Research suggests that an interruption in a pleasurable activity (such as reading for fun) actually increases your pleasure.

So, in the spirit of furthering yourself on a professional level this summer, we have culled together a few suggestions—resources that you shouldn’t miss: Read More »

Focus Your Training Efforts

Posted on  21 May 13  by 

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TrainingTraining is a topic that comes up often during our conversations with members. We’ve seen a recent uptick of questions regarding training in our discussion forums, with questions about how to increase training engagement as well as training on language skills.  Considering this, I thought it might be helpful to spend some time here outlining a few findings from our research about the good and bad sides of training.

Specifically, CEB Customer Contact research has found that coaching is a better driver of staff performance than training—and that when it comes to developing staff skills, it’s better to focus on coaching and to deemphasize training. There are a few key reasons to keep training short and limit the volume of information that staff learn:

1.       It’s hard to retain information taught in training

If employees don’t use information soon after they learn it in training, they are likely to forget it. In fact, our research has found that 87% of training is forgotten in a matter of weeks. Read More »

If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Add More Options

Posted on  21 May 13  by 

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ATMRecently, a CNN Money article boasted that by adding functionality to automatic teller machines (ATMs) banks may increase self-service foot traffic and reduce costs, too.

The article describes a few “new-fangled” technologies and other changes that will improve the ATM experience and prevent customers from having to enter a branch.  One of the technologies that the article described is a video-chat feature with a live teller (presumably sitting in a centralized contact center) that customers can choose to help execute more advanced functions, like withdrawing amounts in $1 or $5 increments.

Here’s my question, though: is adding more functionality really what your customers want? Read More »

Think You Are Handcuffed by Your Corporate Culture? Think Again.

Posted on  21 May 13  by 

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handcuffed by culture“It is just the way we do things around here.”

Certainly a phrase that is not uncommon to overhear in offices around the globe.  But, what is this ‘it’ that everyone refers to?

Well, that’s pretty hard to pin down. It can be the tribal knowledge shared informally across peers, the unspoken norm that everyone adheres to, even the feeling an outsider gets when they step inside the office walls.

But, if I had to take a stab at an all-encompassing way to describe it I would use one word.

 

Culture.

Specifically, your company’s organizational culture, as defined by the deeply held assumptions and beliefs of a company and its employees.

Every company has a culture – some may emphasize free-flowing collaboration and innovation while others encourage strict compliance with company rules.  Some cultures are very strong and salient; others are weak and not clearly identifiable at first.

No matter what your company’s culture is, though, we hear consistently that culture is not something that you as service organization leaders can change.

And, we tend to agree.  When we took a look at culture in our latest research, we found it takes a long time to shift engrained assumptions and beliefs at the company level.  So, culture evolves slowly over long periods of time and is difficult for one function to influence on its own.

But, don’t worry – all is not lost. Read More »

Customer Service in the News | Week of May 20

Posted on  20 May 13  by 

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customer service news IRS blames recent political scandal on “poor customer service” [Washington Post]

[24]7 mixes customer service with social media and sales in acquisition of Shopalize [Silicon Angle]

Apple ranked number one in computer customer service, according to Consumer Report [Gotta Be Mobile]

Mercedes USA CEO to make customer service his legacy [Automotive News Europe]