As a mostly technology company, we are always hoping to be challenged, to stretch our software, to make it better, faster and more convenient. And, often, it is our clients that cause improvements, sometimes it is competition, but most often it is the question “can you get us this?” and rarely do we say no.
Recently, to our detriment. It seems that in our quest to accommodate a client, we accepted a piece of a program that we should have insisted we could not accommodate. In doing so, it created a black hole of back stepping, recreating, launching and, dare I say, abuse from the client. Not serious abuse mind you, more of the playground bully abuse. We have apologized, identified the issue, corrected the issue and in the end determined that, it was really not our fault.
What was our fault was not managing the expectations of the client, looking them in the eye and answering the question posed above: “How much Customer Service is enough”? When you have to use a shoe horn to make it happen it all too often ends up with both parties being harmed.
It is tough love to have to say no, but we will when we know it is for everyone’s good. That is great customer service.
From my experience, not enough contact centers ask for customer feedback after agent interaction. Why is that? Is it because they are afraid to hear from the customer? Or, is it that they fear their client will not appreciate the collection of customer feedback? I know there are a lot of metrics a contact center analyzes throughout a day regarding efficiencies. However, those metrics are focused on the individual agent and not the customer. Implementing an online customer feedback solution will not only provide the customer’s perspective, it will also empower the organization with sound customer data regarding the CSR interaction that is actionable. CustomerCountSM has helped numerous contact center operations become more customer centric which has led to improved revenues in the short and long-term. If you manage a contact center, do yourself a favor and checkout CustomerCountSM. You will not be disappointed. www.customercount.com.
Big Data at work in the airline industry
This is a great example of what Big Data can do. And, it is about the airline industry!
Airlines promise a return to civility, for a fee
NEW YORK (AP) – Airlines are introducing a new bevy of fees, but this time passengers might actually like them.
Unlike the first generation of charges which dinged fliers for once-free services like checking a bag, these new fees promise a taste of the good life, or at least a more civil flight.
Please click here to read the entire article.
Communities are Relevant
By: Robert A. Kobek, RRP, President
It seems there has been a barrage of information and monetization and promotions surrounding the word “Community.” I hear it all the time and because as a believer of creating and working within communities as a marketing and sales vehicle, I am perhaps a bit more acute listener in the use of the word than most.
In our efforts to establish and maintain our business, we identify certain markets as “verticals,” like health care or time share or loyalty companies. We design marketing and sales plans to reach into those industries yet we forget one very important element. They are more than a vertical inside an industry they are also members of a community, with like-minded goals and concerns.
We also cater to verticals that may surround more personal choices like ethnicity, economic status, job description, LGBT, or any myriad of unending traits that cause us all to be a member of something, even a neighborhood.
I recently had the very high pleasure of a forum that had Francis Gaillard as the keynote that was followed up by a working session dealing with “co-creation” (think Nike + Community). That session was the spark, the catalyst of an awakening that put the whole “vertical market” into a new thought process.
Walking the talk is not an empty phrase. If you are intending to focus on a vertical, you might think about being a member of the community. After all, to be relevant, you have to relate.
It’s Easy Peasy!
By: Robert A. Kobek, RRP, President
You just joined a new company to lead an initiative that has been struggling for years. Then, the starter’s gun goes off and just like that, you are off and running!
Or are you?
I have noticed a lot of chatter on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other sites about the relationship between new leaders getting imbedded into old cultures. There are a lot of opinions about the responsibility of the organization, and some about the responsibilities of the new leader once that leader has been brought on.
You have to study the culture, the culture has to study you and then somewhere in the process the three types rear their heads: The nemesis, the supporter and the “whatever” personalities. And almost in that order these distinct types begin to appear and attempt to frame your path. It is called “Boss Training”, and whether or not you are a leader when you come in, you risk being a follower.
Leaders manage but managers do not necessarily lead. There are all sorts of intellectual approaches that delve very deeply into the question. I have one: The next time you are interviewing for a leadership position in a company, ask two more questions. Simple ones really.
“Is your culture primarily one that is process driven or relationship driven?”
“Are you hiring me to lead or manage”?
Find out up front, before you take a job.