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Posts Tagged ‘Customer Service’

I’ve been reading the new Ken Follet Book which tracks 5 families from 1911 to 1924.  What’s interesting is that leadership that top level leadership is removed from the actual work or from the front lines in World War I.  As a result, countless decisions are made that end up in disaster.  In addition, those who survive start to learn what actually works but this information never filters up the line.  Now shift the scene to my visit to the Comcast store last week.  They have countless problems with service and equipment quality that front line customer service needs to address.  Upper management has put them in a position to have to handle the same problems over and over again rather than looking for systematic fixes.  The morale of the story…when top management looses connection with the front line, front line employees become cannon fodder.

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Every new employee has several key questions when they start work for a new company. Perhaps the most important is, “Do I really Want to Do this Job?” The longer it takes for this employee to answer this question, the more likely it is they will quit or worse, quit and stay. Here are two examples of what I’m talking about. We did a lot of work in collections call centers. At some point in their initial training, the lights went on and they’d say, “So what you’re saying is, you want me to call people at home during diner and ask them for money, is that right?” A predictable percentage would say, “I’m not going to do that and quit.” The realization didn’t really hit them until you put a phone in their hand and tell them to call. If you put someone through six weeks of training before this epiphany, you wasted a lot of time and effort.

Here’s another example, a lot of people go into customer service thinking it’s a job to help customers. After taking a call or two, you often hear, “All these customers do is call and complain, I don’t want to do this.” In the old days, customer service used to be the complaint department and attracted a little different type of person.

The bottom line is, the sooner employees do real work with real customers, the sooner they can answer the question, “Do I really want to do this job?” The longer you wait the more expensive it gets.

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Uploaded by takomabibelot

 I’ve seen this technique growing over the years.  The surefire way to reduce customer complaints is to make it impossible to complain.  I first experienced this on an international flight.  When everyone got off the plane, there was no one there. 

Just the other day I called a company about a small problem and they put me in the cue.  The recorded message said, all I’d have to do is wait 30 to 60 minutes for the next agent.

There are others where the only place you can get information is on their website, but if it’s not there it just keeps recycling you back to the home page.

What’s nice about this approach is you can show upper management a proven reduction in customer complaints.  “We must be doing something right.  Nobody’s complaining.”

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