As much as customers complain about contact centers, there are plenty of great experiences with caring, engaged agents, too. One of my personal favorites is a call I made to Apple years ago when I was adding wireless capabilities to my desktop Mac. The agent not only helped me quickly solve the problem, he also sold me an accessory I needed to ensure that I wouldn't have the same problem again. It was a win-win: My problem was resolved; Apple made a sale and increased one customer's satisfaction in the process.
More recently, I phoned Time Warner Cable because of an issue I was having with my home wireless network when I had an alarm system installed. Even though I use an Apple AirPort wireless router, the agent stayed on the phone with me for a half hour until we resolved the issue. Talk about surprise and delight! After an hour of trying to be my own tech support person, this agents' determination to get my problem solved made a huge, positive impact on my customer satisfaction and loyalty to Time Warner Cable.
In my opinion, both of these experiences came about for three reasons. Apple and Time Warner Cable:
- hired empathetic agents who seem to me to be natural problem solvers
- empowered those agents to do whatever it takes to resolve customers' issues
- provided their agents with the information they needed to solve customers' problem efficiently and effectively
Next week, October 3-7, is Customer Service Week, created to celebrate agents like the folks I spoke with at Apple and Time Warner Cable--people who are singularly focused on delivering outstanding customer service. 1to1 is participating in that celebration by providing articles and blogs all week on various aspects of the contact center customer experience. We hope you'll join us by adding your thoughts and comments to those posts.
And thank you to the contact center agents (and the companies that support them) who work tirelessly to answer our inquiries, solve our problems, and regain our trust and loyalty again and again.