Peggy Carlaw

Tracking Customer-Focused Metrics

For years, contact center managers have been measuring operational metrics like average handle time, average hold time, turnover, sales per representative, average time to respond, and so on. But are these the most important metrics to measure? What's important to measure depends on who you...

Upselling and Cross-selling by Customer Service and Support Teams

As the economy recovers, many companies are looking for opportunities to claw their way back to pre-recession sales levels. And companies that fared well want to be sure to keep their customers as competition in the playing field grows. Who's upselling and cross-selling now? While…

Tailoring Customer Service and Support to Different Personalities

Fess up, now! There some customers you just love to talk to and others that you can't wait to get off the line, right? Of course there are some customers who are just downright cranky and rude, but barring those grouches, there's a reason...

Proactive Customer Service and Support

You've heard of First Contact Resolution, right? Hopefully, you're taking concrete steps to resolve as many issues on the first contact as possible. Following right on the tail of first contact resolution is proactive service. Also called proactive support or next issue avoidance, it's...

Crowdsourcing Customer Service and Support

If you're not already crowdsourcing your customer service and support, it's time to consider doing so. Why? Smart businesses are always looking for ways to help their customers. And when you can help your customers and minimize expenses, why not? What is Crowdsourcing? Crowdsourcing is...

Monitor Your Customers, Not Just Your Agents

Companies are reframing customer service as a strategic method for gathering important information to inform marketing direction and product development. While you can obtain valuable insights by monitoring your social media channels, adding insights from your call center will provide a greater breadth and...

FCR and Customer Satisfaction: A Match Made in Heaven

When you call a support center to get help on an issue or have a question answered, will you be more satisfied with the company if: The customer representative is knowledgeable and is able to resolve your issue on the first call? The representative is…

Sales Skills: Training (Nurture) or Personality (Nature)?

The age-old debate—nature versus nurture is a common theme that pops up for managers who are seeking the right sales candidates. It's an important question: Do people have an innate personality ability to sell (nature) or is it a skill that can be taught...

Churn to Retention: How You Can Make the Switch

We live in a world of cutthroat competition. If you want to grow your business and stay ahead of your rivals, your mantra better be Sell. Sell. Sell., right? Focus on your sales team, and throw your weight around the new- business acquisition model. Yet…It's...

Differentiate Yourself With Customer Service

Companies that are vying for the burgeoning cloud computing and hosting business have some fierce competition against industry heavyweights. Amazon, Google, Microsoft. Yep. That's some stiff competition. You may not compete with the likes of these behemoths, but you've still got your own market...

What’s Wrong With Customer Service?

Bob Cowen at Snowfly alerted me to the upcoming July, 2011 issue of Consumer Reports Magazine. On page 16, there's a list of the best and worst companies in 21 different business categories (hotel chains, on-line retailers, phone companies, tech support, etc.) compiled from...

Average Handle Time — Does It Matter?

Metrics. Numbers. Data. If you feel inundated by numbers and are wondering how to sort through the various metrics you need to be tracking for a call center or your customer service department, you're certainly not alone. In this post, we're going to...

Benchmarking

To benchmark or not to benchmark—is that a question you're facing? If you oversee call centers or work frequently with metrics, benchmarking to determine how you measure up against best practices is one of the most popular tools used. By comparing your metrics to...

Voice of the Customer and Net Promoter Score: What’s the Difference?

At a CCNG meeting a few weeks ago, a discussion arose about the difference between customer satisfaction (CSAT), Voice of the Customer (VOC), and Net Promoter Score (NPS®). I reviewed the difference between CSAT and VOC in an earlier post. Let's now look at...

Is Your “Loyalty” Program Actually Giving Value to Loyal Customers?

Ahhh. The loyalty program. The multiple keychain cards for supermarkets that your keys clang against. The loyalty credit cards that bump against your license in your wallet. The countless e-mails clogging your inbox that proclaim "You're a valued customer! Special savings just for you!" Like...

Improving Customer Satisfaction: Would Miss Manners Approve?

If you're in the field of training customer service representatives, or if your job description contains the phrase "help improve customer satisfaction," this post is for you. There is no shortage of information on the web, in books, and from customer service training companies...

Customer Satisfaction and Voice of the Customer: Is There a Difference?

At a CCNG meeting last week, there was quite a discussion about the difference between customer satisfaction (CSAT) and voice of the customer (VOC), with a number people surmising that they're interchangeable terms. Are they? CSAT measures how satisfied a customer is with your product...

5 Ways to Tie Customer Service Training to Measurable Business Results

Imagine your next review session. You're sitting in your boss's office, going over your accomplishments since your last review. Picture your boss's reaction as you describe the measurable business results you produced for the company as a result of the customer service training you...

Call Center Coaching – How Far Do Responsibilities Go?

Someone asked the other day if we thought they should hold their call center supervisors accountable for the performance of their teams. This is a complicated question. Poor team performance can be due to a number of issues: The agents don't have the knowledge or...

Stop Yelling at Me!

It seems to me that John Q. Public is getting more angry and rude as the months go by. Starting in the middle of last year, I noticed when I was listening to calls at clients' that customers would just start screaming as soon...

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