The Best Problem Solvers Don’t Always Make the Best People Pleasers

The idea that problem solving and people pleasing are mutually exclusive skills is yet another example of conventional wisdom overriding data. It should never be a question of one or the other. For example, while bedside manner is important, you wouldn't want a pleasant but incompetent doctor managing your care. Likewise, you should make sure your customer service agents are ...
Continue Reading
let's talk about bots

Let’s Talk About Bots, Baby.

Artificial intelligence may sound like something out of science fiction, but the truth is we're already using AI in everyday business. We recently sat down with our social media expert and Director of Global Digital Solutions Sarah Grace McCandless to talk about how these “bots” are changing the customer service experience. What role is artificial intelligence playing in the customer ...
Continue Reading

Does Great Quality Assurance Always Translate to a Better Customer Experience?

Experts in many fields, including customer service, can make the mistake of relying on one-size-fits-all solutions that don't actually work for every problem. These panaceas tend to be driven by two main factors: common sense and conventional wisdom. When common sense and conventional wisdom aren't supported by hard data, however, those strategies need to be revised. Always keep in mind ...
Continue Reading
prioritizing unhappiest customers

Prioritizing Unhappiest Customers May Be Costing You

The most universal rule of effective customer service strategy is that it is people focused, but data driven. When it comes to qualitative data, that usually takes the form of customer satisfaction survey results. With the popular five-box model of customer satisfaction, customers are separated into the following groups: “very satisfied” (top), “satisfied,” “neutral,” “dissatisfied” and “very dissatisfied” (bottom). We'll ...
Continue Reading
Leveraging Alternate Support Channels

Leveraging Alternate Support Channels

Technical support doesn't need to stick to the traditional phone model; alternate methods of reaching customers may be a more efficient use of your business's funds and workforce. We'll look at how leveraging alternate support channels can help your business. The calls-only method of support requires longer time spent per ticket than newer alternatives, such as live chat, which means ...
Continue Reading
Quality Monitoring Forms Need Improvement

Quality Monitoring Misses the Mark

It's common knowledge that human interaction isn't a rigid binary; conversations are nuanced. For a conversation to be successful — in that both parties walk away satisfied with what just transpired — the pair conducting it needs to display a degree of empathy. There needs to be some positive feedback letting the other person know that you understand what's being ...
Continue Reading
intelligently optimizing support channels

Intelligently Optimizing Support Channels

Many businesses aren’t clear as to what good digital support entails, with only vague notions about lowering costs and improving customer experience. Their focus is instead on implementing a platform that gives them the best return on investment, which is measured in money (and time) saved. These businesses often also make the mistake of introducing digital support platforms — such ...
Continue Reading
exceptional customer experience with apple support

An Exceptional Customer Experience

Author: Sarah Grace McCandless, Director, Global Product Management, Digital Solutions As a Director of Product Management and Digital Services, I live at the crossroads of Social Media Customer Care and Customer Experience (and major dog lover…but that’s not important for the purposes of this post). So it’s fair to say that I see the good, the bad, and the ugly ...
Continue Reading
Average Handle Time Positively Effecting Your Customer

Your Average Handle Time Could Be Better

It’s become a bit of a cliché to point this out, but time is a precious commodity these days. And nobody wants to spend theirs jamming out to hold music (unless you are on an Uber Conference call; their hold music is ridiculously entertaining). To keep your customers from suffering this fate, make sure their calls for technical support are ...
Continue Reading
Happy Customers Because of Adaptable Agents

Adaptable Agents, Happy Customers

As tempting as it can be to cater customer service to some simplified, archetypal "average consumer," the truth is that every customer is different and subsequently in need of very different approaches to technical support. Each comes to an agent with a unique combination of a specific communication style and level of technological know-how. With the expansion of alternative tech ...
Continue Reading
customer service

5 Myths of Customer Service

Strong customer service helps you create loyalty, increase product awareness, and encourage future purchases. Everyone wants to create the perfect customer service experience, but many businesses are building their processes on false assumptions and insufficient metrics. If your customer service paradigm is focused on outdated ideals, you're missing out on major opportunities to connect with your modern customer base. Today's ...
Continue Reading
customer experience

One Touch Customer Experience vs. Current Business Processes

It may be unpleasant — and that's actually the point of this analogy — but think about the last time you spent a few hours at your local transportation office to get your driver license renewed. You were probably given the runaround, sent to multiple desks to take care of one little thing that probably seemed simple. Then, once your ...
Continue Reading
Group of young people sitting at a cafe, top view

Companies Can’t Afford to Let Social Media Just Happen

Author: Sarah Grace McCandless, Director, Global Product Management, Digital Solutions Smart social media management is a proactive endeavor, yet many companies are responding to social sites in a reactive way. They let social media evolve on its own with minimal direction so that Facebook and Twitter success seems to happen independently of other business activities. Companies can't afford to fall ...
Continue Reading
Female nurse examining a female patient

Optimizing the Outcome-Based Model for Healthcare

Author: Pat Mallon, Vice President, Healthcare Account Management & Sales The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is gradually shifting the focus of the healthcare industry. Changes in the reimbursement process are driving companies to use an outcome-based model instead of more traditional reactive approaches. Health and Human Services set a goal to apply half of Medicare payments to value-based alternative payment ...
Continue Reading
Woman Using Credit Card and Laptop

Bank Customer Satisfaction Improves – But You Can’t Afford to Shift Focus Yet

Author: Kirsten Jepson, Senior Director, Product Marketing “I’m not dead yet,” cries the old man in the classic movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” as the undertakers try to throw the protesting pauper on their cart of cadavers. Similarly, it is tempting to stop focusing on fundamental customer service practices as recent reports highlight improvements in customer satisfaction in ...
Continue Reading
Young friends sitting in a cafe looking at a smartphone. One woman drinking coffee and another holding mobile phone,

Unintended Consequences of Social Media Advertising

Author: Sarah Grace McCandless Director, Global Product Management, Digital Solutions Social Media advertising spend is at an all-time high and it’s expected to rise, possibly even double, by the year 2020 (The CMO Survey). Let's all stop for one minute and drop it like it's hot because 5 years ago there is no way that the Executive team would have ...
Continue Reading
Two bookshop managers working on laptop.

Effortless Experience Begins with Sales

There’s more to competitive powerlifting than meets the eye. Many people may think it’s simply about lifting the heaviest weight. But winning a competition goes much deeper than that. Competitors have three types of lifts they must successfully complete in succession, with three tries for each one. Strategy is a factor, for you must chose to lift a weight that ...
Continue Reading
004 (1)

Transitioning Knowledge to Deliver Customer Service

A successful Knowledge Process Outsource (KPO) program requires agents who are well-versed in their client’s complex line of business. However, knowledge is just the starting point of superior KPO delivery. Agents must be adept at blending business knowledge with the right mix of customer service skills while being supported by accountable quality management. Leave any of those ingredients out and ...
Continue Reading
003 (1)

Care Coaching Requires a Transformative Approach to the Contact Center

SYKES Enterprises provides care coaching programs to help people quit smoking, manage weight, and adopt healthy exercise habits. Working with people to create long-lasting behavioral change is a very personal undertaking reliant on the relationships built with clients. It’s much more involved than answering a billing question or providing technical product support which are common transactional services provided in a ...
Continue Reading
002 (1)

Care Coaching Helps People Change Behaviors for Healthy Lifestyles

A patient-centered approach to care coaching is based on a primary coach model where the same coach manages the person’s case from start to finish. A dedicated coach is able to build a trusted relationship with the person over time augmented with motivational inputs that help people stay on track with their plan to change behaviors, such as quitting smoking, ...
Continue Reading