Delivering Amazing Customer Experiences
Performance is usually a reflection of how lofty our goals are. People rarely excel when they set moderate goals.
We saw a good example of this in one of our contact centers that serves a major credit card company. A former customer called when she wanted to have her credit card reactivated. Due to a family emergency, she needed to rent a car but was unable to present a major credit card to reserve it. She had “sworn off” credit cards some years earlier and had been using a debit card for all transactions.
Her trip was due to take place in several days and she was nearly frantic with worry about whether she’d be able to visit her ailing grandmother. Once she realized she needed more than a debit card, she called all her former credit card companies…until she finally found the right agent in our Manila contact center.
Her call was handled by one of our onsite escalation agents responsible for resolving difficult calls, who quickly realized what the situation was and how upset the caller was. After verifying with his manager that he could solve her problem while still maintaining the integrity of the process, he reactivated her old card, sent her a new card via overnight mail and called her the next day to verify that she had received the new card.
Total elapsed time from call to resolution? Two hours.
Total customer satisfaction? Extremely satisfied.
The secret to success
While this may appear to be an instance of going “above and beyond,” agents like this think it’s all in a day’s work. They say their job is to put themselves in their customers’ shoes, treating them the way they’d like to see their own family members treated. These agents feel a personal connection with callers, whom they view as friends and not just people who use their services.
Escalation agents are typically selected for their interpersonal skills and abilities, as well as their experience. They’re given the tools, training, latitude and support to develop creative solutions to callers’ problems. It’s no surprise that they aren’t willing to settle for satisfied customers – they want extremely satisfied customers!
That attitude clearly comes from the top. Managers at this contact center value their agents and don’t just consider them numbers and satisfaction ratings. They coach them and care about them, stressing the importance of their role as customer advocates.
In the end, center staff are frontline advocates for both the client and its customers, representing each in a way that establishes and maintains a productive and harmonious partnership. And that’s good business for everyone!