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Why customer loyalty should be everyone's concern
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Why customer loyalty should be everyone’s concern

Why customer loyalty should be everyone's concern

 

If you work in Customer Service or a Contact Centre, we’re sure you’ll be very familiar with NPS. However, as this blog title suggests, we’re not just talking to people who traditionally work with NPS in this post. This metric is useful to people in many other areas of a business, so let’s take it back to basics and have a look at what it is.

 

What is NPS?

 

Net Promoter Score (or NPS) is a customer loyalty metric, measuring customer experience and expected business growth. So how do you get this number?

 

Here is the definition as proposed by Bain & Company. There are 3 types of customers – Detractors, Passive and Promoters. As you’ve probably guessed – detractors are the least satisfied customers that are most likely not to purchase again, and most likely will spread negative feedback about your business if their issues are not solved. They rate you between 0-6. Passives are typically satisfied but not overly loyal, may be open to competitors and probably won’t spread any word about you – negative or positive. They’ll rate your business between 7 and 8. Lastly, there are your Promoters – the loyal and enthusiastic customers who will sing your praises and give you 9’s and 10’s.

 

So to work out your NPS from these figures, you take your % of detractors and minus it from your % or promoters. Easy right?

 

 

How can we use this info?

 

So now you’ve got a clear, overall impression of what your customers think of your brand, why is it not being used by every department in a business?

 

There are so many different points of contact outside of a Contact Centre or Service team that could be affecting this stat. Recently we attended the Engage CX Marketing Summit where research by IDC claimed that at Aviva, the whole company is accountable for their NPS and it is a key marketing stat. We also heard from Virgin Holidays about they redesigned their whole ‘pre-holiday’ experience and comms around their NPS scores.

 

You can use this information across various different departments. For example, we’ve all unfortunately had the scenario where we’ve had to make a complaint or had a negative interaction with a brand, given a pointed ‘1 star’  in the follow-up survey – only the next day to get a marketing email about a new product or ‘excellent’ service they’ve just launched. How infuriating is it to be pushed to purchase again, when you’re in the middle of trying to remedy the last dispute? So an example of how the Marketing department could use NPS is to divide their customer lists into the 3 groups (detractor, passive and promoter) when deciding who to send campaigns to. Then you can target your most loyal customers for some fabulous feedback, get a detractor reach out process in place to find out why your most dissatisfied customers are unhappy; and come up with a winning campaign to convert those passive’s into promoters!

 

That is just one example of how one department could use NPS to their advantage. This feedback can also really help highlight processes and internal policies that may be working well for your department but are turning your customers against you. Therefore, we recommend not just using it to gauge customer satisfaction – but across the company to help streamline service and create the happiest customer base you can!

 


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Why customer loyalty should be everyone's concern

AI - Are the robots coming for our jobs?
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AI – Are the robots coming for our jobs?

AI - Are the robots coming for our jobs?

Artificial intelligence is everywhere at the moment, with both positive and negative connotations attached to it. Forrester predicts that by 2025, technologies like robots, AI, machine learning, and automation will replace 7% (or 22.7 million) of jobs in the US alone.

However scary that may be to some, these technologies shouldn’t just be thought of as ways to replace humans. So let’s stop thinking about how technology is hindering us or taking over, but how all this amazing tech can not only enhance our work but what can we hand over in order to function better. Create technology that does the admin, the menial tasks and deals with the daily clutter that we all have at work. After all, as humans, we are still in charge (for now…)

Take In-gage for example. We have created a Salesforce Contact Centre app that syncs with Salesforce and can be used to improve the efficiency and profitability of a company and are now taking our first steps into AI. When looking at Quality Assurance in Contact Centres, we’ve found you can increase the number of interactions that can be monitored in a day using this technology. It then passes on only the key communications (whether positive or negative) to the QA team for further assessment and all the interactions that don’t need any follow-up just pass through the system. This means the QA team isn’t wasting time on comms that don’t need any in-depth assessment, and they can really focus on highlighting learning opportunities or interactions that deserve praise or recognition. Much more efficient!

Using AI also means this process of analysing interactions is a lot quicker and the incident is handled when it is fresh. You have a much higher chance of being able to affect a change in behaviour if it’s in real-time, versus manually go through the data provided by the QA team once they’ve listened to all the different quality of calls – that is even if one that requires attention gets randomly selected for assessment.

Accenture research on the impact of AI on 12 developing countries found that by 2035, AI will increase labour productivity by up to 40% – enabling people to make more efficient use of their time being creative and innovative in a way that technology can’t mimic. So you can see how the inclusion of AI doesn’t mean replacing a human role, but enhancing it.

5 Contact Centre mistakes STILL being made
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5 Contact Centre mistakes STILL being made

The first words on the telephone were spoken in 1876 and the first call centre opened in the UK in 1965. That is quite a while ago now and we’ve learned a lot since then! Yet for all those years of experience, there are still mistakes being made in Contact Centres worldwide that will be costing you customers without evening realising.

5 Contact Centre mistakes STILL being made

1. Too much repetition

Everyone has had this experience at one time. You call up about an issue and are told you need to be transferred to another department – where you have to repeat your whole problem all over again. Research from NewVoiceMedia has shown that 39% of customers are put off by having to repeat information to multiple agents, and a third would take their business elsewhere for that very reason.

So, if you’re asking for their Mothers Maiden name, security pin or post code as qualifying information – surely there is also somewhere within that profile that agents could note down what the customer is calling about? That way the next agent they speak to will have that record ready and the customer won’t have to keep telling the same story over and over again.

2. Passing it on

Being passed around on the phone from agent to agent is frustrating and time consuming for any customer. Your frontline staff need to take ownership every call they receive and try and sort the issue out without transferring it to someone else. If you are finding your agents are repeatedly failing to provide FCR, perhaps you need to take a look at your processes or your introduction training?

A poorly trained agent will find it very hard to solve a customer’s problem as the simply haven’t been given the tools to do so. Equally an agent could have the best training available but if you have complicated or convoluted scripts and processes, you’re actually putting your own agent in the position of having to potentially irritate the customer – just to follow a process.

3. Measuring the wrong KPI’s

Measuring your staff on the wrong things, such as individual call times instead of level of service, will affect how they interact with customers. No one is going to be satisfied with an interaction where they can tell they are being rushed off the phone – and what is worth more to you? Handling 200 slightly irritated callers in a day who may consider leaving? Or 100 satisfied customers who have the potential to become advocates for your company?

Have a think about what KPI’s are important to both your business and the customer – such as site wide average call time, which will tell you more about your companies processes and training as a whole, or average customer wait time before someone speaks to them.

4. No follow up training

After an agent has their initial introduction training, is it really important they receive regular, updated training. It is the task of Contact Centre Managers to continue ongoing training and ensure their staff are equipped to tackle the new scenarios they face. If you’re worried about people being away from the phones, utilise our last point and start measuring at what times you get have the highest and lowest density of calls. That way, you can schedule training in quieter times and train staff in groups – so your customers won’t suffer while you’re trying to make improvements.

5. Reacting too slowly

Our last issue/pet-peeve is not having a process in place to follow up on successes and failures quickly and effectively. If you only ever review agent progress once a month or every quarter and expect them to remember a specific interaction from 30 days ago – it becomes much harder for staff to learn from individual interactions.

The easiest way to do this is get either a piece of software or process in place, so that when a customer rates a call or agent particular low or high – your Managers are notified and deal with the interaction immediately.


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4 Ways your Managers can Praise their way to more Profit
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4 Ways your Managers can Praise their way to more Profit

If you want customers to keep coming back to you, every customer interaction has to be handled with equal care and enthusiasm. Not just the juicy transactions or the times something goes wrong and you’re trying extra hard to win them back. All. Of. Them. As people can definitely tell when the are being half listened to or rushed through a phone call. So all your customer-facing staff, from complaints to finance, need to be aware and onboard of this strategy.

 

Having Managers that empower and motivate your team to stay engaged and deliver the best service they can is key. Here are 4 of our best ways you can inspire your Managers to empower their teams and stimulate employee engagement:

 

4 Ways your Managers can Praise their way to more Profit

 

1. Expectations

A Manager should be able to easily relay your company’s vision and values to their teams, so they can all work together to meet them. However, this only happens if your management team have clear objectives themselves. Take the time to make sure they’re in the know as to your goals and where you are trying to get to, not just how to get the team there. If they are fully focused on the outcome of your customer and be able to explain clearly what is expected of them and their team – everyone will know what you are all working towards. Then they’ll be in the fantastic position of being able to utilise their time in hching individuals in the team, sharing best practice and, all importantly celebrating successes.

 

2. Care

We spend an average 40% of our waking week at work (apparently 15% of people actually fall asleep once a week at work, but that’s a different blog!) Managers should be trying to put together teams that people enjoy spending time in, and therefore are inspired to perform better. Team members should feel so involved that they actually looked forward to be working in their teams. This will require some thoughtful work by Managers, as you need to get the pairings right that so that people are happy but also motivated by the people around them. No two people are the same and clever Managers will recognise this, then try and put people together who compliment each other.

 

3. Develop Staff

Einstein said ‘if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.’ Obviously there are certain standards that have to be met, but focusing on the strengths of individuals within your team brings the best out of everyone. Get your management to keep an eye out for peoples strengths, then draw them out. Use commitment-based inghing conversations to build trust between Managers and their teams, as coaching and supporting should be about 80% of a Managers role – whilst using this time to look for peoples strengths to develop.

 

4. Praise, Praise, Praise

Studies suggest praising people five times for every single time we offer improvement, inspires a desire to do well. Which does sound pretty obvious when you say it out loud, but a lot of us forget to give others a pat on the back when they do something well – but are very quick to point out when something could have been done better. Train Managers to follow four principles: Praise others, have pride in yourself, be proud of your team, and make best friends. This reinforces positivity, and drives high motivation, productivity and bonds within the work community. Celebrate your teams success and show them what great looks like, by leading by example you will increase employee engagement and productivity.

 

Results

If you have amazing Managers that create fully-engaged brand advocates who take pride in and love being at work – obviously this will lead to frontline agents who constantly amaze your customers! if you’re employee love being at work and are praised by their Managers when they succeed, that will naturally affect the way they speak to customers – who will enjoy speaking to these happy, motivated staff. So what does this equate to overall? Increased loyalty, more sales and therefore more profit. With our application you can measure employee engagement in Salesforce. Sounds pretty good to us…

 


 

 

4 Ways your Managers can Praise their way to more Profit

Customer focus - Creating value from your frontline service team
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Customer focus – Creating value from your frontline service team

The moment a customer contacts your brand, how their interaction is handled can make or break what they do next. You only get one chance to make a first impression, and if it’s a bad one – that could be the end of your relationship with that client. This is your impact point, the point where your business either wins or loses!

When a customer decides to call, email, tweet, (carrier pigeon?) or message you directly, you have customer engagement. This makes how your frontline service team speak to these customers crucial in creating value for your brand.

Customer focus - Creating value from your frontline service team

Below are 4 simple steps we urge you to think about to create positive interactions at your impact point:

Motivate Brand Ambassadors

If everyone in your service centre is inspired by the vision and values of the company, they’ll become your biggest brand ambassadors. Your business becomes their business and ultra keen ambassadors naturally ensure their interactions add value to the customer and company.

For example The Harris Poll found that employee advocacy behaviour has a direct and profound affect on customers. It showed 68% of customers leave because of employees’ poor attitudes and 41% are loyal because of employees’ good attitude. Lastly, a staggering 70% of customer brand perception is determined by experiences with their people. Therefore employee engagement should be top priority for any brand with a customer contact centre and this can be measured in salesforce.

Smart Conversations

Many companies create rigid scripts for their service centre staff. But there is no way a script can deal with the wide range of emotions and personalities that customers present. I’m sure we’ve all either been a customer, or been on the receiving end of a customer, who were frustrated when faced with a generic ‘please hold, your call is very important to us’ or rehearsed ‘that’s our policy’ response.

A survey titled ‘The Cost of Poor Customer Service’ (which really says it all…) showed that by far the most requested improvement from customers was “better human service”. Getting your teams to use a more natural conversation flow means they’ll react in a more personal way.  So stop talking to people like they’re robots from the future, but speak to them like customers we appreciate now.

Measuring the Impact

It’s critical your business has effective measures in place to actually understand the experience of your customers. Understanding how your customer service team (your brand in the customers eyes) comes across reveals a lot about whether customers will stay with you. This is best measured at individual agent level, as one person acting badly could be affecting thousands of customers!

One customer, WorldRemit, changed the behaviour of the frontline team by giving them real-time feedback on customer-centric and customer satisfaction metrics using the In-gage salesforce contact centre app. The In-gage salesforce contact centre app then went on to show the financial impact of this, revealing 50% of new sales were from word of mouth advocacy. So half their new sales were coming from satisfied customers singing their praises!

Creating Value

When you link these ideas together inside salesforce, that’s where you can see the real value. Frontline agents knowing the importance of a good quality convo with customers, and customers themselves being so satisfied they not only stay with you but spread the love as well. With appropriate measurement and incentives for staff, you can drive ownership of the interactions where it actually matters.

Our case studies have show that service teams that do this can reduce customer churn by up to 30%! Plus they find a significant improvement in their word-of-mouth sales, an improvement generally worth millions in profits. A dream scenario for any organisation.


So by following these simple steps to positive interactions at your impact point, you’re sure to get much more value from your frontline. All this and more is detailed in our eBook which can be downloaded below.

customer focus

The return on investment from the service team
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The return on investment from the service team

The return on investment from the service team

4x your share growth in comparison to your competitors through service

The share growth of companies that perform well in customer service return 4 times greater than the market average:

The return on investment from the service team

HBR wrote an article on these findings and concluded:

Now that this market inefficiency has been exposed, business leaders—especially CFOs—have a responsibility to seriously question decision-making criteria that result in stronger short-term earnings but could weaken customer attitudes and relationships. The stakes are high. Leaders who do not actively work to increase customer satisfaction will be responsible for damaging their companies’ future earnings and shareholder value.

Is it the CFO’s responsibility?

I believe the CFO has some responsibility in this however I believe it is the Director of service or the COO that hold the responsibility for understanding and articulating the value of service to the organisation. If presented well and supported by data then the argument becomes very clear and CFO can see the financial benefits to service investments, rather than cost cutting.

How do you articulate the value? 

It all starts with the basis unit of value in service – the conversation. Be it phone, email or social. A conversation with a service agent can have one of four outcomes; the customer leaves, the customer stays, the customer increases spend or the customer goes away advocating the brand and selling for you.

How many times does that happen?

If we look at this unit of value, one service agent can have 50 of these opportunities in a day to destroy, sustain or create value. That about 12,000 opportunities in a year. If we had a service centre of 100 agents, that’s 1,200,000 opportunities a year from the service team!

What does this mean to the bottom line?

If we look at the yearly spend of a customer, the gross profit from that spend and the churn rate, we can work out the lifetime value. Now for a surprising number; lets say a customer was worth £150 to the company. Multiply this by the 1.2m conversations in the service centre you have £180m flowing through a team of 100 agents. No wonder share prices shift significantly in the long term in relation to the customer service performance!

If you can make small improvements in loyalty and recommendations in the service centre then large returns start flowing. Conversely;  damaging or providing poor service also has a dramatic outcome.

In-gage salesforce contact centre app helps companies understand and articulate this value and put in place practical steps in the service teams, to improve profits.


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Praise, praise, praise your way to more profit…

Praise, praise, praise your way to more profit…

Why engage staff? just set them goals and only pay when they hit them….

If you want customers who want to stay with the brand and even become advocates for the brand, then every customer interaction counts. And that means the frontline service team needs to be firing on all cylinders for each time. That is a challenge, and it requires some of the best managers to keep a team motivated and engaged to continuously deliver. You need to have great managers, well trained, who can create brand advocates.

Expectations

A well-trained manager will align the team to the company vision and values. They need to have a common set of clear objectives focused on the outcome of the customer, satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy. Then the majority of his or her time needs to be spent coaching individuals in the team, sharing best practice and, just as important, celebrating their successes.

Care

We spend about 40% of our waking week at work. To get great performance, managers need to create strong communities which people look forward to spending time in. In fact, people should look forward to coming back from holiday to get back to the community they add value in. Creating such strong communities takes emotional intelligence, with the manager able to select, motivate and facilitate the bonding of a tight community. Ideally, they should create best friends in the team.

Develop Staff

By focusing on the strengths of your individuals, you get the best out of everyone. Understanding each person’s strengths and brining them out is one of the most important skills you develop.

When developing staff, it is best to use coaching conversations that are commitment based, as this builds trust. We believe that coaching should be about 80% of a manager’s role, supporting and sharing best practice.

Praise, praise, praise

Some studies suggest, to make an impact, we need to praise people five times for every single time we suggest an improvement. Our policy is to train managers to follow four guiding principles: Praise others, have pride in yourself, be proud of the group and make best friends. Thus reinforces positivity across the team and drives high motivation, productivity and bonds the community.

Results

By creating fully engaged brand advocates, that have pride in and love being at work, you get agents that want to amaze your customers day in day out. If employees love being at work, their managers show their pride in a great team that performs, then your customers will enjoy having conversations with people who enjoy what they do. And what does that all add up to on the bottom line? Well, increased sales and more profit!


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