Fix the Biggest "Leaks" In Your Customer Experience

Posted by Rodney Kuhn

12/13/17 10:50 AM

Leaky Bucket image.jpgRecently I ordered a product online. The experience was safe, easy, price competitive and the item was delivered right to my door step.  It occurred to me how many things had to go right to create this great customer experience.  Their website had to function well in various browsers. Their payment portal had to work properly. They needed to have my item in stock and be able to ship it by the promised date. Every step of the order and fulfillment process had to be perfect to produce a happy customer. Miss even one step and a customer would be disappointed.

Imagine if there were a hiccup in any one part of that process? How might an organization ‘fix’ the customer experience? Fixing Customer Experience (CX) is like, “Plugging leaks in a bucket.” Start with the biggest leak first. For instance, a local car dealership did a great job with oil changes and routine auto repairs. However, it was difficult to book an appointment because the dealership did not have enough people to answer the phones. To fix this, they installed an online appointment booking system. They also added phone staff. The result:  they repaired the biggest “leak” in their CX process.

However, fixing the biggest CX “leaks” is just a start. Most organizations also have smaller, less obvious "leaks" that create customer frustration.

How do you find those smaller "leaks?" You can hire outside consultants or benchmark against your competitors. However, the best information comes directly from your customers and your front line staff.

Ask your customers how you can get better. Conduct focus groups, use post-call customer satisfaction surveys (CSAT) and gather Net Promoter Score (NPS) data. Take customer complaints seriously. For every customer that complains, another five may simply stop doing business with you, rather than take the time to complain.

To build upon that research, ask your front line customer service staff about the complaints they hear every day. Create a formal process for them to make suggestions and forward customer issues. For example, one contact center leverages their knowledge management system by allowing Agents to highlight customer advice that is out of date or written in a boring, “too technical” style. Another company asks Agents to code calls based upon certain complaint criteria. Then, they analyze that data to find areas for improvement. That allows you to find CX “leaks” and fix them.

Having the right tools in place can also assist in finding the ‘leaks’.  Call Recording combined with Speech Analytics can help a contact center quickly and easily find and uncover poor customer experiences.  With Speech Analytics calls can be tagged so they can be searched and categorized for analysis and improvement.  

On top of listening to customers and customer service Agents, create a process for other departments - such as sales, warehouse and billing - to share customer concerns. For example, a high end retailer equipped their drivers with a 21-point checklist to use during deliveries. This checklist emphasized spotting furniture scratches, squeaky dresser drawers and anything else that might have been damaged during delivery. Just the act of doing this post-delivery inspection lowered customer complaints and improved CX.

Remember, having a CX philosophy is easy. Execution is hard. Do the challenging work of listening to your customers and frontline staff. Find those CX “leaks” and fix them to produce a great customer experience. 

Topics: agent performance, agent coaching, contact centers, call center, WFO, quality assurance, coach, Quality monitoring, speech analytics, CX

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