Dear Contact Centre Agents – please stop pushing Customers to self-help

This article examines the Customer experience impact of pushing Callers to self help options as a method to improve Contact Center productivity.

There are some odd approaches to achieving Contact Center productivity.

One of my least favorite is what I call Tai Chi’ing the Customer.

Here’s what it sounds like –

Good morning this is Andrew, how may I help you?

Hi Andrew, Siti here. Can I ask how to apply for the scholarship?

Sure Siti.

It’s all on the website.

Go to abc.com and you’ll find everything there.

Oooh ah – punch – go away – ack!

Short, sweet – unhelpful.

It’s Tai Chi’ing when you push someone to self-help without offering to help first

Can you imagine you’re sunning at the local swimming pool and you see someone struggling to stay afloat in the deep end?

Look! (you shout) Just grab that orange floaty thing a few meters from you and you’ll be fine!

Unlikely – I assume you’d jump in an help – wouldn’t you?

 

Designed journeys have exception handling too

Sure – perhaps the digital journey had been planned such that the Customer would have utilized the website.

After all the concept of opti-channel refers to the best channel for a particular Customer performing a particular task.

But when you offer multiple channels, you make a promise to honor the Customer regardless of which channel (or channels) they decide to use.

When I work with students in CX courses I explain it this way –

“When your Customer wakes up in the morning they have a choice – a choice in how they interact with you.

They could call, email, text, or drop in on your Service Centre as they’ll be in town anyway.

At a big picture level, we have to honor them and help get the job done.”

Astute journey mapping experts will recognize that in the case of self-service (website, online FAQs and the like), some ratio of the voice calls received in the Centre will have placed by Customers after trying self-service first – and where the self-service option failed to deliver the desired information (or might have required too much effort to find).

So to be Tai Chi’ed on a voice call – right back to the self-service channel that had failed in the first place – is clearly not an award winning strategy.

 

There is a danger when measuring service through a compliance lens

We had been working with a large institution on their Mystery Shopper program.

To allow for trending period over period (in this case years) – compliance standards for measurement had not been refreshed or updated for years.

So – when tabulations were done, the scores were (as expected) good.

All the greetings, closings and using Customer names ‘two times’ needed to generate and show off great results to senior management.

But during analysis of the conversations, we had picked up on the extensive use of the Tai Chi approach (that’s what good Mystery Shopper providers do).

Unfortunately, that finding was considered incidental at best.

If this had been a real Customer experience-based Mystery Shopper program, the measurements would have been different – and learnings around the use of Tai Chi to handle Customers would have been embraced and action-ed differently.

 

As I say widely and often these days – if your Mystery Shopper program delivers the results you had hoped for or expected you’re probably doing it wrong.

 

How about a version like this?

Good morning this is Andrew, how may I help you?

Hi Andrew, Siti here. Can I ask how to apply for the scholarship?

Sure Siti. Happy to help with that!

(A bit of to and fro to address Siti’s needs)

Ok Siti – had you viewed our website before? 

Ah ok – no worries – let me show you where, in future, you can easily reference what we’ve been taking about on this call.

Of course, if the website does not provide an easy reference – this becomes business intelligence that can be aggregated and funneled to the CX Team for review and enhancement of that touchpoint.

And it’s the reduction of a future call that makes the big difference in your Contact Centre productivity.

Thank you for reading!

Thank you for the time you took to read this today!

Stay up to date on our articles and insights! Send me a message if you have any questions.

Daniel Ord

[email protected]

www.omnitouchinternational.com

CX
Send me a message

Decode the Customer Ecosystem

Want to stay in touch with our articles, insights & offers?