Happy National Customer Service Week!

One of my 8 Customer Experience Megatrends is Customer Service Rejuvenation, which I describe as follows:

As companies do touchpoint analyses and customer journey maps, they often find that customer service is a key “moment of truth” for customers. Unfortunately, the cost-cutting in this area over the last several years has created many poor experiences. Companies are recognizing that poor customer service is creating a very negative perception of their brand and will increasingly make investments to improve these experiences

Customer service has been a very under-appreciated interaction, so I am thrilled to celebrate National Customer Experience Week this week. Hopefully all companies will take this week to rethink their approach to customer experience. If they do, we will no doubt see changes to a critical element of the customer service mix: Contact Centers.

I was recently commissioned by Jacada to write a series of blog posts about the intersection of customer experience and contact centers. I began the first post called The Customer Experience Evolution of Contact Centers by asking the question: Are contact centers becoming extinct like dinosaurs or typewriters? I used Darwin’s model of evolution to make the case that contact centers need to evolve in two areas:

  • Collaborate contact centers need to connect with other channels. They need to augment and support Web, store, branches, mobile, and social media interactions. It’s no longer viable to think of phone interactions as standalone experiences; they’re an integral component of multi-channel experiences.
  • Improvise: contact centers need to redefine their purpose; their raison d’être. For many years, contact centers have been considered cost–centers; companies did everything they could do squeeze every last penny out of the cost of every last phone interaction.

I also touched on the need of contact centers to “improvise” in this recent graphic:

Hopefully National Customer Service Week will act as an evolutionary catalyst for contact centers.

The bottom line: Every week should be National Customer Service Week!

About Bruce Temkin
I am a customer experience transformist, helping large organizations improve business results by changing how they deal with customers. As part of this focus, I examine strategy, marketing, interaction design, customer service, and leadership practices. I am also a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Simply put, I am passionate about spotting emerging best practices and helping companies master them. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. My “title” is Managing Partner of the Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm that helps organizations become more customer-centric. Our goal is simple: accelerate the path to delighting customers. I am also the co-founder and chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to the success of CX professionals.

One Response to Happy National Customer Service Week!

  1. Michael Whitehouse says:

    Hopefully this does act as an evolutionary catalyst. What I’ve noticed recently is that contact center customer service is worse than ever.

    Case in point: I recently dropped my HTC smartphone and the screen shattered. Upset at how easily the phone broke, I called my wireless service provider and asked them if they would service or replace the phone. They refused to help me and instead offered to sell me a new one.

    I very calmly made the following case to them: if you service the phone, it’s going to cost you $70-$80 and you’re going to keep me for a lifetime. If you don’t service the phone, I will cancel at the end of my term and you’ll lose me for a lifetime.

    I did the math for them. I spent about $90 month on my wireless service. Over the course of 10 years, that amounts to close to $11,000.

    Invest $80, secure $11,000; don’t invest $80, lose $11,000. Seems like a no-brainer, right? Unfortunately, that’s exactly what the CSR lacked–a brain. She declined my offer and wouldn’t budge on replacing the phone.

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