Monthly Archives: December 2006

Great Firms Successfully Diagnose 77% Issues from Call Center

Research Finds that 75% of Companies that Use Proactive Problem Resolution in Their Call Centers Report Increased Customer Satisfaction

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Aberdeen research indicates that optimizing call center diagnostic and problem resolutions capabilities can yield annual savings of up to $4 million, yet most companies have not deployed solutions and technologies to enhance call center effectiveness, according to the newly published Aberdeen Group report, Shoring up the Front Lines of Product Service: The Call Center.

Fully 72% of polled companies report their top challenge in the call center is “inadequate information about service problems gathered at the time calls are logged.” However, tackling this obstacle can have a significant impact on the bottom-line. The report’s key findings state that the average cost of $209,when the problem was not resolved by the frontline tech and support center making the potential financial impact of resolving issues in the call center enormous. For us at Prosper, if our Frontline Student Care can not problem resolutions to download issue, product questions. Our protential costs are a refund requests and from the Sucess Network/ESI side a potential loss of a lead for the sales floor.

“Research shows that more than two-thirds of best-in-class companies that have empowered their call centers to be more proactive in problem diagnosis and resolution have seen such gains as improved customer satisfaction, a better customer-support reputation than their competitors, and faster problem resolution times,” says Michael Israel, Research Director, Service Chain Management Research at Aberdeen and co-author of the report.

Israel offers service organizations specific recommendations for improving call center effectiveness, which include the following:

  • Staff and train call center agents with the appropriate skills to support both past and new products.
  • Invest in technology enablers to facilitate the call centers’ for problem resolution capabilities.

Shoring up the Front Lines of Product Service: The Call Center examines the financial, operational, and customer-facing benefits resulting from improving call center processes and automation strategies, as well as the steps that leading service organizations are taking to achieve top- and bottom-line gains.

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To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit:

Aberdeen Group, Inc. provides fact-based research and insights focused on the global, technology-driven value chain. Aberdeen’s benchmarking, market and solution assessments, sales acceleration programs, and conferences support Global 5000 value chain and technology executives and the solution providers who serve them.

For more information, visit www.aberdeen.com or call 617-723-7890

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Word Of Mouth For Student Care?

How to get the word out about Student Care by  marketing internally

From the her  blog, Kira Wampler, senior marketing manager for Intuit, shares her tips on how she garnered support for word of mouth marketing programs internally:

Tip #1. Identify mavens, connectors and sales
people

Network like crazy. Invite to lunch anyone who has even
remotely had anything to do with manking changes , in your area weather it be sales, programers ect

Kira identified a crew she called Intuit WOMmers who ended up being a sort of
internal support group for the company’s  initiatives.  We could use this to help  gain support for our students and  the things our students need.

Tip #2. Give them a home
Initial meetings were
one-to-one, but of course, word by mouth  is about many-to-many conversations. If your goal
is to rapidly expand and gain traction for your team and it’s goals  throughout the company, the word
must spread.

Resource

How to evangelize word of mouth marketing internallyKira Wampler

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Stop and Listen

 

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This reminds me of the single most useful thing that I have read:  The Lost Art of Listening by Michael Nichols. He writes that people rarely listen to each other and  details exactly how we fail to listen to each people. I found it to be an educational. Dr. Nichols main message we could use here at Prosper student care? is “be quite!” Don’t interrupt the speaker and listen. Wait.And then realize  “..Listening isn’t a need we have; it’s a gift we give…” to our students and people we care about.

Guidelines for Great Listening Skills 
   
 

Be interested and attentive.  Students can tell whether they have your interest and attention by the way the rep replies or does not reply.  Forget about the things around you and other distractions.  Maintain your attion to show that you really are with the child.   

Encourage talking.  Some students need an invitation to start talking.  There are some students that are more likely to share their ideas and feelings when others think them important.    

Listen patiently.  People think faster than they speak.  Children often take longer than adults to find the right word.  Listen as though you have plenty of time.      

Hear the student out.  Avoid cutting them off before they have finished speaking.  It is easy to form an opinion or reject someones views before they finish what they have to say.  It may be difficult to listen respectfully and not correct misconceptions, but respect their right to have and express their opinions.    

Listen to nonverbal messages.  Many messages people send are communicated nonverbally by their tone of voice, , their energy level, their posture, or changes in their behavior patterns.(check coaching notes and other CMS notes for  changes in their behavior patterns) You can often tell more from the way a student says something than from what is said.             

Improving Communication         

Avoid dead-end questions.  After listening ask the kinds of questions that will extend interaction rather than cut it off.  Questions that,  require a yes or no or right answer lead a conversation to a dead end.  Questions that ask a person to describe, explain, or share ideas extend the conversation. 

Extend conversation.  Try to pick up a piece of the students conversation.  Respond to his or her statements by asking a question that restates or uses some of the same words used.  When you use the student’s own phrasing or terms, you strengthen their confidence in their conversational and verbal skills and reassure them that their ideas are being listened to and valued. 

Share your thoughts.  Share what you are thinking with the student.  For instance, if you are trying to figure out a coach change , get the student involved with questions such as, “I’m not sure  what type of personality you would prefer in a coach, one who will be more advanced  or intermediate ?.  What do you think would be best for you?”   

Observe signs.  listen to the student for signs that it is time to end a conversation.  When a student begins to  give silly responses, or ask you to repeat several of your comments, it is probably time to stop the exchange.   

Reflect feelings.  One of the most important skills good listeners have is the ability to put themselves in the shoes of others or empathize with the speaker by attempting to understand his or her thoughts and feelings.  As a caring person , try to mirror the students feelings by repeating them.  You might reflect feelings by commenting, “It sounds as if you’re angry at your coach.”  Restating or rephrasing what children have said is useful when they are experiencing powerful emotions that they may not be fully aware of.  

Help clarify and relate experiences.  As you listen, try to make the students feelings clear by stating them in your own words. 
 (Based from
How Can Parents Model Good Listening Skills? by Carl Smith)           

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Avoiding Student Blues

Shh… Listen , you are on T.V

The AOL customer service representative first tried to tell customer, who wanted to cancel he was making a terrible mistake. Then it statrted to esclated to being scolded him vigorously even as the customer Mr.Ferrari repeatedly requested that he “cancel the account.”

Ferrari recored and posted the phone call to his blog, Insignificantthoughts, where it was picked up by myriad other blogs and Web sites. He since has appeared on CNN and the “Today” show to talk about the phenomenon of the phone call and the frustration of customer service.

(By Devin Willis)

Read what bloggers are saying about this article.

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At almost the same time, Brian Finkelstein, the Washington writer of Snakesonablog.com, had a video camera running when a Comcast technician fell asleep on his couch during a service call. He posted the video to his blog and to Youtube.com, where hundreds of thousands saw it.

Ben Popken, editor of the Web site Consumerist.com has been tracking both stories and says audio-visual evidence put together by customers is going to shame companies into better service. (It is to bad companies have to be shamed into provideding better service)

In fact he suggests the following:

“…Recently we’ve gotten a flurry of emails asking how to record customer service calls..”

” …You can use Skype along with an audio recording program like Hotrecorder, Audacity or Garageband (Mac) or Audio Hijack (OSX). Make the call with Skype and hit record. Upload the mp3 file to a hosting service like Putfile, or just email it to us.

You can also use your landline with a device like the Mini Recorder Control from Radio Shack. Plug it into the phone, and into the microphone slot on your computer. Record… upload…

We recommend the Skype method, though, as it tends to produce better audio. — BEN POPKEN

“…You can also use GrandCentral (free), which, in addition to creating one master number for all your phones, lets you record calls just by pressing 4..”

This seems to be working because before one or two bad calls you could make it up in volume; what was one or two bad calls to the bottomline ? Well, if two or three customers happened to have a audio recording running, of one call that could be the story on CNN or FOX.

“…Popken and other customer-service experts offered some tips on getting satisfaction with a consumer complaint.

The best kind of Student Care happens when we enable the customer with the sense of control. I believe and trust: A)our students/customers will not take advantage of the situation; B), and trust our employees with this empowerment. This allows the quality of our customer / student care will be great; if this standrad is not followed, we will be at best good smileysparkle.gif

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Ways To Circumvent The Phone Call Could Prove Difficult

The Costs of Poor Customer Service

The definition of good customer service seems fairly consistent: across the world, a good customer service experience is one in which the customer interacts with a knowledgeable service agent who can handle problems quickly and effectively. Less important are the interpersonal skills of the service agent as well as how long a customer is required to wait before they become impatient (the global average for willing to wait 5-10 minutes is 48%; Americans weigh in at 46%).

However, the costs of a bad customer service interaction, regardless of the reason, run consistently high across the globe: the poll finds that 86% of respondents would likely or very likely move to a competitor following a poor experience. Customers from Brazil, however, are more likely to switch to a competitor (91%) compared to the UK (84%), USA (82%), or Russia (81%).

About this Study

The research by GMI (Global Market Insite, Inc.) on behalf of its wholly owned subsidiary NetReflector in March 2006. 9,000 people were surveyed online in nine countries – Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK and USA

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Filed under Listening Skills, Phone Skills