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Customer Loyalty ...


12 Steps to Loyalty
Automated Customer Care
Behavioral Aspects of Change
Being a Better Manager
Being a Resource
Call Centers Best Practices
Coaching Staff
Creating Value
Customer Centricity
Customer Loyalty
Decisions For Call Centers
Privacy Policy
Enduser Training
Developing Stakeholders
Being a Better Manager
Multiple Channels Interaction
Service Desk Tiering
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12 Steps to Creating Lasting Customer Loyalty

1. Build loyalty one customer at a time
Loyal customers are earned one at a time. Loyalty isn't built solely with technology or ACD statistics or investing a lot of money in your contact center. Loyalty is gained by focusing on customers one at a time, one interaction at a time.

2. Make it everybody's business
Building customer loyalty is everybody's business. It is not just management, not only the Quality Assurance department and definitely not the sole responsibility of any Customer Service department alone to satisfy the customer.  An enterprise wide approach to customer service and satisfaction needs to be adopted if you truly want your customer to believe in you business’ integrity. Make all your employees not just the customer interactive employees and call center agents partners in the business of building loyalty. Involve them in improving the processes that impact your customers. Encourage them to take ownership over those activities that hold the promise of building and enhancing customer loyalty.

3. Capture the voice of your customer
The difference between a contact center that's a cost center and one that's a profit center is based on what you do with the information your customers provide. Are your customers telling you something and you just aren’t listening? Take advantage of the feedback that customers offer and then prospect this information for ways to improve. Accept complaints as an opportunity to win over the situation and turn a negative experience into a lasting positive one. Make your contact center a key strategic asset and the heart of your company's business by capturing this valuable information and then becoming the proactive voice of your customers. Customer complaints and feedback are gifts — are you squandering opportunities by ignoring those who can best help you improve your business?

4. Evaluate the experience
Use call monitoring to focus on the task of evaluating interactions with your contact center from your customers' perspective. Do you make it easy for customers to do business with you? Are the tools available to enable you to deliver great service to your customers? Are your systems user-friendly? Are there too many steps taken to resolve your customers' concerns or needs? Seek out and listen for opportunities to improve people, processes, and systems in an attempt to enhance the quality of the customers overall experience. Evaluate each interaction with your contact center as an opportunity to improve your business and build customer loyalty.

5. Get the complete picture
Monitor screen activity as well as voice because what you don't see can hurt you and your customer. Screen capture enables you to evaluate the productivity of your agents accessing or processing information on the system and the accuracy of their data entry. Screen capture is an essential addition to your tools for improving contact center performance.  Do your contact center agents need to access several applications to resolve an issue?  During order entry are your agents required to take extra steps to enter and search for general information?  Is your system agent friendly? Following the flow of information through your system will give you a better understanding of productivity of both the individual agents and the enterprise in general.

6. A balanced approach
Nothing destroys your customers loyalty or a quality improvement program's credibility more quickly than inconsistency. Monitor a consistent sample across all agents, and provide feedback in a timely and consistent manner. Be sure to benchmark and then agree on what your standards are first. Ask your all supervisors to evaluate the same calls in order to get a less bias understanding of the call. Compare their scores with your own, or use calibration sessions to listen to calls in groups comprised of managers and supervisors. Let agents evaluate their own calls and compare their supervisor's evaluation to their own evaluations — this can be very telling. By using this approach, you send a powerful message on the importance of the program and you establish an atmosphere of fairness and objectivity. Use a "Buddy System" to team quality agents with new agents. Bottom line: evaluate and communicate consistent standards across your contact center.

7. Do a 360 degree evaluation
Ask Customers: "How are we doing?" The best Quality Management programs in the world have little value if your customers are not satisfied with the end product. Check and re-check how you are scoring with the customer; after all, they're the experts!

8. Reinforce your message
Does your Performance Appraisal system encourage customer loyalty and promote quality improvement? Clearly communicate your vision of what is expected of the team to succeed. Then repeat, repeat, repeat those messages in a powerful and memorable way that reinforces your total commitment to customers and to quality of service. Some ways to do that can include:  Share recorded examples of superior service from across the organization. Have your junior management set an example by having agents monitor supervisor calls. Hand out buttons that say, "I Love My Customers," and mirrors that say "Put a Smile in Your Voice!"  These are all low implementation cost examples of ways to reinforce and encourage a higher quality of customer contact.

9. Make it fun and don't forget to celebrate
Don’t forget to throw the occasional party after job well done. Be sure to reward quality improvement and offer encouragement for saving a customer, delivering awesome service, improving a process or procedure that affects customers. Keep in mind that rewards don't need to break the bank — try a shorts pass worn around the neck entitling the winner to wear shorts to work or a pass to have a supervisor take a call for 15 minutes. Deliver candy with a card thanking them for "Being So Sweet" to their customers. Small and oftentimes low-cost rewards can have high value. It is a good habit to brag a little — you and your team deserve it! Advertise your teams successes and contributions across the organization.

10. Get to the root by working backwards
Analysis that looks only at the individual agent won't deliver the information you need to successfully understand the workings of your contact center. Analyze by team, by trainer, by supervisor, by full-time versus part-time staff. Analyze data from the back door all the way up to the center floor. By looking only at the floor and agent statistics, you may never get to the root. And make Quality Management data as easy to view as ACD statistics — put it on every desktop.

11 Close the loop
Close the loop with specific actions for improvement and follow up to verify your results. Follow up with specific coaching examples and "How To's" through Quality Blitzes that focus on a specific area each month that needs improvement. For example, deliver one recording per day of an excellent example on how to "Turn around an irate customer." By the end of the month, everyone will be an expert on overcoming that challenge! Place mirrors on every desktop that ask, "Is there a smile in your voice? Say cheese!" and watch your customer satisfaction ratings on "friendliness" shoot up!

12 Experience your customer
Get closer to your customer — listen to customer calls in your contact center, on your commute, at the start of every management and team meeting, in the boardroom, or to and from the airport. Share the voice of the customer with your president, head of marketing, and other senior decision-makers — but listen to calls from your customer's point of view. Send recorded calls that request action to top executives, give compliments about products, or provide ideas for new services or products. Bring those furthest from the customer back in touch with the business of building loyalty.

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