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Thursday, March 28, 2013

What's your experience calling companies that you have personal accounts with?

How would you rate your experience when calling your Bank, Gas and Electric Utility, Healthcare Provider, Airlines, State Government Site, etc? All who have spent oodles of money on telecommunication, WFM (Work Force Management), and CRM systems. 

Your experience getting to, and getting an answer from, a qualified agent was probably as expected...pretty awful.

Did you know that 80% of corporate executives say their company delivers a superior customer experience. Just 8% of consumers report they received one.

Source: Bain and Company 

Here's a suggestion: Call your company's call center. When an agent answers ask "Where can I send a suggestion to improve my service?"

Ask yourself, "How hard was it to get to an agent and get my simple question answered?"

The Frustration of Getting to an Agent.

The effort needed to get to agents can easily 'get lost in the wash'. Selections in IVR systems, hold messages and times to agent answer are not caught by in-house digital recording systems.

However, if you listen to call recordings or monitor calls it quickly become apparent that callers are frustrated with these automated screening and queuing technologies. 

'An overwhelming majority (83%) of consumers feel IVR systems provide either no benefit at all or only a cost savings benefit to the company.  Only 16% of consumers feel that IVR systems benefit them.' 
NYU Study Link

Please hold for the next available...hold message?!!!

There a couple of performance indicators (KPIs) that everyone concerned with customer satisfaction should monitor. They are Average Speed to Answer (ASA), Average Hold Time (AHT), Longest Delay in Queue (LDQ),  Abandonment Rate, and Time to Abandon. *

Beware! Be sure you're looking at averages and times during critical 30 minutes segments. Long averages hide the problems and frustrations that callers experience during your highest call volume (customer satisfaction opportunities) periods. 

Callers are frustrated and fed-up with wading through IVR levels and waiting for agents to answer. This frustration leaves them inclined to hang-up, disenchanted with the experience, short with your agents, and disinclined to continue as your customers. 

Note: Now callers have something to do while holding for an agent...tweet complaints. Check out 

A recent study showed that 15% of callers hang-up after waiting on queue ≤ 40 seconds. Given the prolific use of mobile phones, this seems like an overly generous estimate, and this doesn't reflect time spent in the IVR, or callers that abandon transactions in the IVR.

Exhibit 1. Average time before exiting queue by call center size.

Source: Ifbyphone Blog

Millions gained or lost?

If you are frustrating your callers by putting them through a endless gauntlet of sorting and waiting, you are losing business.

The Gift of Intelligence

Call Intelligence Inc. is a Transactional Intelligence and Design Consultancy with over 23 years experience improving caller-agent interactions. 

We provide a full suite of transaction analytics including:  
Network-based call recording, from call inception to conclusion.
IVR input capture.
Speech Analytics with word spotting.
Caller Effort Scoring.
Post-call Experience Surveys.
Expert review of the complete interaction
* Here's a comprehensive overview of these KPIs for those unfamiliar...