We spend a lot of time talking about customer satisfaction but a lot less time talking about customer effort. Said another way, how much effort do your customers have to invest to actually get the satisfaction they are looking for? How easy is it for customers to find your self service portal? Once they get there, how is easy is it for them to navigate and find the actions they are seeking? After they open up a customer service ticket, how well do we do keeping them informed of the progress, or do we rely on them to continually check in? When we improve ourRead More →

Every once in awhile we get the chance to witness a feat of incredible customer service that reminds us that the stars are aligned, people are nice and that the world is a wonderful, dreamy place. This just happened to me on a business trip to India. Over a ten day period, I flew from the U.S. to Mumbai, then Pune and then Bangalore, India, to attend a customer conference and then to meet with our local customer service team members.  The trip was a huge success, with the exception of my laptop glitch. Like most business travelers, I traveled to India with my laptop.Read More →

The secret to managing technical support or production support cases/tickets like a Rock Star is to think beyond just support. Here’s what I mean… If you are leading a technical, production support department, only focusing on problems, post “go live” is reactive and does not paint the entire customer experience picture. Instead, you should gain visibility into all product issues and all tickets, including those found during testing or found during projects. You should understand the volume and causes, and then identify trends across ticket sources. This allows you to move into proactive mode and influence product release decisions that will have the biggest bangRead More →

It’s not all about the SLAs or speed of resolution. When we consider options to improve the customer experience, discussions often lead to complex process improvements or expensive tool enhancements, but there is something we can all do that is relatively easy and almost free. This is to keep our customers well informed during the problem solving progress. There are three major components to the act of keeping a customer well informed: Acknowledge that work has begun on their problem. Share the problem solving activities. Set and follow through on time frame expectations. When I receive feedback in customer satisfaction surveys and directly from clients, keeping customersRead More →

Ben Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.  I think he may have been in technical support! Technical support and customer support leaders must begin to think of their top priority as incident prevention not incident management. Incident management focuses on reacting to customer demand (incidents, tickets, questions) and solving problems. It’s about reducing case aging, reducing backlog, achieving service levels and achieving case closure SLAs. And… as I mentioned in a previous post, there is a BIG problem with problem solving as it happens too late in the process. In most cases, once there is an incident, weRead More →

Flying into every meeting with the right charts and graphs, waving the influence wand to make products defect free and removing those boulders of productivity.. It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s “CustomerSat Kat“…one of the first, customer support intelligence superheroes. Do you have the goods to create customer support intelligence superheroes in your department? Every customer contact, every e-support request, every tech support problem should be considered a learning opportunity for the organization at large. More specifically, an opportunity that can help the organization improve products & services, elevate the customer experience, reduce costs and drive sales revenue. You can make this happen, byRead More →

In most cases when I have to call a customer service or tech support department, I expect the worst…..long and confusing phone menus (cable TV), continual transfers to get you to the right person (banks), long wait times (the recording, “we are experiencing higher than average call volume”, is always on) and frustrating conversations with employees who may or may not have the appropriate training. But, I absolutely LOVE Go Daddy technical support. I store all of my domains with Go Daddy and use them for website and blog hosting. Because I use so many different services across numerous sites, I occasionally need help andRead More →

Most customer experience maps exclude one of the most important, most influential indicators related to driving loyalty, which is customer emotion. Bored during Hurrican Irene, I was perusing Twitter updates and stumbled upon a link called “Mapping The Emotional Customer Experience”. I clicked to learn more, because the topic sounded intriguing. The related projects I had been involved in to date were all process or technically oriented and did not consider emotions or feelings. I clicked on the link and spent quite awhile reading an article and then listening to a webinar called, “See What Your Customers See: Mapping Your Real Customer Experience” from BeyondRead More →