Thursday, April 23, 2009

Patience is a virtue, but fix my problem right NOW

Anna Yong

How many of us believe that “ patience is a virtue”? But as every customer service representative can tell you, we (as a general population), don’t practice this as a mantra. If we really did, every call for customer support would be a congenial conversation, no one would be upset with being on hold, we would enjoy the elevator music, and the website for (which helps customers bypass phone systems and talk to a live person) wouldn’t exist.

Having established that a world like that doesn’t exist, let’s turn to the realities of life. Customer service representatives are dealing with customers who are calling about a problem and want it fixed “right NOW.” Satisfying (or disappointing) consumer demand for “fix-it right now” makes every CSR interaction a chance to keep, or lose a customer. In fact, “ The vast majority (95%) of a contact center’s satisfied customers indicate they will remain with the company. Further, 92% of customers satisfied with the contact center experience will recommend the company.” For a mobile operator, satisfying customers this means a 95% probability of $500- $1000 of revenue per year, per year, per customer. And for the opposite, disappointing a customer means a high likelihood of losing $500-$1000 per year. (statistics according to the Contact Center Satisfaction Index from CFI Group -

Ultimately, just ensuring all calls a handled by a single CSR in a single year satisfies customers’ demands means half a million dollars or more each year. Isn’t that motivation to find better ways, such as MDM, to “fix it right now” for the customer?

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