Everywhere you turn lately, you hear about the “customer experience,” a term that seems like it should be spoken with resonance through a loud speaker. Although the term may be associated with bells and whistles, social media, and apps, at its roots the customer experience is really about what the customer wants. Brent Leary writes in the July 2013 issue of CRM Magazine that “we always seem to get into this cycle of throwing new stuff at old problems without focusing on the fundamentals.” In his article, “Screaming for a Good Customer Experience,” he explains that a focus on the fundamentals is what is really important to customers.
"It’s not social customer service that people want. It’s quick resolution to their issues."
-Frank Eliason, global director of social media for Citibank
Leary cites an example of a dairy company with retail stores in the Midwest. Executives realized that customers in these stores were sometimes waiting in very long lines, and that wait times were exacerbated by an inefficient menu board layout. After studying layout options with a goal to reduce wait times, the company rolled out new menu boards. Because of the vetting procedure that was part of the study, the new boards not only reduced wait times, but also increased revenues.
Take a step back and look at your contact center. Is your company heavily focused on the “shiny objects,” but perhaps without measurable improvements? Since the queues in your center are essentially the same as a wait line in a retail store, shouldn’t reducing that wait time be a primary focus? Managing those queues efficiently is at the core of customer service and, ultimately, at the core of what we do. As Leary says, “this isn’t the stuff that gets headlines, but it definitely gets (and keeps) the customer.”