Off Center
 
If your customers are satisfied, you are in big trouble.

In fact, I overheard several of your satisfied customers chatting in a bar the other night. They’re leaving you for another company – a company that doesn’t satisfy them; a company that bedazzles them. Enthralls them. Makes them want to shoop, shoopy doop, shoopy doop.

This is the Age of the Customer, my friends, and satisfaction is no longer nearly enough.


Let me take you through the different stages that define the customer experience today. I'll cover how you can tell what stage your customers are in, and how to propel them to the next level without the use of – or with minimal use of – illicit drugs.  


Customer Satisfaction.  This can be defined as a state of extraordinary ordinariness. Satisfied customers don’t want to burn down your contact center, but they wouldn’t risk their life to put it out if it caught fire, either.

Signs of customer satisfaction – Monotone speaking voice; frequent yawning during interactions with agents; an emotionally detached “thank you” at the call’s conclusion.
 
How to achieve it – Just have your contact center keep doing what it’s doing. No really, I’m sure it’s fine. Everything’s fine. Just fine.


Customer Delight. While this term often caused nausea to listeners when it first started being used in the late 1990s/early 2000s, customer delight has become a widely accepted way to describe customers who would seriously consider dating your contact center exclusively if such relationships were accepted by society.


Signs of customer delight – Frequent use of phrases like, “I’ve never felt this way about a service experience before” and “I think you might be the one”; the use of smiley face emoticons during email and chat interactions with agents; late night phone calls just to make sure payment has been received or a bill has gone out; extended bouts of “no, you hang up first” in a cutesy voice at the end of calls with agents.
 
How to achieve it – Fire all agents who have a nasal voice or who say things like “okie dokie” and “irregardless”; hire agents who know how to spel and use, commas correctly; offer IVR menus that don’t make the customer want to cut themselves or you; give agents the tools and training they need to read customers’ minds and finish their sentences.
  
 

Customer Euphoria. Customer euphoria is the highest level of satisfaction that a customer can reach without the aid of medication, alcohol or a computer glitch that accidentally credits their account $10,000. It is the farthest a customer can go on the satisfaction scale before major organs start to shut down.   
 
Signs of customer euphoria – Customer struggles to form phrases while speaking with agents, replacing key words with cooing sounds and whistling. Often, a euphoric customer will suddenly start skipping around barefooted during an interaction – sometimes dropping the phone in the process, thus making up-sells and cross-sells difficult, and hindering first-call resolution.
 
How to achieve it – Implement a powerful speech-enabled IVR system featuring personalization and the voice of Angelina Jolie; outsource your problematic callers to Oprah; replace your on-hold message that says, “Your call is very important to us,” with one that says, “Oh my God! (Insert customer’s name), is that YOU? Hold on, let me go get our CEO to handle your call –
he’ll/she’ll be right with you!”; and finally, train all your agents to do a perfect voice impression of your CEO. 
 

Customer Death.  This occurs when customers receive such stellar, caring, unparalleled service that their heart literally bursts, or they decide to take their own life realizing that the rest of their interactions for as long as they live will be anticlimactic in comparison to what they’ve experienced with your center. This should be the ultimate goal of any serious customer contact professional.

Signs of customer death – The customer does not provide their name or account number when prompted, is unresponsive to offers of free gifts or upgraded service, and never calls again – unless, on the off chance, a part of their body hits “redial” when they slump to the floor.  
 
How to achieve it – Legally, I am prohibited from sharing tactics that can lead to toxic levels of customer satisfaction and subsequent death. However, I will be publishing an anonymous book on the topic in the near future titled, Killing ‘Em Softly with Your Service.
  

7/8/2010 11:42:07 pm

MORE MORE MORE ~ When are these books going to be available? I want them now! (stamps foot)

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Greg Levin
7/9/2010 12:17:10 am

Happy to hear that you are so eager for my upcoming ebook, "Full Contact", to come out, Tiffany. It will be ready this Fall, I promise.

Ok, time for me to get back to writing it!

Best,

Greg Levin

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