Last year I decided to take out my home insurance with a well known high street retailer who offers banking and insurance. I made this decision due to their claim to champion a new style of banking where they put the customer first.
After a year with the company, I’ve had little cause for complaint - but last week I opened a letter to find out the cost of my insurance had risen a fair amount, so I decided to get in touch safe in the knowledge I wasn’t dealing with any ordinary insurer. After all, a company that claims to be in touch with its customers is sure to be able to resolve my issue quickly, right?
I got through to a customer service representative, and after a lengthy exchange - I was informed the renewal cost had increased due to the fact I was no longer a new customer. I immediately gave them my notice for the termination of our contract, and my wife took out the same policy with them for 25% cheaper.
In this case, the experience with the agent was a non-interaction - I was being lead away from my questions as part of a retention process. The agent spent more time wondering how I’d like to be addressed rather than on resolving my issue. The outcome for the business in this circumstance is an increase in admin costs and higher customer churn.
Every interaction that agents deal with should reflect the brand values the rest of the business communicate to its customers. The contact centre shouldn’t be an afterthought - bolted on as a necessity to deal with any customer woes, but an effective and powerful arm that can carry-through the brand values to create a wholesome and valuable customer experience.
If agents aren’t tied into and invested in their work, they have little interest in adopting the brand values in everything they do. There are a variety of methods for contact centres to achieve this, and one of the most effective is gamification designed specifically for the contact centre - it not only creates engagement and drives motivation, it it give agents the incentive to balance the needs of the customer with the needs of the business, allowing you to truly put the customer first.