Where did the love go?

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Where Did All The Love Go?

My wife had to take her car in for its service this week. I say had too, because it’s a necessity that no one chooses to do. We’ve had issues with this dealership before, but the alternatives are an hour away. She turns up and they are there usual rude selves, eyes down, going through the checklist, whilst she stood in front of their desk, no doubt the process they have been instructed to follow. Then she had to go outside to call a taxi and wait outside for it to arrive.

Covid protocols?

Well lets contrast this to my visit to the dealership along the road the previous week. Welcomed at the door, engaging, eye contact and a smile. Invited to sit down, while they come over and took the information they needed. They then went away to complete whatever system admin they needed to do whilst they brought me a coffee, rung me a taxi and invited me to wait there until it arrived.

2 main dealership, on the same road. One of them making it feel like they are doing you a favour, and the other who clearly have thought about the experience and moments of truth for the long term customer. The 1st dealership have been this dreadful since I first encountered them in 2009, and they haven’t changed in all this time. This is culture in action.

There has been a lot of debate in the last week or two about the Top 100 CX Stars and CX Influencers list published by @CXM. Personally I am very proud to have nominated and thankful to anyone who voted for me, external recognition is always valuable, and I do feel we should as an industry celebrate what’s good about what we do.

What’s uncomfortable however is how some of those who have criticised the list have been shot down and subject to personal attacks. Its right that as an industry there is debate and challenge and we must not become an echo chamber. There should be space for all voices, views and opinions.

It was great this week to attend the Future of the Contact Centre Conference 2021 run by @engage customer

One of the presentations from a Tech company was all about call deflection. Really?  Were still trying to send customers away in this day and age? The customer has chosen to call for a reason. Probably because the other channels haven’t enabled them to do what they want, because the channels are not connected up. We’re talking about the future of the contact centre, not issues from 5 years ago

There was a great case study from Aviva about this. The showed how they don’t force customers down the wrong route. When a customer has had an accident, they need the phone. They need immediate action, reassurance. They don’t want a chatbot or to send an email, and the need it quick, they don’t want to be in a long queue. But if a customer wants to change address or amend a policy, they wont want to sit in a queue or call and will expect to be able to self-serve.

I really loved how Sainsbury’s tackled this. Previously they had a very complex IVR where a customer had to say no 6 times before getting through to an agent. They turned this on its head, asking an open question, of how they can help you today, and then deploying the right routing from there. It could be automated, it could be re-routed, it could be live, depending on the customers need. It allows them to speak to the customers when they really needs it, and customers who need and want to self-serve or use the automation tools are able to do so. It starts by understanding customers intent, using conversational and natural language technology. It has a very high adoption rate, and seems to be liked and accepted by their customers.

There was a great line from the Twilio presenter. “its now about the technology moulding around the business, not the business moulding around the technology” I suspect many businesses have a very long way to go on this but it’s great we are starting along this path.

It was really good on Day 2 to hear just about every speaker and case study talk about how they recognised how crucial their EX has also had to be in recent times, and how this has been developed.

It was nice to see a conference programme largely filled with practitioners, and case studies from the real world, and not overly filled with the usual roster of speakers who haven’t been anywhere near a front line operation for years.

It was also a very well run event, the technology was excellent, and it was superbly facilitated and hosted by the ever excellent @Martin Jill Wilson and @Gerry brown


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