I was recently at the International Contact Center Expo in Miami Florida and met John Cockerill, President of The Taylor Reach Group, Inc. whose company provides contact center consulting. We chatted about customer experience in the contact center and the challenges and opportunities for helping companies strategically and tactically deliver better customer experiences in the contact center.
And then the following week, I came across these excellent articles authored by CEO and Chairman at The Taylor Reach Group, Colin Taylor. The Customer Experience and the Call Center Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.
At Cincom, we preach about the agent carrying the brand torch. But as Colin points out, the agent can only do what the company dictates. “At all of the key points during the call the agent has an opportunity to support the brand messages and to meet the customer expectations or not. Of course it is far simple to suggest that the agent could have done x or y. The truth of the matter is that it is the company that makes the decisions that impact the service delivery. The agent can really only work within the parameters the company sets out. It is the company that determines the grade of service that they want the call center to meet. It is the company through the center management that forecasts the calls and contact volumes and sets the schedules for the number of agents on shift. It is the company that establishes policies and procedures that the agents must adhere too.”
Even more stifling, in most contact centers, management clearly defines what an agent can and cannot say. Sometimes they are led to deliver scripts that are not only not relevant to the customer, but may in fact backfire by irritating and annoying the customer. Again, Colin nails it with this comment, ” Many centers employ scripts or provide little latitude to empower the agents to make decisions to satisfy customers. Customers are also likely to remember how angry, frustrated, stressed and unhappy interacting with the call center made them feel.”
So true… agents must be empowered to succeed.
These articles are well worth the read.