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A tale of two clients

Brainstorming- Tom Vander Well, executive vice president of c wenger group, is a recognized customer service authority in the contact center industry.

Our group recently did a small, focused survey of customers for one business unit of a larger local company. The results revealed impressive levels of satisfaction with our client's service.

There were, nevertheless, a few key areas of opportunity unearthed by the data. I was sure that the client would be eager to tout the good results within their organization, but I was impressed to see that the client's first action was to organize a brainstorming session to figure out how they could improve. In the session they included team members, key players from the larger corporation, and a few customers themselves. It was truly the spirit of continuous improvement. They were happy to tout the good results, but they were more concerned with leveraging the data to push customer satisfaction even higher.

Contrast this story with another client company we worked with some time ago. A survey of their customers revealed good (but not great) levels of satisfaction with some glaring areas of dissatisfaction. Our subsequent assessment of calls between sales agents and customers revealed clear examples of exactly why customers were dissatisfied. The data provided our client with a very clear and detailed blueprint for turning things around. Some targeted training and coaching in specific sales and service skills would address areas of customer dissatisfaction and lead to improved performance, sales, and CSAT. The client, however, received the data with immediate denial ("this can't be right"), then embarrassment ("this is going to make me look bad"), and finally rejection as they buried the report which was never presented to anyone else in the organization.

One of the things I love most about my job is the opportunity to work with many different companies in different markets and industries. I have learned so many great lessons about life and business simply from observing clients on a daily basis. I have come to learn that the most successful companies not only pay lip service to continuous improvement but also exemplify it in the way they operate each and every day. By contrast, I've learned that many companies operate far below their ultimate potential because of an internal culture of fear. I've also observed that both of these contrasting corporate cultures seem representative of the attitudes that flow directly from the executive suite (but, that's another blog post for another day).

Why not make 2016 the year you do something with that data, customer feedback, survey results, and/or QA report? Numbers in a binder on the shelf, on your hard drive archive, or in the trash will profit you little. Leverage them, use them, and do something positive to move the needle on sales, service, and satisfaction!

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