In the beginning, Management created the product and gave it to the Customer. And the Customer liked the product; and it was good. And the Customer loved Management.
As the Customer used the product they began to have questions, and Management said, “We must give the Customer some help with the product. They need a friendly voice that they can talk to and ask questions.” And Management created the Customer Service Rep. And the Customer liked the Customer Service Rep because they were helpful and responsive and made the experience worthwhile; and it was good. And the Customer loved Management.
Management added new features to the product and made it more complex. And while the Customer liked the product, he had more questions and made more calls to the Customer Service Rep. Management added more Customer Service Reps and the Customer Service Reps did their best to help the Customer. And the Customer appreciated the Customer Service Reps; and it was good.
Into the land came the Efficiency Expert and he proposed to help Management increase their profits. And the Efficiency Expert introduced the Automated Call Distributor (ACD) to Management and told them that it would help the Customer Service Rep assist the Customer even more by responding to them quicker. And Management believed them and was thankful to the Efficiency Expert; and the Customer really did not notice the difference; And Management said it was good.
And the Efficiency Expert introduced Call Metrics to Management. And they told Management that Call Metrics would help them service the Customer even more. The Efficiency Expert used the Call Metrics to measure how long it took the Customer Service Rep to help the Customer. They told Management that the Customer was waiting too long for service and that by reducing the wait time there would be more profits. Management believed them. And the Customer did not notice the difference; and Management said it was good.
Then the Efficiency Expert told Management that they could best serve the Customer by helping them as quickly as possible. This would allow every Customer Service Rep to help more customers and it would create more profits. Management believed them. And Call Metrics were introduced to shorten the time the Customer Service Rep spent with each Customer. And the Customers began to feel unimportant; and profits increased; and Management said it was good.
The Efficiency Expert said that being friendly took too much time and did not service the Customer. By not being friendly the Customer Service Reps would be more efficient and could serve more Customers, and profits would increase. Management believed them. And the Customers noticed and were not happy; and profits increased; and Management said it was good.
The Efficiency Expert said that the Customer Service Reps made too much money and that moving the Customer Service Reps to a foreign country would increase profits and allow them to hire more Customer Service Reps to help the Customers. Management believed them. And the Customers could not understand the Customer Service Reps who did not speak their native language and they were upset; and profits increased; and Management said it was good.
And the Customers began to complain. They did not want short phone calls, they wanted help using the Product. They wanted someone to be helpful and friendly, and they wanted to talk with someone they could understand. And the Efficiency Expert said that this was not important and that it would hurt profits. Management believed them and worked to reduce average call times even more; and profits increased; and Management said it was good.
And the unemployed Customer Service Reps could not find other jobs and began to buy less of the Product. The Efficiency Expert said that costs must be cut even further and that average call times needed to be reduced and Customer Service Reps were told that no call could be longer than 2 minutes and 10 seconds. Call Menu’s were introduced to eliminate the need for the Customer to speak to a real human being. Customer Service Reps then cut off all calls in 2 minutes and 10 seconds regardless of whether or not the Customer was served. The Efficiency Expert said it was good; Management believed them. And the Customers were angry and began to buy products from other companies. Profits began to go down; Management said it was good.
The Efficiency Expert fought hard to cut costs even more by reducing the number of Customer Service Reps, eliminating user manuals and instructions, and implementing self-help tools for the Customers. Management said it was good. And the Customers stopped buying the product; the Company went bankrupt; and Management could not be found.
What is the history of customer service in your organization? This is always a great time of year to look around your organization and see where you stand.
Are you currently taking the best possible care of your customers? Or, has your organization lost sight of your key customer service goals….in the name of efficiency and cost savings? And, what can you do to continue pleasing your customers or to regain their trust if it, indeed, has been lost.
I hope that you enjoyed this article. At ECI Learning Systems LLC we are dedicated to improving productivity and profitability by creating engaged organizations. Our unique combination of training and personalized coaching, combined with our expertise in assessments allow us to create a development plan tailored for your success.
Until next time….
ECI Learning Systems, LLC