Direct-to-Customer Commerce

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Strategic insights into the direct commerce industry, including ecommerce, direct marketing and related fields

Measuring Service in the Contact Center

There is a great article in the July 25 issue of Multichannel Merchant, Calculating a Service-Level Goal, by Maggie Klenke. It’s a well written piece — and very focused on an important issue for customer service contact centers.

Maggie does a great job of delineating the details of and alternatives for calculating a service level. Most marketing managers and many operational managers, do not fully appreciate the nuances of the differences Maggie describes.

Its the old warning: the devil is in the details.

The more strategic implication of Maggie’s article is on the issue of what you really want to measure in a contact center. Do you know that you’re measuring what’s important to your customers — or are you just measuring what everyone else measures?

They may not be the same metric. And you need to know which is which.

Filed under: Direct Commerce, Uncategorized

Customer Service Policy v Execution

As the title of this post suggests, the problem has not been the policies under which their customer service programs operate, but rather their inability to actually deliver on the promises the policies lead to.

My printer suffered an unrepairable failure last week, so the resolution was to exchange my printer for a refurbished model at a cost I deemed reasonable. In addition, I was willing to pay for expedited delivery — next day service.

That was on Thursday, June 29. But, the printer was not delivered on Friday, June 30. It came Monday, July 3. Regrettably, the replacement printer was physically damaged — perhaps in transit.

So, I did the natural thing and called to ask for a replacement for the replacement. The Customer Service Rep was very nice and helpful and agreed to send a new replacement overnight, for delivery on July 5th.

Well, checking their very nice web site for the order status, I discovered this morning that the 2d replacement has not yet shipped, so I won’t be getting it today. And so far, they’ve been unable to confirm it will even be shipped today.

The Case Manager, to whom the problem was escalated, tells me he has to send an email to the shipping depot to determine if it will be shipped for sure, the internal KPI for a response to that email is “next business day.” So, he cannot tell me until tomorrow if it will be shipped today!

Don’t you love it.

He went on to attempt to explain how his “system” doesn’t have access to data necessary to give me a detailed order status.This company is among the largest manufacturers of computers in the world, and clearly, the largest printer manufacturer, but their customer service support systems do not provide real time access to order status.

I got a survey last Monday, seeking to measure my “satisfaction” with the process.Well, I have little doubt I’ll eventually get a replacement printer — not today, and maybe not tomorrow, but eventually.

This experience just reminds me of how important it is to meet the expectations we set for our customers — proper execution is still the best plan to avoid customer service problems.

Filed under: Direct Commerce, Uncategorized

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