• 11:37:25 pm on October 9, 2009 | 6

    Customer Support Myths…are They Really Myths?

    Managing a call center is more of an art than a science. Some service managers use a set of pigeon-holed metrics to manage their business to – like average hold times, number of emails processed per agent, and in some cases customer satisfaction ratings on their service. Others apply established best practices to their organizations, without thought of what works for their company size, their product or service set and their customer demographic. Some jump on the current trend bandwagon without an analysis of what this means stragecially for the company.

    I have been compiling a list of “half truths and total nonsense” about management philosophies and technologies in Support. Which ones resonate with you? Which ones do you believe are not myths and work for you?

    Kate’s List of Common Services and Support Myths

    • Social CRM is giving customers control of your brand
    • Established best practice apply to my call center
    • Longer calls are not good web self-service candidates
    • Discussion forums cut call volumes
    • Good web self service cut call volumes
    • Front-line support agents don’t know anything
    • When you measure operational activities, you measure business outcomes
    • Support can act independently of brand –Support can have a different brand identity than marketing and sales
    • Customers can’t create reliable knowledge
    • Complex interactions are not repeatable / process-oriented
    • Better search means that I can find everything
    • Email doesn’t work as a support medium
    • Chat won’t work for tech support.

    What is your favorite myth?

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Comments

  • Haim Toeg 11:49 pm on October 9, 2009 | # | Reply

    I like this post a lot – I think I have two related myths, one you noted above “Established best practice apply to my call center”, and the second one will be “Established best practices do not apply to my call center”

    Haim

  • Arvid Bux 12:19 pm on October 12, 2009 | # | Reply

    I can share the following;

    – Discussion forums cut call volumes
    This is not a myth but real practice

    – Good web self service cut call volumes
    This is not a myth but real practice

    – Front-line support agents don’t know anything
    This should be considered a myth but still customer think this while it is not true. It also depends on which support desk you arrive to and which questions you are going to ask

    – Better search means that I can find everything
    Yes and now, when things are just not available, you can look for whatever you want but still you can’t find it

    – Email doesn’t work as a support medium
    This is a huge myth (I have prove to differ this)

    – Chat won’t work for tech support
    This is a huge myth (I have prove to differ this)

  • Kate Leggett 3:31 pm on October 12, 2009 | # | Reply

    Thanks for your comments – keep them coming. For many of these myths, I think that you can come with examples of why they are myths, or why they may actually work in your environment – as practices are very dependent on the types of products/services you deliver, customer service processes and your customer base. My next posts will cover concrete examples of where these myths have worked and not worked

  • Esteban Kolsky 5:16 am on October 17, 2009 | # | Reply

    Twitter works for customer service

    Social Customer Service is about giving customers control

    Service Analytics are not useful

    Efficiency Metrics (e.g. average handle time) are useful in call centers

    Call Centers and Contact Centers are very different

    Proactive Chat is an awesome idea

    Personalized Customer Service is impossible to do

    Proactive Customer Service cannot be done in my environment

    Outsourcing does not hurt service levels

    We don’t need Service Level Agreements

    Our customers are different from every other customer

    We don’t need to segment

    We know what our customers’ expectations are

    Customer Satisfaction is the only measurement we need to worry about

    Customer Loyalty has not effect on Customer Service, just sales and maybe marketing

    Customer Service Centers are bad places to sell

    Anyone can service customers on the phone / email / chat / twitter

    Should I go on? I am not even getting a sweat 🙂

  • kate leggett 8:27 pm on October 19, 2009 | # | Reply

    Keep them coming! We should create a poll with rankings of the most costly ones to the world of customer service 🙂 Perhaps in my next post

  • Chill 12:42 am on October 28, 2009 | # | Reply

    Great post. I like the ideas you raise., I learned so many things on this article.


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