We are delighted to announce that Percepta successfully launched the ‘Pre-Sales Enquiry team’ in partnership with JLR China on 22nd October. We were awarded the opportunity to bid for this piece of work due to our operational success in the CRC over the last 12 months, where we have achieved fantastic CSI scores for Jaguar and Land Rover, forming a strong business partnership with our client.
During the launch the opportunity was taken to restructure the team so we will provide front office enquiry responses and have a team of dedicated specialists to respond to complaints and complex cases. ‘Welcome to Brand’ is now seen as a core service for JLR China who are embracing the premium brand service they can deliver to their customers, with Percepta’s support and experience.
In China we now have a dedicated Goodwill Administrator and CHAPS is also due to launch very shortly with capacity in the team to manage this activity. JLR will communicate with the dealership the necessity of having courtesy cars available as it is a relatively new way of thinking for China.
This expansion takes the team from 23 FTE to 39 FTE, a 41% increase, compounding the scale of the growth potential in the region; just last week the team were celebrating the 1st anniversary of the China CRC launch.
It has been a great team effort and the experience of the team in China has ensured the launch was smooth and successful, the client has said “It’s really a great result and improvement, thanks for you and the team“.
In 2012 Percepta Australia investigated call centre operations in the automotive industry through the Automotive Call Centre Review.
Inspiration for the review was borne out of previous dealings with automotive companies. Percepta noted the diversity of call centre operations across the industry and recognised the potential for useful industry research in surveying call centre managers in regards to what they valued most in their call centres. The review targeted 30 brands operating across Victoria.
To download a copy of the review click here.
In July 2012 Percepta hosted a Melbourne Business Practicum with the University of Melbourne. The Practicum team investigated the rate of data integrity loss of client databases for B2B organisations.
Amongst other interesting results, the Practicum team found that the rate of data integrity loss in a B2B client database equated to roughly 11 per cent over an annual basis. This has significant implications for businesses eager to develop customer loyalty through advanced marketing campaigns.
For a copy of the Melbourne Business Practicum’s report ‘Cost of Data Integrity Loss of Customer Database’, click here.
Here at Percepta we celebrate cultural diversity and embrace the many different cultures that make Percepta a great place to work.
For the past couple of years, Percepta has celebrated its diversity in March. This year was no different, with posters promoting the celebration, the logo for “Many Cultures One Percepta” featuring on rosters and email signatures, cultural recipes were distributed (thanks to last years quiz winners) and “Welcome” was written on posters in the entrances – in the over 20 languages that represent the 20 different cultures at Percepta.
On the 21st of March, Harmony Day, all employees were asked to bring a plate of food to share with their colleagues, across all sites and programmes. But it wasn’t just Australia this year, our UK, China and European Percepta offices all celebrated Harmony Day. The participants were asked to rate the ‘best plate’ and the winner given a $100 voucher to the restaurant of their choice.
Finally, a competition to win 2 movie tickets to the International French Movie Festival was launched – this asked employees to tell us why they think diversity is important and what they do to support diversity at Percepta.
The celebrations are increasingly popular in a global context for Percepta and we believe that the benefits of a culturally diverse workforce are significant – we have felt the benefits through learning and fun, inclusion and tolerance, a celebration of our company values, and setting the foundation for innovation.
To stay up to date with what is happening at Percepta and the call centre industry you can follow us on Twitter @PerceptaAus
In support of our Percepta values, particularly “Treat people with dignity and respect”
The article has lead to a lot of discussion which has been partly answered in this year’s October issue. The article tried to show a gap between the customer service provided and the expectations of customers. In the end the authors argued that the ‘loyalty pie’ includes slices of product quality and brand with only a small slice of service; therefore delighting customers doesn’t necessarily build loyalty.
As I’ve been working in the field of Customer Relationship Management for several years now and I personally doubt that there is one single approach that captures all aspects of a company’s customer relations strategy.
However, there are some great thoughts in the article that show a logical correlation between concern resolution and customer loyalty. Moreover I absolutely agree with the authors’ systematic approach: If a problem or task seems too complex or complicated you have to start simplifying it!
By investigating thousands of global customers’ feedback in the automotive industry over several years, Percepta has proven that there is a correlation between the so-called soft-skills, the percentage of solving customer issues and customer loyalty. To put it in a nutshell – the influence on customer loyalty must be analysed from different points of view whilst also considering the differences that are based on the specific industry. According to the industry and the product the ‘loyalty pie’ might also be based on your retailer network (and their service performance) or the usability of your product – which goes beyond the simple product quality requirement.
However, the article showed some really concerning stats around “channel-switching-barriers” for customers and concluded with tactic recommendations for customer service which were really helpful. Percepta has already implemented the most important ones from the article some time ago:
“Don’t just resolve the current issue – head off the next one” 
Percepta’s customer service processes consist of a strong follow-up and courtesy call process through the customer journey; in each of the touch points the concern will be resolved.
“Arm reps to address to the emotional side” 
Social competence training in attitude, courtesy and knowledge will be trained from induction to the day-to-day working experience. Even the internal evaluation and audits are based on the fulfillment of those values.
“Use feedback from disgruntled or struggling customers to reduce customer effort” 
Feedback of struggling customers is analysed and used to forecast future customer issues and interaction throughout the customer-life-cycle. In the meantime, information is shared with all required departments to improve the product or service before it reaches the customer.
Please tell me your point of view – how are you generating true customer loyalty?
 cp. Harvard Business Review July – August 2010, Stop trying to delight your Customers, p. 116
 cp. Harvard Business Review July – August 2010, Stop trying to delight your Customers, p. 119
 cp. Harvard Business Review July – August 2010, Stop trying to delight your Customers, p. 120
 cp. Harvard Business Review July – August 2010, Stop trying to delight your Customers, p. 121
Okay, it is pretty important, but it really depends on what you mean by customer satisfaction — especially when it comes to call, contact, or service centres.
Are you happy with that? Did we help you? How nice was Jenny?
On the face of it, these questions will help you identify a level of customer satisfaction on a particularly narrow element on the service you have delivered.
But is it really enough, other than being able to praise Jenny (which is very important, of course)?
I joined a Webinar a few days ago, posted as understanding customer satisfaction. I was hoping to hear about innovative ways to measure customer opinion, how multiple ways of gathering Voice of Customer information can be effective and to maybe learn about some great tips or ineffective practices already tried by others. Instead, the speakers talked about IVR surveys and shared their research results:
- that just answering the call quickly isn’t enough
- that most contact centres don’t meet their 80/20 call service levels and the ratio should be adjusted
- that giving contact centre advisors access to wider information about the customer helps improve the level of service
Fair enough. I don’t think many would argue with that. And maybe some didn’t know it. But is this innovation in the service world?
For me, customer satisfaction is about much more than happiness with a transaction. True, an indicator of ‘how well did we do today’ can be helpful, but is it really useful? Did your interaction (or transaction, depending on the setup of your service operation) really have an impact?
In the current climate, it might now be time for service operations, call or contact centres to reduce the amount of time they look inward at their KPIs & SLAs and start to find ways of demonstrating their value to the wider business. And the best way to do this could start with a look at the wider customer experience (CE). Now, this is a term we hear more and more every day, but I realise when talking to people that it has a variety of meanings in practice. CE, for me, is about a holistic view. It’s about identifying customer touch points with the brand, product and company, and tying key pieces of information together to form a story on true customer opinion and feeling – Voice of Customer, along with customer action.
I was curious to read customer service mystery shopping results in a well-known monthly mag on contact centres. They have slipped in the phrase ‘customer experience’ to replace what used to be ‘service’. But the measures of ‘how pleasant was he’ and ‘asking questions’ remains the same. Maybe CEM is destined for the same generic bin as CRM a while back.
Some points to think about:
- Make call centre SLAs your foundation and a task for a specialist or leaders to manage the balance, not the focus of your Advisors. And if you use AHT/ATT as a core performance measure, you are potentially stifling good customer conversation and future sales.
- Think about measuring the impact of your service, and not the just service alone – Have you recovered a defecting customer? Have you secured customer loyalty? Have you increased potential future sales value?
- Recognise the drivers of customer contact in a true form, and share your findings across the business on a regular basis. If you gather hard evidence that lack of information or advice in your literature or on the web is a cause for contact, for example, let the relevant people know!
- Think about training your team, then engaging your team, on Lifetime Customer Value. What drives a great customer experience and what role does everyone play? Do you know the potential future customer value that your operation could drive?
- Consider whether a peer-led operating structure might work for you. Rather than leaders pushing for stats, change your approach to one where each Advisor, Supervisor, TL, Manager demonstrates their contribution to peers. Maybe not so much competition as contribution.
- Stick at it….moving to a serious customer focused operation from stats focused operation takes time. Have the courage of your conviction, keep your team engaged and it will happen if you want it to.
Saving on costs, making money and keeping customers happy are key themes. This can be achieved by doing things better, not just quicker.
As always, would be great to hear your views.
Most organisations invest significant time and money into making sure their telephone calls are answered. But if the caller comes away thinking “That was a waste of time,” why answer the call in the first place? What steps can you take to ensure the caller puts the phone down thinking “That’s taken care of”?
My question above recently sparked a debate on a number of LinkedIn Group Discussions. What quickly became very clear is that one size does not fit all! And the solution is dependent on many factors, not least upon whether your board is prepared to invest (or are interested) in providing a call experience that promotes customer satisfaction, repurchase and advocacy.
Here are some of the areas you may want to consider to get it right. I’m not going to take all the credit for these as
it’s a mixture of my experience and comments from the discussions:
- Where possible, allow agents to take ownership of the caller’s request and the outcome. Call handlers should be part of the solution finding process, rather than simply the speakers of words. This will also promote a culture focused on delivering outcomes that are satisfactory for the customer, rather than obsessing about the content of calls.
- Review your agent training and coaching – are you giving your people the right skills and knowledge to create positive outcomes for YOUR customers, or are you simply repeating an exercise that worked for a different organisation?
- Throw your rigid call scripts away! Instead, create an easily accessible knowledge base that caters for a wide range of customers needs. Allow your agents to contribute to its development by giving them the freedom to share information and change it in line with customer expectations. Of course, you need to ensure that commercial policies and processes are adhered to, but by allowing real conversations to take place, your customers and agents will feel a lot more valued.
- Ensure that your KPI’s, metrics and targets include measuring the call outcome (First Call Resolution, Net Promoter Score, Customer Satisfaction) as well as the operational basics. Most customers will be more concerned about the result of the call than the service provided.
- Reward behaviours that provide consistently resolved outcomes. That means incentivising effectiveness rather than efficiency – think about it.
- I know it’s stating the bleeding obvious but make sure you know what the caller’s desired outcome is at the start of the call. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve clearly stated the nature of my call only to be transferred through numerous IVR options to end up with someone saying “I don’t deal with that…”. Aahh!
- Consider whether the call outcome only solves part of the caller’s problem when in reality it means they have to go elsewhere to find a complete resolve. For example, if your process allows agents to guide callers to where they can find an answer, then great. But if that caller then has to spend 30 minutes struggling through a website to finish the job, are they really going to be satisfied?
- Survey your customers and callers on a scheduled basis. Expectations change, so don’t make the mistake of implementing changes based on assumption.
What are your thoughts?