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Almost all service executives and call center directors spend most of their management time focused on the front line customer service representatives (CSRs). While this may seem logical, it is based on the incorrect supposition that the CSR is the primary cause of customer dissatisfaction. In fact, my analysis of data from several hundred service operations is that, at most, 20 percent of dissatisfaction is due to CSRs misbehaving, e.g. attitude, sloppiness, errors, failing to follow proscribed policy. A much greater percentage is caused by the CSR delivering service exactly as mandated by management – it is just that such service and policies do not leave the customer satisfied. This is not the CSRs fault, it is management’s fault.
Across all industries, I have found the following figure is a good portrayal of the cause of customer dissatisfaction.
There are four broad causes of dissatisfaction. The specific allocations vary by industry:
Most companies allocate the bulk of their survey and monitoring resources to identifying the performance of every CSR. This is done by doing random sample surveys of all contacts. The first problem is that the CSR is not the cause of most dissatisfaction. The second problem is that 70‐80 percent of all contacts are so simple anyone could handle them and you are not learning anything from either listening to the call or surveying the customer (while you are creating extra survey burden on the customer).
A better approach to allocation of survey, monitoring and analytical resources is as follows:
Achieving each of these prerequisites is an ongoing journey, not a quick action.
John Goodman is Vice Chairman of Customer Care Measurement & Consulting. His first book is Strategic Customer Service published by AMACOM. His new book, Customer Experience 3.0 was just published in July 2014.
Contact him: E: firstname.lastname@example.org |Twitter: @jgoodman888
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