“Would you like me to cancel your subscription for you?”

This was asked of me, unprompted, by a helpdesk rep for a major file-hosting service during a chat session this week. I had had some permission issues, and I was expressing frustration in the level of service that was being provided. All I wanted was a resolution (or even a path forward), and to move on with my day.

They might as well have said: “Your business means nothing to me. Please let me move on to the next customer in the queue.”

We work in the customer experience space, and it has changed my outlook on what I value with my vendors. I care less about the product now (there are tons of file-hosting services out there), and more with how the organization treats me as a paying customer. Am I important to you? Is doing business with you frictionless?

I was exhibiting all the signals of a distressed customer who was likely to churn. What I needed during the interaction was effort. The solution could’ve come later and I would have walked away with a positive view of the company. I know that all problems can’t be solved easily, especially in the SaaS space. An engaged rep, who cared about my situation, working towards a solution could’ve turned me into an advocate for their company.

What causes this disengagement at a “moment of truth” with a customer? As leaders in the customer interaction space, are we too focused on efficiency metrics and SLAs? Do we focus on the many at the expense of the individual? Have we created appropriate incentives for our staff to resolve customer friction, or are we “on to the next one”?

This was just one interaction, but I don’t believe that it is a giant leap to surmise that this level of “engagement apathy” is happening at scale within this organization.

Thankfully, agent apathy isn’t an insurmountable obstacle. One of the foundational ideas we focus on with our clients is agent effort. HERE ARE 5 QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER ENSURING YOUR AGENTS ARE MAKING THE APPROPRIATE EFFORT WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS ….

  1. Are our agents building rapport with our customers?
  2. Are our agents asking the right questions at the right time?
  3. Do our agents drive towards a positive resolution?
  4. Do we have an escalation protocol that helps agents avoid the “I can’t help you” trap?
  5. Do we incentivize solutions?

Zenylitics  focuses on agent effort with our speech analytics clients. Effort can be measured —  whether it is effort invested building rapport, gathering required information, or getting across a value proposition with a sales prospect. In its simplest form, we want our agents to be informed (listen!) and ask targeted questions to the unique needs of the individual. Once our clients’ agents do that predictably, we can drive agent effort to behaviors that bring our customers closer to us.

It’s been a few days since the interaction that triggered this blog. I still haven’t changed hosting services, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking. A little effort was all I needed…