After a bad experience with a well-known retailer – Niall Rogers, Customer Experience Manager here at DDC OS, couldn’t let it go. He was left frustrated at his ability to do nothing about the woeful service he had. He chased the complaints team to receive bland, non-committal responses. This led to a conversation with colleagues recently around if it is acceptable for a customer to expect to be able to write to a CEO and moreover expect a response…

To answer my own question – in short, it does not matter if I think it is acceptable or not. The process along my journey was broken somewhere. What does matter is that I end the journey feeling satisfied that I was heard…

In short; I ordered a product; it was delivered to my home; it was faulty. I wanted to return it via collection but was told I had to take it to store, despite it being an extra-large item. My frustration is understandable; the arrogant, unhelpful tone of the customer service worker not so. But, for any of us who have worked in a call centre before, we know emotions can get high. So, yes, in my anger, I can wish for the agent to be disciplined, and he can put the phone down. I can push the matter further through complaints. I can even wish to push the issue to the top. But in reality, it won’t fix anything.

What I really want in this situation is for my situation to be resolved in a suitable way and to be understood. What the agent wants is the ability to fix the issue to avoid annoyed customers making his day harder.

So, the question the retailer must ask is, how do we make that agent feel empowered? How do we give him the tools to handle that situation better?

Empowerment comes from training, service/product knowledge, support networks and more importantly, the permission to fix the issue! Not only does this make the customers and agents happier, but it also ticks that nice first contact resolution box for us! It can be one of the hardest jobs in the world, but a rewarding one for all involved when done right.

Maybe these situations get under my skin so much since I work in the industry, but if review sites are anything to go by, I think we all get frustrated at times! That’s why here at DDC OS – empowerment is our mantra.

We are empowering teams each and every day to ensure customers are left feeling heard and appreciated. Moreover, as a business process outsourcer, we work with some of our clients to dive deeper into the issues with a view of implementing lasting change. That means the agents on the front line, won’t be handling the same issues repeatedly, and those issues will actually be resolved!

In summary:

  • Give customers a voice through your front line,
  • make that voice not only feel like it counts but actually make it count!