Wednesday, March 30, 2016

An Entry-Level Guide to Customer Service

By: Casey Reagan

Working in the customer service department of a small website-retail company has been a busy, stressful, amusing, and insightful time in my life. You start to treat everyone the way you would want customers to treat you. Suddenly, issues you had before seem significantly less stressful. Overall, there is a shift in your perspective. Some of the best lessons learned come from this branch of employment. What you can learn from customer service can, and will, have a positive impact on your life, if you let it.

Listen
These people have a story to tell. When they tell that story, you will be a part of that experience, so make sure it is a positive one. Take in every word they say and apply it to solving the problem or answering their questions. No detail is too small.

Practice Patience
You will be yelled at. There will be problems that were not your fault, and sometimes they will be. Take this time to find a way to keep yourself level headed. In no way is it ever okay to cop an attitude with a customer, so come up with a strategy that keeps yourself together. Take a walk after a tough call. Go outside. Meditate. Listen to some music. Just know that you are doing everything you can for the customer, even if it may not be enough.

Continue to Learn
People will compare you to other businesses in the industry and will discuss these comparisons with you. The best you can do is stay on top of this by knowing the business you work in and understand it really well. Follow up with publications on trends in your industry, even if it is not something you are truly passionate about. Building trust with your customers by understanding their needs based on industry trends will help your credibility and long-term relationships.

Explore Improvements
The customer service standard is always elevating. Hours are longer, communication wait times are shorter, prices are adjusted. Keep up with new trends and insights to make the customer experience as great as you can. The long-term benefits and relationships make the extra effort worth your while.


Casey Reagan resides in Burlington, VT. She's an Associate Digital Marketing Assistant with experience in Customer Service and Social Media Management. She loves food, puns, adventures, and makes really good pancakes.

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Monday, March 14, 2016

Adventures in Speech Analytics- Part II

In part one of “Adventures in Speech Analytics” we discussed the basics of how a Speech Analytics (SA) program operates.  Here in Part II we will focus on one major aspect of Speech Analytics- Queries.
Queries, Queries, Queries:
A query is a pre-built search that has been created within the SA tool to help an end user best refine their ad hoc searches.  SA programs will have queries built that are of value to the organization.  The methods in which a query can be built vary per the software but the fundamentals are usually the same- a combination of phrases that have been saved with a few conditional rules attached to it (i.e. to hit in the first 30 seconds of a call or to only hit on the agent or customer line).  Query building is almost like making a great batch of marinara sauce- the process requires you put a little of this and a little of that until it comes out perfect.  Query development consists of the following:
  • Establishing a Business Need- Query building takes time and resources so it is very important that an organization determines what type of call drivers they would like to direct their focus towards. For instance, telecommunications companies will usually have queries built around lines of business they offer along with queries that may focus on other drivers like billing or technical support. Oftentimes, real-time business impacting events may warrant the need for a query’s creation such as program negotiations between a telecommunications company and TV networks.
  • Building the Logic- This process can vary depending on the SA software being used. Your query builder is going to perform a few ad hoc searches in the tool to get a feel for the language being used in the calls as well as finding out what is known as a confidence rating. A confidence rating is what allows the builder to see how accurate his/her search is. Once the builder has an acceptable confidence rating they save that search and build a query against that search using Logic. Logic is special language that the SA tool uses to determine when it needs to hit for a particular keyword or phrase.
  • Validation- Once the query has been built; the query builder will submit their query for validation. Similar to building the Logic, a new confidence rating will be issued to determine the accuracy of the query. The validation process is crucial to query development because a query is only as useful as how accurate it is. The requirements for what is considered acceptable for queries can vary per program. If the query passes it moves on to the production phase; however if the query fails then it’s back to the drawing board.
  • Production- When the query passes validation it is then ready for the production phase. This means that your brand new query is ready to go live in your tool for your end users to use and report against. The method of how a query is introduced into the live environment varies on the SA tool but for the most part there is a weekly maintenance period where the session is copied and updated so that new and old calls can ingest against the new query.
The query building process takes a bit of patience but the rewards are certainly worth the time. Queries are among the most trusted allies when it comes to assisting an organization in identifying trends in their business.  Queries allow you to deep dive into the heart of specific business impacting topics or events by using solid data to back-up the findings.  In my next article I will further elaborate on another major aspect of Speech Analytics that I briefly touched on in both this and the previous article- Ad Hoc searches!

Operations Manager, Speech Analytics 

With more than 4 years of Quality Assurance experience in a call center environment, Diana's objective is to simultaneously promote and educate the world of Speech Analytics with a human touch; one which further emphasizes the importance of First Call Resolution, and overall customer experience.

Follow Diana on LinkedIn.