Friday, February 6, 2015


Engaging customers in these modern times is vital to your business environment. is always seeking and helping its members with hints, tips and best practice ideas. We interviewed Richard Blank of Costa Rica's Call Center and asked him to share his thoughts on customer engagement. In your opinion, do you believe the customer service you get today from other companies is better or worse than it was say 5 years ago? Worse. The customer support agents have better social networking skills and less interpersonal verbal communication skills. Do you believe there is a correlation between the service you receive as a consumer and your loyalty to the supplier? Please explain your answer Good question and can be seen two ways: They may take my loyalty for granted and give less attention while placing those efforts and resources to entice new clients. Unless you have a luxury of a solid track record, you should expect that everyone receives 100% first class customer support. In your opinion, which industry sectors provide great service and which ones are poor? Please do not name individual companies just sectors. I always was biased towards cable and cell phone company customer service. It may seem that they have an inelastic market position and can play as they wish. On the other hand, I have seen banks and financial organizations go the extra mile to hold a customer's hand to ensure a positive experience. Can you recall a really good experience recently - where you were WOW'd by the service you received? Please explain in as much details as you would like. When an individual takes amazing notes and can repeat a majority of a previous conversation, they have earned my time and attention. A good chance of a sale as well. Talking about bad experiences, where do companies go wrong with the service they provide? Give examples to illustrate your response Please pronounce my name correctly. Use the military alphabet if necessary. At least try to make an effort and not just ASSUME the proper spelling. Have you noticed any differences in service from people from different cultures? Please explain. One of the simple observations revolve around their rate of speech. ESL agents must speak twice as slow as they think they should in order to produce measured tones. All have high intelligence, proper grammar and advanced vocabulary. Yet, their excitement and passion cause a "blending" of words, unnatural pauses and disrupted speech rhythm. If you had to give just 1 tip regarding the use of technology in relation to improving customer service, what would your tip be? Do not forget to use spelling and grammar check. If you had to give just 1 tip regarding staff in relation to improving customer service, what would your tip be? Have integrity and patience on every call. If you had to give just 1 tip regarding business processes in relation to improving customer service, what would your tip be? Do not forget your soft skills. Make it a habit on every call. In your opinion, how should contact centers measure the level of service they give? Please explain in detail. Can the client truthfully say that your agent ranked among the best telephone customer support experiences that they had? Were you thanked multiple times on the call? Did they ask to speak to a supervisor to praise the agent? Is your attrition rate low? Finally, do the agents SMILE while on the phone. That action alone speaks louder than words. Lastly, can you share with us one of the worst customer service experiences you have experienced recently (do not mention company names just industry type). Unfortunately, when a company has a monopoly, you have to dance to their tune. I do not approve of waiting over 20 minutes to just speak to someone. Long hold times are not acceptable and will only cause me to look for other options. How much is my business worth? Hopefully, at least those lost 20 minutes of my time.