The following post was originally posted on Smart Customer Service, and was written by Liz Osborn, VP Product and Solution Marketing. You can follow Liz on Twitter@Lizobiker.
Anyone who has attended Oracle OpenWorld will attest that it can be extremely daunting. The event, held at the MosconeCenter in San Francisco, was swarming with more than 50,000 people, including customer service, cloud, and contact center professionals. Amidst the sea of people, screens, and sponsor exhibits, it is hard to decide where to focus your time…. Luckily, a really interesting session, “Leverage Empathy for Insights,” caught my eye. In the session, Dan Hill, author of Leveraging Emotions for Business Success, talked about something we as contact center and customer service professionals deal with every day—emotions. Customer service interactions, particularly phone calls between agents and customers, are heavily influenced by emotions.
After people purchase a product, they want to know a company is going to support them and stand behind its product. They also want to be in control of their interactions with the company. And if their needs aren’t met, Hill says, it only takes two minutes for customers to become frustrated. This results in a horrible experience for the customer as well as the front-line customer service agents talking to them on the phone. These emotional responses also heavily impact a business’s bottom line. According to a recent RightNow Technologies Customer Experience Impact report, “Eighty-nine percent of consumers began doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience” and “eighty-six percent will pay more for a better customer experience.”
So how can companies, specifically contact centers, better prepare for this future of “emotionomics”? First, start by assessing your contact center with a focus on the customer service agents taking the call. It is crucial to avoid what Hill calls “emotional leakage.” Emotional leakage is when a customer service agent talking to a frustrated or angry customer on the phone responds negatively. Emotional leakage makes a bad customer experience even worse. Leaving the session, I thought of a few other things that would help contact centers, agents, and companies in general positively influence how customers interact with them to avoid this phenomenon:
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