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CRM, Customer Experience, gethuman and decisioning

Curiously I came across two references to in my browsing this morning. First Sandy Kemsley had included a link in one of her link posts and then Colin over at Bankwatch posted this nice summary - ‘gethuman’ standard and some thoughts on customer service.

Now I have posted about gethuman before and on how I think banks can build a better customer experience with decisioning (as well as a couple of general posts on how decisioning can improve customer experience). Seeing these posts though made me want to ask some specific questions of those out there using IVR (interactive voice response) and other self-service systems:

  • Do you decide what options to offer each customer based on what you know about them or do all customers get the same options?
  • When a prospect calls, do you prioritize the options for a prospect or are they the same as they are for a customer?
  • Do you make any attempt to predict what your customer might be about to do based on what you know about them so you can prioritize those options?
  • When you add an option to your IVR, ATM or other self-service channel do you think about each customer (or at least each micro segment) and decide if they will want to see or hear that option?
  • When your automated systems refer a caller to a person to make a decision does that person do anything to make the decision that the system could not do?

Most companies would have rotten answers to these questions. Why? Because they are not thinking about these decisions at a granular level - they are thinking about them only at a macro level. The trouble is that each customer assumes, consciously or unconsciously, that these decisions were taken specifically for them. If you make them listen to the same 5 options every time, even though they always pick one of two, then they assume you don't know them or don't care. Every time you or one of your systems interact with a customer you make a decision about that interaction. If you choose to make it the same way every time then that's your choice but you are still making that decision. I call these "hidden decisions" in that most companies don't even think about making them.

How many of the folks who really want to talk to someone human want that because the systems feel so useless? Do they really want to speak to a person (some do) or do they really just want to be treated like an individual and helped as quickly and effectively as possible (more, I think). Make your systems respond to your customers as though every decision matters. And then see how many still press "0" for a person.

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