The Northridge Group is a management consulting, quality monitoring, and customer experience firm whose consulting professionals have worked in your industry for years Learn how to listen to a customer's voice through four basic ways and see how a variety of channels can offer customer insight.
In May 2018, the White House administration signed a piece of bi-partisan legislation that rolled back banking regulations passed in response to the 2008 financial crisis, most notably relaxing some of the Dodd-Frank requirements. The legislation came with mixed reviews – some lawmakers agree it provides necessary relief, especially for smaller financial institutions, while critics contend that the deregulation measures leave the system vulnerable to risk and financial instability. As the fiscal landscape continues to evolve, banks should continue to focus on compliance, risk mitigation and the possibility of an increase in regulatory scrutiny.
Consumers are facing an explosion of choices. In the 1990s, the average grocery store carried 7,000 items. Today’s grocery stores carry 40,000 items. The internet allows consumers to compare car insurance rates in seconds, discover a new makeup product by watching a social media star on YouTube, or get recommendations for plumbers from 500 of their closest friends. Businesses today don’t just have to overcome the many choices that consumers have, they have to stand out in an environment cluttered with information. What makes a customer decide to engage with one business over another?
In today’s fast-paced world, the only constant is change. Technology is developing faster than we can learn how to use it, long-established companies are feeling the heat from digital savvy newcomers, and jobs are being created and/or restructured faster than workers with appropriate skills can be recruited to fill them. In the 30 years that I have been an entrepreneur, I have watched trends change and technology advance, but while the mechanics of business success have evolved, the foundation has remained the same. Here are 5 universal business truths that I believe will stand the test of time:
Challenges in attracting and retaining talent and the need to effectively balance quality of service with efficiencies have created a need for more sophisticated Workforce Management teams. While Workforce Management optimization is essential for providing great customer service, it is always a balancing act. The Workforce Management team is tasked with driving scheduling efficiencies while carefully considering the needs of their associates. When approached in the right way, the front-line teams have sufficient time for coaching and development which drives First Contact Resolution, customer loyalty, and sales along with employee retention. Flexibility in staffing is crucial to ensure the right number of associates are available to handle customer contacts every half hour of the day, but it is also important to offer associates a consistent schedule. It’s essential to meet associate needs but not be too tight on the number of people scheduled. If scheduling is too tight and call volume comes in 5% higher than expected, there won’t be time for coaching, offline time, or meetings. If employees’ needs aren’t met, they will leave, and it can take up to 9 months from the time an employee leaves a contact center until a new hire is competently filling their role. The cost of attrition is substantial on many levels and is frequently not included in the overall financial health of an operation.
Today’s business environment is constantly evolving, but the consumer’s expectations are as focused as ever on the fundamentals of genuine, personalized, effortless and effective service. By leveraging insights that your customers provide on a daily basis, you can ensure that your business’s means of approaching the Customer Experience (CX) remain agile.
Recent research reveals that 81% of business strive for the customer experience to be their competitive differentiator, yet only 22% of businesses report that they are exceeding customers’ expectations.
An effective Workforce Management organization ensures a contact center has the right number of agents, with the right skills, in place to deliver the desired member experience in the most efficient manner. Forecasting call volume and determining staffing needs are becoming more complicated due to the multiple channels that are now available for customer service. At the same time, the advanced data analytics that are now available to forecasters allow them to better predict call drivers, the events that trigger calls. As a result, the following trends in Workforce Management (WFM) have emerged:
At its core, Workforce Management (WFM) ensures your business’s understanding of its staffing needs—who’s doing what, what needs doing, how long does it take to do and how many employees are needed at any given time. Broadly speaking, you’re implementing WFM best practices if you’re staffed with the right number of people across each interval and consistently achieving defined goals. One of WFM’s many interlocking factors is shrinkage: the percentage of time that your employees are paid, but are not working on incoming production items. While shrinkage can be valuable (e.g., time spent in training, one-on-one coaching sessions, etc.), excessive shrinkage inhibits productivity, exacerbates stress, and inflates expenses. A proactive and realistic shrinkage forecast mitigates risk and allows you to fully invest in your employees while achieving business goals.
The best companies are made up of employees who are both successful and committed. Motivated and engaged employees can be found in a company that promotes productivity, creativity, and innovation through its culture and leadership. Creating a culture that supports and promotes employee engagement requires an understanding of the connection between employee attitudes and performance as well as a leadership team that is accountable for building and strengthening that relationship.