November 07 2011

Hello, My Name is Peggy

Tom Feeney, Safelite® President and CEO

For a cost estimate, push 1. To schedule an appointment, push 2.

Customer service automated answering just might be the worst thing that ever happened to the customer experience. How many service providers have you cringed at while just trying to get to a live person? Not at Safelite AutoGlass! We take pride in our contact centers – five in the U.S. available 24/7.

At Safelite, we took an unusual approach in our contact centers… we answer the phone! What a strange concept! It starts with a belief that a customer that calls us actually wants to speak with us.

Because the call center often has the opportunity to make the first impression positive, we focus a great deal of energy and resources on creating a world-class operation. Each year, our contact centers handle approximately 14 million calls, and boast an average speed to answer of 11 seconds – 88 percent of all calls answered within 20 seconds or less.

Discover is another company that provides a world-class contact center and recently nailed it on the head with a funny advertising campaign where a man with a thick foreign accent answers the phone, introducing himself as Peggy and does very little to help the customer.

Consider these statistics: According to the 2010 American Express Global Customer Service Barometer:
• 61 percent of Americans report that quality customer service is more important to them in today’s economic environment
• Only 37 percent believe that companies have increased their focus on providing quality service during economic struggles
• 27 percent feel businesses have not changed their attitude toward customer service
• 28 percent say that companies are now paying less attention to good service

It perplexes me why more companies aren’t doing more to improve their customer service through strategies such as professional, helpful contact centers.

Our Vice President of National Contact Centers Brian O’Mara recently spoke about being runner-up for the 2011 Global Call Center of the Year and also shares his insights in a white paper entitled Operating a Customer-Focused Contact Center.

I encourage you to take a look and then let me know, what are some of your personal 800 line pet peeves.

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