Is that how your customer sees it?

Are you looking at this from the right angle? 

I made one of those calls this weekend. You know, the kind that you put off because you know how painful it's going to be. But there are lessons to be learned everywhere. With that in mind, and with a list of service issues in hand, I set aside an hour and dialed my provider's call centre.

No one ever calls support to say thank you. To pass the time while "the systems are looking up my account information", I like to engage the agent in pleasant conversation about the challenges THEY face. It makes the time worthwhile for me and seems to bring a smile to their day.

I hear lots of great ideas from the people on the front line - avoiding handoffs between silos, faster systems verification, and better answers to tricky questions.

It's amazing how often the agents feel they have to apologize. Fact is, the buck stops with leadership. Whether it's a conscious decision to spend budget elsewhere ( more agents vs better process?), or the experience is not measured ( at the expense of customer sat).

It's hard to take one's custom elsewhere, but it's dangerous to run a business on the assumption that customers will tolerate inconvenience when better alternatives exist. True - some industries simply don't do a good enough job for the grass to be greener, but that just makes them all the easier to disrupt.

This is why we should all design our businesses from the outside-in. Understand what the customer needs and decide what reputation you want to uphold. And know that your business is part of their process every day. What level of investment is that worth?


Next time you're in the position of speaking with a call centre, I suggest you take advantage of the conversation. Then call your own business and see how well you're doing with the tools you give to your staff. In fact, don’t wait - call now.

Then spend 10 minutes in your customer's shoes:

  1. What makes your consumer experience stand out when you interact with a call centre agent? What don't you like?

  2. Call your own business in the role of a customer and mark your experience out of 5. What score would you like to achieve?

  3. What can you do to provide your team with better process and tools so you can get to your target?

Send your results to me at and I’ll suggest some quick wins to move your business up the scale.