Q and A on Creating a Positive Current Leading to Net Promoter Success

How do you create a positive current in your call center operations to drive exceptional customer service at every interaction? At the HGS January 13 webinar, “Journey to Net Promoter Success,” Barbara Lundquist, Customer Experience Director, shared seven key steps to our best–ever Net Promoter Score achievement for a leading global financial services client.

Best in class - NPS

At this webinar, attendees gained a clear understanding of the importance of developing a positive current in their business as a means to driving exceptional customer experiences and network leading results. This webinar shined a light on the fact that NPS is front and center as a key metric for many businesses, as 75 percent of attendees using NPS as primary success metric, or using NPS and looking for insights to optimize their results.

The following summary of the webinar Q and A session provides practical insights to significant NPS improvement grained from a 5-year journey to support one of the largest global brands.

Q1: You mentioned that your Customer Experience Blueprint focuses on your bottom 40% of performers. Can you tell us what that focus entails?

Barb: At the end of every month, my operations manager and I identify the bottom 40% of agents in terms of NPS performance. We then review the current coaching plan for these agents. Each agent is then a part of the “Move a Metric” program, which is an everyday action plan developed by the team leader (TL) and the agent who outline what needs to be changed to improve the agent’s NPS. The agent is assigned to three 30-minute non-negotiable coaching plans. If the agent cannot get to the coaching, it is the TL’s responsibility to reschedule it. Additional support is provided through our quality support staff. The agent is also set up with a peer-to-peer coach by whom agents are helped, using every piece of the customer’s blueprint. Essentially, every part of the business is engaged in improving that agent’s result.

Q2: Do you use any tools for speech analytics? How do you use voice analytics to drive real time improvement?

Barb: We do. Let me explain what led to our voice analytics tool.
A few years ago, we developed an agent electronic scorecard used by TLs and agents while listening to the calls for training purposes. With this tool, the TLs entered coaching notes real time about what the agents could do to improve NPS results. Once a note was entered, it would trigger the QA staff and other leaders listening for that agent, to enter the tool, listen to a call real time, and enter their feedback into the tool. Everybody can be in the tool at the same time. With this feature, the TL can understand whether the agent is using the tool differently, if they are having any trouble using it, or if certain language should be used on call.

We’ve found that the tool has been very successful, as everyone is working together for real-time feedback.

Q3: What challenges did your team face when continuously trying to improve NPS? How did you overcome them?

Barb: There have been a number of challenges. As one example, we started to emphasize value-based conversations, which are about identifying what is best for that customer through questions and reviewing customer profiles and accounts. Although we had set expectations that such value-added conversations or customer education had to be a part of the customer experience blueprint, our agents had a hard time doing it. To address this, we trained agents to get rid of psychological barriers such as fear that the offer would be rejected, or assumptions that the customer would respond negatively to the offer and find the suggestion intrusive. We felt that while team leaders effectively lead the agent toward self-discovery, they were having difficulty helping them sustain improvement. So we emphasized practice through peer-to-peer role plays, which really helped our agents. We learned to be relentless and talk to agents regularly to determine what barriers they were encountering. Additionally, our business improved our overall offer rate, be it our sales offer or digital offer, by 13%, and our conversion rate improved by 88%. As a result of these operational changes, we saw an increase of three full points in our Net Promoter Score. We have specific data that shows that when we have a value-based conversation, our customer is more likely to recommend us to a friend or family member whether they accept our offer or not. The bottom line? It’s that better customer experience converts to higher sales. And we have the proof: Our team leads the Canadian market in NPS and sales for our financial services client.