Name Experiment followup

Posted in New by Harsha on July 16, 2006

I read an interesting post by Tom Vander on the reward of listening. In relation to my recent Name Experiment, where I have had success in "getting my way" many times by personalizing the service experience, it will also be of value to Customer Service Representatives or CSRs to do the same. This is not to suggest that CSRs become overtly friendly – a guy at Apple did it in 2004 when I bought my iPod (too long a call, screwed up order delivery; that’s another post!).

For obvious reasons, CSRs are trained to be professional on the phone. I just spoke with "Kathy" at NStar this morning and used her name as soon as she mentioned it. The call went smoothly (now, how many of you hate Nstar again?) and I got my business done. When I personalized the call, she laughed and lowered the artificial guard down where it became Kathy and me rather than Nstar and "Customer". If they send me a survey then you already know my answer (excellent!).

So Tom, maybe CSRs could be trained to be more human and less robotic & process-oriented. I think the process will still remain efficient (unless they become chatty) and personalized unlike QuikTrip. I think the management was trying too hard to be efficient (I thought stores made more money inside than out?). I don’t like posting an open ended experiment but am thinking aloud if this is possible.


2 Responses

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  1. Tom Vander Well said, on July 12, 2006 at 11:13 am

    Thanks for the links and the kind interest in my post. I agree with you that CSRs need to be trained to be more “conversationally” person instead of robotic. The hard thing is that many don’t know how to do it. It usually starts with teaching them to almost robotically utter certain phrases – as it becomes more familiar they become more conversational. Some CSRs are able to do it naturally right from the start, but for others there seems to be a necessary process. Excellent post!

  2. CustomersAreAlways said, on July 16, 2006 at 10:18 pm

    Sometimes Humans Sound Like Robots Too

    I had a new visitor to my blog, Harsha Raghavan, so of course I had to check out his side of the world. From reading his blog I immediately knew that he would be a good person to link to…

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