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Customer Service and the Human Experience

One of the leading challenges for today's call center managers is the training and motivating of excellent agents. While much attention has been focused on the technology and benefits of providing multiple channels for customer contact, little attention has been paid to handling the human part of the equation --training customer service representatives to field more than just telephone communications. The first chapter offers a broad overview of customer service and call center goals. The second chapter focuses on team building in a contact center.


Excerpted with permission from "Customer Service and the Human Experience: We, the People, Make the Difference," authored by Jon Anton and Rosanne D'Ausilio, Copyright 2003. Published by The Anton Press, a division of BenchmarkPortal, Inc. ISBN 0-9719652-7-7. For more information about this book and similar titles, please visit


Chapter 1: The Importance of Customer Service
Chapter 9: Team Building

Research lists what customers want as:

  1. accuracy
  2. personalized service
  3. customized response
  4. promptness in response
  5. sensitivity

They want the person who picks up the phone to be their sole point of contact. They want that CSR to satisfy their needs -- whether it is service, support, order processing, or sales. Thus there is more pressure, more reason for ongoing training in areas of question answering, calming irate, frustrated callers, and cross- and/or up-selling opportunities.

According to research by Bain and Co. (Pawliw-Fry, 2002), major companies lose and have to replace:

  • half their customers in 5 years
  • half their employees in 4 years
  • half their investors in less than 1 year

There are many studies regarding why customers leave. Most agree that nearly 70% of customers leave because of poor service or lack of attention, 15% because of price, and the remaining 15% because of product. That means that 70% of your customers leave because of something you did (or did not do). This is the good and the bad news. The bad news is that this is a very high percentage. The good news is there is something you can do something about it. At the same time, it is said that a customer is four times more likely to defect if the problem is service related than if it is price or product related (Customer Service Newsletter, 2001).

Read the rest of this excerpt and download Chapters 1 and 9: Customer Service and Team Building

Read other excerpts and download more sample chapters from our CRM and call center bookshelf

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