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Tom Vander Well
Iowa, USA
Recent Activity
Thanks for adding to the conversation, Katie and Tony. Here's to continuing to improve our serve!
Toggle Commented Apr 19, 2011 on Where Everybody Knows Your Name at IowaBiz
Maybe I should clarify, Claire. Because, I must respectfully disagree with you. State Farm did not cancel the policy in the middle of the term, but advised us that they were choosing not renew the policy after the current term ran out. You can argue that this was a poor business decision, but as a business person, I understand this. Based on my daughters driving record, it was not an unreasonable business decision. If the company chose to continue to insure every young person who had proven they were a high risk and cost them more money than they'd received in premiums, then they would have to pass the cost on to all of the other safe drivers. I can't blame my agent for not working his magic before I knew about it. If anything, State Farm corporate should have clued him in and discussed it with him before they sent the letter. That wasn't his fault. He did the best he could with what he was given. While I grant that you may argue the practices and policies of State Farm corporate and underwriting, my post was about how my local agent played the hand that he was dealt. I still contend he played a winning hand.
Toggle Commented Apr 12, 2011 on Like a Good Neighbor at IowaBiz
You make a great point, Millerd. It's obvious from your comment that you get it and I'm happy to give credit where credit is due. Creating your own recipe with the ingredients you pick up requires thought, time, and intention. What I'm sadly finding far too often are those who blindly want to follow the prescribed recipe of the fad of the moment, thinking that it's the easiest route to success. Ultimately, they find that they've wasted their time trying to cook up a formula that won't work for their business. As you aptly said, you gotta be willing to take the ingredients and find a recipe for success that will work in your business.
You're welcome, Terry. Thanks for the continuous inspiration!
Toggle Commented Oct 6, 2010 on Walking the Leadership Talk at IowaBiz
Thanks for the comment, Jonty. Great thoughts motivating another post!
Toggle Commented Jun 18, 2010 on A Hybrid Approach to QA at QAQNA
Thanks Kev, as always, for adding your own worthwhile thoughts. Thanks, Keith, for faithfully walking along with us and chiming in from time to time. I always love to hear from you.
You'll notice that I used the words "I must imagine." :) Glad the analogy stuck a more literal chord with you!
Thanks, Kay. I'm glad the blog has been helpful for you! A valid survey is generally not going to be an IVR or On-line survey to which customers "opt in." While those types of surveys have their place and can provide some useful information, a survey that determines overall drivers of CSAT necessitates a random sample of all callers, not just those who opt in. As far as questions go, that can depend greatly on your business, the specific types of calls you take, and what information you want to get out of the survey. As far as general guidelines go, it depends on how you're using the resulting information. My experience is that "General Guidelines" usually means "vague guidelines" in which each analyst's interpretation can vary greatly. Calibration becomes almost impossible and there is no statistical validity to the resulting data. In addition, resulting feedback and coaching becomes completely dependent on the opinions and personality of the supervisor or coach providing it. You can create a "short" QA form that only has a handful of critical behaviors, but the list of behaviors should be specifically defined so that multiple analysts can review the call and acheive the same result.
Thanks for the question Kay. Without seeing the scale to which you refer, I'm not sure I fully understand what you're asking, but I'll do my best to respond. When I mentioned keeping your "Call Flow" in mind, it was in a figurative sense rather than it being an actual element of the scale. You can create a scale that flows generally with the high points of your typical call and without "micro-rules." The key is to make sure that elements you DO list are specific enough that they aren't open for interpretation from one analyst to the next.
Toggle Commented Jun 9, 2010 on The Siren Song of "Best Practices" at QAQNA
Thanks, Jim and Judy, for your comments these past weeks. It's so good to reconnect with you after so many years. I look at your pictures on Facebook and am amazed (thought not at all surprised) at the whole, good looking Halvorsen brood. Well done! Thanks for providing a great example to all of us kids back in the day. The Halvorsen house was always a great place to be.
Toggle Commented May 28, 2010 on "I'm done!!!" at Wayfarer on the Creative Path
Thanks, both of you, for your comments. Kevin, you're right. I think every parent worries about the world we leave for our children. It's good to know that God's faithfulness extends through every generation. Matthew, I appreciate your thoughts, as well. It really does come down to learning contentment and trust.
You make a great point, Frank. That is exactly what many call centers do to address the struggle. Well said.
Farhana - Great question. The example you cite is not a correct empathy-resolution statement. First, the customer did not feel "inconvenient." That's not, technically a feeling or emotion. That the customer was "inconvenienced" is a state of being, but not a feeling. The customer feels "frustrated," "angry," or "upset," because he or she has been inconvenienced. Next, the fact that you "understand" does not really express that you care. Try one of these instead: "I'm sorry for the inconvenience. I can understand why you are upset. What I am going to do for you is..." "I know you are frustrated, and I apologize for this inconvenience. I will..." I hope that helps!
God bless us all in the midst of our stuckness. Thanks for the comments, guys!
Thanks for sharing your team's experience, Frank. You are definitely not alone in this dilemma! Stay tuned. More thoughts to come!
Toggle Commented Apr 24, 2010 on Are Supervisors the Best People to Do QA? at QAQNA
Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Susan. I'm glad I'm not the only one finding companies who think the purchase of pricey technology is equal to a "quality program." If only the purchase of an expensive set of golf clubs would make me a great golfer [sigh]. It doesn't work that way.
Thanks for the comment, Jason. Checked out your blog and I appreciate your passion for the customer experience. Let's keep the conversation going!
Toggle Commented Apr 8, 2010 on Do You Serve ALL of Your Customers? at IowaBiz
Thanks, John!
Toggle Commented Mar 23, 2010 on Home Again at Wayfarer on the Creative Path
Thanks for the comment, Mark. Right on!
Thanks for the follow-up thoughts, KW. In this case, I can testify that the CSR was the most competent and among the highest compensated CSRs in the company. Nevertheless, your point is well taken.
Toggle Commented Mar 22, 2010 on Don't Make the Customer Work at IowaBiz
Thanks, Jodi! Can't wait to have you and the fam join us for a little R&R!
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Mar 15, 2010
Happy to dish up your blog to my readers, Andrew!
Toggle Commented Feb 4, 2010 on Managing Appeals & Challenges in QA at QAQNA
Thanks for the comment, Brenda. In my work with many different call centers I can attest that your experience as a CSR is a common one. I find that the vast majority of CSRs really WANT to do what is best for the customer. It's really sad when, in a situation like you describe, it could be a win-win for both customer and CSR! Fortunately, ours was not a true emergency, but your point is very well taken!
Toggle Commented Feb 2, 2010 on "I've already TOLD YOU THAT!" at QAQNA
I know what you're talking about, Terry, and I'm quite sure she wasn't teasing. My wife, speaking from years of serving and bar tending experience was convinced that the server was new at her job. Good question, though!
Toggle Commented Jan 19, 2010 on When in Doubt, Let the Customer Choose at IowaBiz