Idea Factor Blog

Good Business Karma Raises Your Business Reputation

 

Good-Business-Karma

A positive Karma in your business relationships can be easily achieved and maintained by employing a few very simple practices. This can mean the difference between seeing and buying into what is directly in front of you and establishing a long-term strategic objective that has more to do with ethically motivated practices than profitability.

 

We are conditioned by decades of business practice that dictates that the customer is always right and to engage in whatever way they want to meet their end goal.  I DISAGREE.  If your customer is committed to an action or path that you believe will cause them irreparable harm, it is your responsibility as a partner or vendor to at the very least lay out in detail the potential dangers and outcomes, bring it to their attention in a distinct and thoughtful manner, or extricate yourself altogether, even if it means walking away from a lucrative contract.

WHY? Aside from being the right thing to do, when things do fail, and you were the only partner/vendor that voiced concerns or shared the potential danger, not only will your reputation with that client increase, they will turn to you for thought leadership and pro-active process, even going so far as to recommend you to others. Trust is earned, and respect is gained.

It is not easy to say no to a strategic partner or customer; but laying out a descriptive list of the reasons for your concerns, offering a suggestion for alternative process that can work to meet their end goals, and walking them through your thought process can help clarify and sometimes even win them over to your school of thought with appreciation and thanks. This should be an essential component of the overall long-term success of your business.

Good Karma all around upholds our mission statement to offer an exceptional customer service experience every time bar NONE!

 

Idea Factor provides a full suite of marketing services including B2B lead generation (gathering qualified sales leads), surveys, data mapping, event tele-boosting, trade show follow up, in-bound and out-bound omni-channel call center services, data cleansing, list cleaning, customer retention and loyalty programs.

Our commitment to excellence in customer service has awarded us repeat business for more than 25 years, from both our global and community clients. To find out more go to www.idea-factor.com

WHY AI & Chatbots Make Me CRAZY!

chatter-teeth

My recent experiences with artificial intelligence-powered chatbots, especially those used for CUSTOMER SERVICE, have left me feeling irritated rather than amazed — and I don’t think I’m alone.

 

How do I hate AI? Let me count the ways:

 

THEY Want to Talk Your Ear Off!

If I chat with a human being, I can express complex issues and speak in long, content-rich paragraphs. The person is able to decode and parse what I say, even when there is more than one thought involved. This makes my interaction more efficient.

Chatbots, on the other hand, aren’t able to consume a firehose of human language. They keep coming back and asking question after question. It’s like a chatty neighbor who keeps talking and talking when you have work to get back to. With chatbots, there is a lot of repeating and “did you mean this?” chatter. They have to be walked through a problem while a person can hear the whole problem and break it down themselves.

I ran into this with Visa Card support. I needed to ask what seemed like a simple question about my account. It was the type of question a human could (and did) answer in less than a minute. The VISA chatbot, however, couldn’t understand my question and kept responding with more and more irrelevant questions of its own in a vain attempt to understand what I wanted. I finally had to ask for a human.

 

Chatbots Take More Time Than a Human

Since chatbots are so inefficient in their “speech” they take a lot longer to find a solution outside the most common ones. That would be only mildly annoying if they offered a single interaction such as “What can I help you with?” followed by a “Is this what you are looking for?” answer and then a pivot to a human agent if it didn’t resolve your issue. I also find the voice extremely condescending in it’s over-zealous desire to sound like a human.

Unfortunately, that’s not how they work. Instead, they continue to ask questions until you give up. Sometimes, they don’t give up even when you demand a human. I recently went to the Verizon Wireless customer service chat expecting a human. It was obvious I was speaking to a chatbot — it kept making really silly suggestions — and I demanded an agent. The chatbot persisted until I asked for an agent THREE TIMES and then it sent me into the chat queue. The question was more complex than the chatbot could handle but it wouldn’t give up. The chatbot wasted my time before finally getting me to an agent that could help … two minutes later.

 

It’s Not About Service — It’s About Costs

Chatbots leave one with the impression that chatbots are not intended to front-end a human interaction or gather information to make that interaction more meaningful. Instead, it is pretty obvious that chatbots exist to keep you from speaking to a human. They are just like interactive voice responses (IVR), which also exist to save costs by keeping you from a human, only they require more effort.

It’s much easier to say a simple command or press “1” on your telephone keypad (although, in all fairness, I do find myself yelling “Agent!” at the IVR voice recognition a lot. So I guess I hate IVRs as much as chatbots.)

What makes the cost shift obvious is the implementation of most customer service chatbots. They don’t ask for some basic information (account number or product model) which could then be used by a human agent. Instead, they try to solve the problem and keep doing that even when it’s out of its league. This is just an IVR jail, only with more typing.

In the end, when I am answered by this level of technology, I’m left with a very firm impression that this company does not want my business.

Ahhh – how great it is to have OPTIONS!

 

Idea Factor provides a full suite of marketing services including B2B lead generation (gathering qualified sales leads), surveys, data mapping, event tele-boosting, trade show follow up, in-bound and out-bound omni-channel call center services, data cleansing, list cleaning, customer retention and loyalty programs.

Our commitment to excellence in customer service has awarded us repeat business for more than 25 years, from both our global and community clients. To find out more go to www.idea-factor.com

 

 

Thank you!

Soldiers at airport

 

At first I thought this posting has NOTHING to do with business.

On further reflection it has EVERYTHING to do with business.                                 

AND the fact that I am able to run my business day to day because of these brave men and women.

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Is Your Workplace a HAPPY One?

smiley faces

Last night I entertained one of my husband’s clients at our home for dinner.

It isn’t something that we do often — however we had run into this particular couple at a number of events and it seemed that we were destined to meet.

During the course of the evening — as always — our conversation turned to business. Read More

Great Customer Service = Referrals

dog in car

When customer service is GREAT- you want to tell EVERYONE!

 

I had no intention of buying a car.

In fact- I had not bought a car since 2001- my beloved little grey car which I only drove when the sun was shinning and the weather was at least above 20C.

Read More