• August 8, 2014
  • By David Myron, Editorial Director, CRM and Speech Technology magazines and SmartCustomerService.com

The Real Truth About CRM Success

what that is to create that for them.

Myron: That speaks to one of the challenges companies face today. Unfortunately, automation tends to make people feel less valued, especially when they want to talk to a person. Companies struggle with this because they want customers to talk to a machine, but they also want customers to feel valued.

Wynn: Right, and it's a good point. If someone is going to talk to a machine and feel valued, then it's going to have to be easy, it's going to have to be simple, and the experience is going to have to be easy and simple enough that the idea that they didn't get a human being was offset by the convenience of it. If you're 27 years old, sometimes you really don't want traditional customer service, you want things that don't break down and don't need any service. And if you can solve the problem yourself by calling in and going through a few prompts that are easy and simple, then you're OK with that.

So, machines and automation can deliver good customer service, but there are a couple of components. Number one is the voice. If they're hearing an automated voice, it better be one friendly voice. I had a German car that was condescending that I got rid of [laughing]. Literally, the automated voice in my BMW was talking down to me. I don't know why that was...so I have an Audi now—much friendlier voice [chuckling]. But it makes a big difference.

Again, if there's a pleasant voice that's making me feel like I'm valuable, if it's easy to go through those prompts, at the end I'm going to feel more valued even though it's a machine. When people say that a machine can't create value, well, it can if it's easy enough and pleasant enough. It's just like dealing with a human being. If the person is easy to understand and they're pleasant, then you'll have a good experience.

Myron: Changing people's opinion, though, can be difficult. How are you going to address this during your keynote presentation at the 2014 CRM Evolution, SpeechTEK, and Customer Service Experience conferences?

Wynn: I'm going to focus on how to get people to do what you want them to do. In other words, are you personally influential to make everything else work? Whether you are a contact center manager, or whether you're building or designing [technology], or whether you're in sales or marketing, whatever it is, are you personally influential enough to make a difference?

So, if you're trying to influence the people around you, you may have good ideas, you may have a superior process, you've got to be able to connect with people in a way with clarity and enough basic influence that people will buy into your ideas. The problem we have is that when things change or people have different ideas it's hard to get buy-in. And there are people out there that believe things so strongly, they're looking for things that prove what they already believe is true. That means, to get them to think differently, you have to use certain tactics to make that happen. I'll talk about those tactics. We interviewed 5,371 top performers over 10 years. We looked at the top 1 percent of the 5,371 to see what they did that made them so influential. That will be the basis of my talk.


For more information about influencing customers and colleagues, register for the CRM Evolution 2014 conference, where you can see Garrison Wynn's complete keynote presentation, as well as more than 30 additional presentations from CRM consultants, analysts, and practitioners.

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