Contact Center Behavioral Purchase Intent Drivers: Empathy & Competence

As bank contact centers transition from service hubs to sales centers. It is instructive to investigate which service attributes and behaviors will yield the most ROI in terms of driving sales through the contact center channel.

Previously we explored which service attributes will yield the most ROI in terms of driving purchase intent.

Beyond the attributes measured in the previous post, Kinesis also performed mystery shop observations of specific behaviors across six institutions with national scope to determine their relationship to purchase intent.

Greeting Behaviors

While the importance of a good first impression is true, across the four greeting behaviors measured, there does not appear to any significant differences between shops with positive purchase intent and shops with negative purchase intent.

Greeting Increased Purch Intent Decreased Purch Intent
Greet by identifying the name of the institution 99% 97%
Greet by identifying themselves 100% 97%
Ask name 78% 71%
Ask how they could assist 100% 98%

This is mostly due to the high rate of performance across these greeting behaviors.  Greetings are strong across all shops regardless of purchase intent.

Service Behaviors

With respect to broader service behaviors, the behaviors with the largest gaps between shops with positive purchase intent and those with negative purchase intent are: suggesting additional products and asking for the business (each with about 2 times as many shoppers who experience positive purchase intent observing these behaviors compared to shoppers who experience negative purchase intent).   Use name, use of understandable descriptions and clarity of speech round out the next three.

Ratio Increased PI to Decreased PI: Service Experience

Hold & Transfer Behaviors

When the shopper was placed on hold, five behaviors were measured.  Of these, giving an estimate of how long the customer will be on hold, and returning if the hold time exceed the original estimate to advice of the status of the call were the behaviors with the strongest relationship to purchase intent.  Again, both with about 2 times as many shoppers who experienced positive purchase intent observing these behaviors compared to shoppers who experienced negative purchase intent.

Ratio Increased PI to Decreased PI: Hold Experience

Additionally, five transfer behaviors were measured.  Of these, the behavior with the strongest relationship to purchase intent by far is returning to explain any delay after 60 seconds.  With five times as many shoppers who reported positive purchase intent observing this behavior relative to those who reported negative purchase intent.

Ratio Increased PI to Decreased PI: Transfer Experience

Call Conclusion

Finally, at the conclusion of the call, asking how else the agent could be of assistance and thanking the shopper for choosing the institution were the two behaviors with the strongest relationship to purchase intent.

Ratio Increased PI to Decreased PI: Conclusion of Call

Of the behaviors measured, a couple of common themes tend to be present in the behaviors with strong relationships to purchase intent.  The behaviors with strong relationships to purchase intent tend to deal with the themes of personalized service and valuing the customer.

These behaviors with strong relationships to purchase intent group into these two themes as follows:

Personalized Service/Empathy

  • If transfer hold time exceeds 60 seconds, explain delay and ask if customer wants to continue (this behavior 5 times more likely in shops with positive purchase intent compared to negative)
  • Give estimate of hold time (2.1 times more frequent in shops with positive purchase intent compared to negative)
  • If hold exceeds estimate, return with status update (1.8 times more frequent)
  • If transfer, stay on line until completed (1.6 times)
  • Use of name (1.5 times)
  • Ask how else could assist (1.5 times)

Valuing Customer

  • Suggest additional products or services (2.1 times more frequent in shops with positive purchase intent)
  • Ask for business (1.9 times)
  • Thanks for choosing the institution (1.5 times)

To maximize purchase intent, focus agents on behaviors which personalize the service in an empathetic manner (care for the customer and their needs) and value their business.

Click here for a cross-tabulation of the raw data by purchase intent.



 

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About Eric Larse

Eric Larse is co-founder of Seattle-based Kinesis CEM, LLC, which helps clients plan and execute their customer experience strategies through the intelligent use of customer satisfaction surveys and mystery shopping, linked with training and incentive programs. Visit Kinesis at: www.kinesis-cem.com

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