The Ultimate Luxury: A Helpful Human at 1-800

In an Era of Automated Customer Service - Companies Can Be Distinct with Friendly, Articulate Call Center Agents

Supple leather? Check. Craftsmanship?  Check.  Exquisite detail? Check.
But what characteristic distinguishes luxury more than any other - even in a sluggish recovery? Compassionate customer service rendered by a compassionate human being, according to a Dallas PhD who specializes in retail excellence.

    “The fact that a consumer cannot get in tough with a real human being is the major, number one complaint in the area of service quality,” says Dan Howard, PhD, and a marketing guru at SMU’s Cox School of Business.
    “They’re NOT going to expect to get a human being who sits down with them and has empathy, understanding and dependability,” says Howard. “So when you DO provide that, perceptions are actually going to exceed the expectations. And boy you’re going to have a customer for a very long time, perhaps for life.”

    Howard has published more than two dozen papers on brand loyalty, advertising psychology and advertising in his academic career, with a specialization in consumer behavior.

    “Positive evaluations run rampant when someone’s perceptions of what one receives surpasses the expectations of what they thought they would receive,” says Howard. ‘Holy Smoke, you got a human being within 15 seconds? You gotta be kidding me, What’s the name of that company?’ That’s what happens, because no one expects it.”

    For corporate leaders, that kind of customer engagement has been hard to find offshore. Consequently, more US companies are bringing customer call centers back home, or outsourcing the work to third party providers who guarantee articulate, compassionate agents.

    “We offer a higher caliber agent,” says Working Solutions CEO Tim Houlne, “because that’s what our clients expect. They know it makes a difference, and they know brand loyalty is built in that one-on-one environment.”

    Working Solutions is a Plano, Texas based contact center solutions provider. Since 1996, Working Solutions has offered corporate clients such as Dell and Office Depot a suite of call center services, to include well-educated and articulate call center professionals, a step above those offered by most off-shore providers.

    “Getting a human being on the phone will put you in a top competitive position,” says Howard. “No doubt about it.”

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