We Don’t Have Hold Music…

…because we do not have hold.  In 2011 our customer service department averaged 118 minutes of phone calls each day. Stop and think about that for a minute. In this crazy, chaotic world of waste management and waste optimization, our Customer Service phones rang for less than two hours each and every day.  That, and I am bragging, is amazing.

If you do the math it is almost beyond belief.  We are representing hundreds of thousands of dumpsters in locations tucked in every corner of the U.S. and Canada, yet there is no reason for our customers to call.  Our system is so finely tuned that we are able to anticipate our clients needs and get that need translated to our other partner, the haulers, before there is any reason for them  to pick up the phone and call us.

One hundred and eighteen minutes.  118 minutes.  That is less than two hours out of a 24-hour day.  We provide live operators, based in Connecticut, available 24-hours a day.  OK, OK…I already know what you are going to ask.  Why are there multiple operators if the phone never rings?  Well, Customer Service is not simply about answering the phones.  We contact our customers, we contact our haulers but most importantly we contact those locations where it seems a pick up should be due.  Our algorithms are so finely tuned we have a pretty good idea of when the trash needs to go.

We will never get to zero.  Your business has spikes and those spikes translate into pick-ups.  If you get new fixtures then you have unusual trash and your dumpster is full before we know it.  Tired of being on hold?  Tired of listening to Muzak?  Tired of complaints from the field?  We were tired of all that and we decided the key to success was to eliminate the hold altogether.

A Talk about Backing up the Talk

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The single most infuriating exercise in the waste management world today is having to contact customer service when a location has a problem.  It is painful when I call a customer service department and cannot get an operator.  It is especially painful when I call customer service and I am told there will be a long wait.  It is excruciatingly painful when I call customer service and realize I am never going to talk with a human being at all.

Think back to when you were evaluating waste management firms.   Terms such as “World Class Customer Service” and “24/7/365″ and “Service Partnership” were thrown  about and you were left with a warm/fuzzy feeling that in any crisis an operator would be right there to handle your problem, 24/7, live, on the phone.

How rude an awakening was that?  The hold times, the answering services, the continual need to have to follow up?  When was the last time you called customer service at your waste management vendor and an agent picked up on the first ring, already knew your name and had your file up and ready to talk?  Even better, how many times in the past year has your issue been resolved while you were still on the phone? It is a lot of talk.

9.7 second ASA.  That was our Average Seconds to Answer in 2011.  Pretty good, and that clock starts from the minute your dial is complete.

118 Minutes.  That was our average amount of total calls to customer service each day in 2011.  That is least than 2 hours/day for an entire department.  Maytag repairmen everywhere are jealous.

96.7% FCR.  Our First Call Resolution was almost 97% which means that 97 out of 100 times we solved your problem without you having to follow-up with us or anyone.

It is easy to throw around terms such as “World Class Customer Service,” however it is quite another issue to back up that talk.  Next time you are in a negotiation ask for the Customer Service specifics.  Get an ASA and an FCR and even get them to throw in their Net Promoter Score (ours hovers around 72). The reality is…our best sales team is our competitor’s customer service department.