Jim S Miller

Thoughts on the Client Experience and Banking

3 Customer Experience Lessons from Undercover Boss/DirecTV

with 2 comments

Put the CEO of a major company on the phone at a call center and what can go wrong?  Just about everything.  Watch this clip http://bit.ly/d6GiQ1 from the TV show Undercover Boss and see what happens when Mike White, the CEO of DirecTV tries to handle a customer service call.

Here are three key takeaways:

  1. Train your reps – they are the company to each caller.  The job of a call center rep is not as easy as it looks – better make sure they are well trained.
  2. The ability to problem-solve is critical to client experience.  Who wants a polite representative who can’t take care of the problem?  21 minutes on the call and he didn’t help the customer – there should always be a way to take care of a customer’s needs.  Learn how to say yes in a way that is good for the customer and good for the company (a $49.95 service call is probably not the best solution).
  3. Don’t say your focus is on the customer if your processes aren’t.  Even the best reps cannot deliver a great customer experience if the policies/procedures are broken.  Are your processes designed around the customer?

I think it is great that CEOs are willing to go on Undercover Boss and try out the front line jobs at their companies, but it shouldn’t take a TV show for them to get this type of feedback.  On each show the “Undercover Boss” discovers obvious problems.  I have to wonder why they don’t have a way to get this feedback on a regular basis.  Are they listening to their employees and customers?  Customer and employee feedback is essential to providing a great customer experience.

I have two questions for these CEOs on Undercover Boss:

  1.  Do you have a consistent way to get both employe and customer feedback?
  2. If not, how are you going to create a great experience without understanding what’s important to them?

For more on Mike White’s undercover experience see the video below:


Written by Jim S Miller

October 13, 2010 at 4:17 pm

Posted in Client Experience

2 Responses

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  1. Jim: I couldn’t agree more. I don’t care how polite somebody is, if they can’t solve my problem then why am I talking to them? And, most of the time you’re battling several different departments within the company – and none of them knows what the other one does.

    Great blog –


    Donna Highfill

    October 14, 2010 at 11:48 am

    • Donna: Thanks for your comment. Good point… first a company needs to take care of your needs, then they need to be friendly and polite.

      Jim S Miller

      October 15, 2010 at 3:19 pm

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