It’s official: The Girl from Ipanema has more time for walking, because she will not spend time on hold in your call center. Brazil may be famous for a lot of things, from Bossa Nova to hybrid cars, but most people would not know about their innovations in Customer Service. That will likely change now that Presidential Decree number 6.523, signed in July 2008, has gone into effect (as of 1 December 2008) making it a rule that companies in many industries MUST connect consumers to a human within sixty seconds of selecting the option. The new “Code in Defense of the Consumer” (Código de Defesa do Consumidor) extends to airlines, banks, credit card companies, healthcare and telecommunications providers, among others.
The goal: make the quality of customer service a basic right, and not a privilege. As part of the decree, the first IVR choice must, by decree, be: speak to a customer service agent. Consumers will have an option to complain. Every complaint must be given a case number. Every case must be addressed within five days. Every complaint resolution must be communicated to the customer. If the customer wants to cancel your service, you can’t transfer them and ask them to repeat their request/demand. If you want to read more, you can go to: Link to info on Call Center Brazil
How long would it take you to be ready to comply with a demand that you provide customer service 24/7? To deliver a maximum one minute wait time for an agent? To record every conversation and provide a copy of the conversation to the customer on demand?
Sounds pretty basic: someday, your government may demand that we treat customers fairly. But before we get all euphoric, don’t we have to ask ourselves why you’d need this decree? Doesn’t it point to some pretty bad processes out there? Why do we need to speak to humans, when for most things (and in some industries like online retail and financial services it is for over 90% of interactions) self service is far superior: faster, accurate, convenient.
Bottom line: maybe a good start, but I’ll bet this decree will be largely ineffective except to get companies thinking about their broken customer processes that drive people to the phones in the first place.
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