Tools for Your Next Team Meeting

Looking to generate substantive conversation at your next team meeting? Try one of these worksheets on customer expectations, metrics and customer access strategy. It can be helpful to take a step back from the day-to-day, urgent issues to think about the bigger picture. Discussions on these bigger pictures can help keep everyone on the same page and generate ideas for …

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Accessibility and Quality Work Together

Have you ever heard that you have to sacrifice quality to improve customer accessibility to services? Or the other way around? That’s one of the most common myths in customer service. Accessibility and quality are closely related and complementary. Learn more about each aspect of customer service and how they support one another in this video from my Lynda.com course …

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Strategy Drives Structure

Many contact centers have been through consolidations or restructurings that are really just cleanup efforts for lack of having or using an effective customer access strategy. For example, I recall helping an insurance company with agent group “consolidation.” Their sales team would sell an account to a major client and, if pressed by the prospect, would agree to provide a …

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The Contact Center’s Role in Building Self-Service Channels

Many organizations are learning firsthand that contact centers can play a central role in encouraging and supporting low-cost access channels. For example, the contact center can provide a wealth of information on which contacts can be automated (or handled in customer communities), and what can be done to improve customer acceptance. Further — and paradoxically — providing agent assistance when …

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Customer Strategy and Management Podcasts

If you haven’t listened before, you might want to check out my podcast series “Customer Strategy and Management.” It includes short, to-the-point podcasts on topics such as building profitable customer relationships, customer access strategies, contact center value, and customer service through social media. Check out the entire series here.

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Make the Most of Changing Customer Expectations

How do you make the most of changing customer expectations and ensure that they are being built into your plans and direction? The following are some important rules of the road: First, ensure that your management team thoroughly understands the 10 basic customer expectations. Post them prominently. And make a habit of considering them when making decisions. Don’t guess at …

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Staffing for Weekends

Here’s an idea: If you’re a consumer-facing service operation and want to stand out from the crowd, be there for your customers on weekends. That’s when many are checking accounts, kicking around options for the renovation, paying utility bills, and booking that trip to see Aunt Mae. I’ve had a number of clients see workloads increase on weekends in recent …

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