12 Principles for Building Profitable Customer Relationships

Over the past decade, ICMI has studied, codified and periodically published a summary of the most important principles behind building strong, profitable customer relationships. Lately, I’ve been asked, are these principles less important? Have evolving customer expectations, social communities, new channels and other developments changed the fundamentals? Not at all! These 12 principles are as important as ever, in large …

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Empowering Employees to Be Customer Advocates

Lynda.com has given me the opportunity to record a few courses for their library. It’s been a great experience. One of the most recent courses is on Customer Advocacy – what it is, how it’s done and how to maximize its benefits. If you are interested in how to empower employees to be customer advocates and how to encourage customers …

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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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The Importance of Customer Advocacy

Customer advocacy refers to both how a company advocates for customers (doing what’s best for customers) and how customers advocate for companies (spreading the word about its products, services and brand). Both are vital to success today. Here’s a video from my just released Lynda.com course to explain why. The entire course is titled Customer Advocacy and is available at …

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Perspective on First-Contact Resolution

First-contact resolution (FCR) is a popular performance measure in customer contact centers. And that’s a good thing: Unresolved contacts are a common source of customer dissatisfaction, and the organization tends to incur many additional expenses (repeat contacts, rework, etc.) when issues are not fully resolved. However, despite clear benefits, FCR must be implemented carefully. Some important lessons have emerged: Learn …

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Defining Quality in Customer Service

What does quality mean in customer service? What are standards and where do they come from? Take 5 minutes to explore these questions and learn how you can define quality standards in one of my Lynda.com videos. The entire course is titled Quality Standards in Customer Service and is available at LinkedIn Learning.

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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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