Cultivating a Customer-Focused Culture

The number one key to sustaining great service is culture. The culture of doing the daily hard work to focus on what’s best for customers. What do organizations with the most engaged employees and customer-focused cultures have in common? Here is a Lynda.com video from the course Customer Service Leadership that describes seven principles that I’ve seen stand out. Cultivating …

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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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Common Causes of Turnover

Excessive turnover costs an organization in many ways: Higher recruiting and training costs; a lower average experience level leading to higher handling times, more transferred calls and lower service levels/response times; the need for more coaching and supervision; and the impact on everyone’s morale when key people leave. The best contact centers continually work on the root causes of turnover. …

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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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Agent Performance Standards: Keep It Simple

In recent years, I have seen a trend to streamline and simplify agent performance standards. In many cases, they had become too complex — weighted averages, percent time in this and that mode, formulas that would take a mathematician to figure out. Yes, if I’m one of your agents, give me some objectives on being in the right place at the …

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Hot Topic’s “Daily Huddle”

A few years back, fashion retailer Hot Topic won first place in an ICMI video contest for a creative portrayal of their “secret to service success,” a daily communications huddle. In it, they compare the daily meeting, which keeps employees up to date, to the ingredients of a gourmet meal: Main ingredient (lasagna noodles): Important information, such as current sales, …

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