Empowering Your Customer Service Team

Many organizations want to do the right thing for customers, but too often put a multi-layered, time-eroding approval process in place to get there. By then, the customer is gone, or the loyalty that could arise from their experience has dwindled. That’s not effective empowerment; in fact, it’s not empowerment at all. Your agents must be able to take action …

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Boosting the Value of Customer Service

Ensuring that your organization is getting maximum benefit from the effort and investments you’re putting into customer service is an important leadership opportunity. In this video, I explore three levels on which effective service creates value. This video is from my LinkedIn Learning course “Customer Service Leadership.” During these difficult times, leadership is crucial. You may find this course can …

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The Stay Interview: A Powerful Retention Tool

The best contact centers continually work on the root causes of turnover. There are many common causes of turnover, such as insufficient development opportunities, pace of effort required, feeling of not being appreciated, the list goes on. What is most important in retention efforts is determining what is important to each individual employee on your team. One powerful tool in …

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Understanding What Motivates Your Team

I’m going to say something that may be a surprise. You will not, now or ever, be able to motivate your team. It’s not going to happen. You can, however, help motivate the people who are a part of it. Yes, it’s true, many of us refer to “motivating the team,” but what we’re really talking about is something that …

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Improving Performance: Two Types of Standards

The cornerstone of an effective quality observation process is documenting specific, observable behaviors and tailoring coaching accordingly. An effective way to consider performance (quality) standards is to categorize them as either “foundation” or “finesse.” Foundation standards measure whether something was done, and can be assessed with a simple yes or no. For example, the agent uses their name in the …

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Using Strategy to Guide Decisions and Direction

Organizations that consistently use their strategies to help guide decisions tend to go from strength to strength. They make better decisions and then have a better read on how well those decisions ultimately support their vision. How can you best use your strategy to guide decisions and direction? I have found four best practices that can help. Explore these best …

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Make Your Customer Access Strategy Uniquely Yours

What access channels should be opened up? What’s the nature of service you intend to provide? Beyond applying sound management principles, these decisions are yours to make. My overarching advice: Make your customer access strategy uniquely yours — do what’s best for your customers and your organization. Here are some examples of how customer access strategies are playing out: London-based …

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Customer Expectations of Service Delivery

Service quality is defined in terms of the customer’s perception of how well your services meet his or her expectations. Simple, right? But wait, aren’t expectations always changing? What do customers expect? This can seem like a daunting challenge for those of us designing and managing customer services. The good news is identifying customer expectations is not the hit-or-miss guesswork …

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The Seven Essential Metrics in Times of Crisis

In May, I wrote an article for Smart Customer Service. The article describes seven metrics that every contact center should have. It also provides suggestions on using an overall KPI. The article begins: The disruptions that the COVID-19 crisis is bringing to economies around the world is truly unprecedented. Many contact centers are grappling with both increased workloads and staffing …

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Identifying Root Causes

Have you ever heard or been part of this conversation: I thought we fixed that problem, why are we talking about it again? Chances are, a symptom was addressed, at least temporarily, but the root cause was not fully identified and resolved. Your proof that a problem has been fixed is that it doesn’t recur or its frequency is reduced …

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