Quality Standards: As many as you need, but as few as possible

Can you have too much of a good thing? Well that can certainly be true with quality standards. If you have way too many, your team will become numb to them. My recommendation is to establish as many quality standards as you need, but as few as possible. In one of my recent LinkedIn Learning Courses, “Quality Standards in Customer …

Continue Reading >

Time-Tested Tips for Handling Tough Contacts

How equipped are your agents for those situations when something is going wrong? When customers are clearly upset? Here are some time-tested tips: If your organization messed up, acknowledge it in a sincere way—and in plain language. (How often as a customer do you see or hear the scripted words, “We regret any inconvenience this may have caused”?) As writing …

Continue Reading >

Employee Engagement: A Key Metric in All Service Environments

Employee engagement should be a key metric in all service environments. Research shows that employee engagement influences – even drives – customer satisfaction and loyalty. Retention, productivity, and quality are all strongly and positively correlated with employee engagement. There is a powerful connection between employee engagement and business results. In a recent LinkedIn Learning course “Service Metrics for Customer Service,” …

Continue Reading >

GM Leverages AI in Social Customer Care

GM, America’s largest automobile manufacturer, has more than 17 million social brand mentions and engages in more than 400,000 customer care conversations each year. GM set (and met) two aggressive goals to support their customer-centric vision. Goal 1: Deliver on today’s customer expectations. GM recognized that customers are increasingly turning to social channels for customer service, and established a response …

Continue Reading >

Contact Center Scheduling Can Be Creative and Collaborative

It’s a new year and a great time to reflect on challenges in your contact center. Chances are that if you’ve managed a contact center for any length of time, organizing schedules has been one of them. But there is good news. Scheduling is creative. It’s collaborative. And this part of planning can be a great opportunity for highlighting the …

Continue Reading >

Hands-on Leadership

One of the keys to high levels of employee engagement in contact centers – and the strong performance that follows – is hands-on involvement from the top. For example: Among other endeavors, Dan Gilbert is the founder and chairman of Quicken Loans, the giant Detroit-based mortgage lender. Gilbert speaks often of Quicken’s core values, saying that they “drive every decision, …

Continue Reading >

Quality and First-Contact Resolution: From the Agent’s Perspective

Quality and first contact resolution are essential aspects of effective service. Handling contacts with quality is at the heart of a customer service agent’s role in the organization. First contact resolution is an outcome of quality, really an extension. Better quality minimizes repeat calls and rework, and customers double-checking because they lack confidence. The time the customer spends with you …

Continue Reading >

The Edge of Service: Principles of Effective Budgeting

It’s that time of the year, and as you head into budgets and budget presentations, I encourage you to make them as complete as they need to be — but as brief and to the point as possible. In a recent issue of The Edge of Service®, I include an excerpt from one of the LinkedIn Learning Courses that I’ve …

Continue Reading >

Putting Yourself in Your Customers’ Shoes

Many of the most successful leaders I’ve worked with are uneasy depending on surveys and rolled-up data alone to tell them what’s really happening. They want to put themselves in their customers’ shoes. They want to see the organization, products, employees and competitors as their customers do. The video below, from my LinkedIn Learning course “Customer Service Leadership,” shares some …

Continue Reading >

When Building Your Brand, Be Yourself

In a recent issue of The Edge of Service®, I relay my experience meeting actor and author Henry Winkler at a recent ICMI Conference. Winkler reminded me of advice that my mother used to give me, especially when facing awkward or difficult challenges—”just be yourself.” It was sound advice then, and it still is now. And I believe it’s good …

Continue Reading >