Customer Service Excellence

Recently, I gave a presentation at the Tugboat Institute Gathering of Teams. The talk focused on common missed opportunities in customer service as well as steps that leaders and teams can take to make a difference for their customers. It concluded with several questions that teams can ask to help shape service that is best for their customers and their …

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5 Universal Customer Frustrations

Apple, the trillion-dollar tech giant, is also a giant in customer service. When my iPhone battery life began to diminish, I found myself on Apple’s online support pages, where I was quickly offered four options: bring the product into a store, send it in for repair (which I could schedule online), start a chat, or set up a call. With …

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10 Components of a Customer Access Strategy

It could be that you have just a few people in a small department or company, handling interactions with customers. On the other hand, you might have thousands of agents working across multiple sites. In either case, or any point in between, you need a Customer Access Strategy. Just think about the inter-related decisions related to rolling out a new …

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Harness innovation to deepen customer relationships

When developing a customer service strategy, the final step is to innovate and align. Where are the opportunities to get even better? How do you keep day-to-day operations and every decision aligned with your customer service vision? Learn more about two common and effective lenses to use when approaching innovation in this video from my LinkedIn Learning course “Customer Service …

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Eliminate the most damaging customer service frustrations

The principles that guide effortless customer experiences seem basic. The truth is, it’s difficult to get customer service basics right, and many organizations don’t. While customer service catastrophes still make headlines, run-of-the-mill customer service annoyances are still maddeningly common.

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Principle #2: Quality and Access to Service Work Together

In customer experience, when service is required, quality of service and access to it are inextricably associated with, and complementary to, each other. Accessibility is an enabler. When customers wait too long, they will often verbalize their criticisms when they finally do reach an employee. Valuable time is spent apologizing and delivering service takes more time. Employee burnout can increase. …

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Build Customer Expectations into Plans and Direction

Anticipating customer expectations is essential to developing effective customer service. In fact, customer expectations ultimately define what good service means. Truly understanding your customers can help you stand out in an environment that evolves every day. So, how do you ensure customer expectations are built into your plans and direction? Let me make some recommendations: First, make sure that your …

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Keep Your Strategy Current

When a strategy goes out of date, decisions become fragmented and results begin to suffer. Effective leaders know how to develop strategies that don’t go out of date. They know how to implement processes and procedures that will keep the strategy current and the business moving forward long after they’re gone. How has your strategy held up this year? Is …

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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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Developing – or Reconsidering – Your Service Strategy

In these unprecedented times, you may find yourself rethinking your organization’s strategy for serving your customers. Strategy is the bridge between your organization’s vision and mission and the specific decisions required to make them a reality. This video from the LinkedIn Learning course “Customer Service Leadership” provides a framework for developing – or reconsidering – your service strategy. Developing your …

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