Customer Service Strategy: Avoid Common Pitfalls

Herb Kelleher, co-founder and former CEO of Southwest Airlines, once said, “We have a strategic plan. It’s called doing things.” He makes a great point. Developing strategies shouldn’t be an overly academic or formal exercise, with the result being a plan that’s really not put to use. In this video, I’ll discuss five common pitfalls when developing strategies. You can …

Continue Reading >

Principle #3: The Process Is Where the Leverage Is

The third principle in this series, Improving Quality and Performance in Customer Experience, focuses our attention on the bigger picture – the processes within an organization. A process is a “system of causes.” (Note: in the context of quality and process improvement, “system” refers to the system of causes or processes, not a technology.) Every organization is an expansive system …

Continue Reading >

Standards for the Service Operation: Quality and Value

Establishing the right quality standards for your organization is essential to delivering efficient and effective service. In my LinkedIn Learning course “Quality Standards in Customer Service,” I outline four quality standards that can help you define what quality and value mean. Standards for the service operation: Quality and value from Quality Standards in Customer Service by Brad Cleveland

Continue Reading >

Root Cause Analysis in Customer Service

When you encounter a problematic aspect of service or customer experience, the first step is to identify root causes. Typically, several possibilities surface and they all seem plausible. How can you determine which root cause deserves your attention? In this video, I summarize three tools that we often recommend for their usefulness in customer service settings. This video is from …

Continue Reading >

A Strategic Framework for Managing Customer Feedback

Whether your organization’s a print shop with three employees, a government agency with 3,000, or a multinational company with 300,000, six steps are required to manage customer feedback. Together, these steps make up a powerful approach that can drive innovation and improvements in products and services and processes. There’s a magic that takes place when you decide to be intentional …

Continue Reading >

Improving Quality and Performance in Customer Experience

Today’s generation of quality, performance, and customer experience initiatives is building on a rich history. Naturally, new ideas and methods will follow. But some core themes have emerged from these management advances—principles that are guiding current developments. They include: Quality must be based on customer needs and expectations Quality and access to service work together The process is where the …

Continue Reading >

The Leadership Secret to Effective Coaching

In the most engaged teams I’ve seen, there are solid coaching principles at work. But the ultimate leadership secret is to approach training, coaching and performance standards as opportunities to empower your employees to coach themselves. Learn more about how to encourage self-coaching in this video “Coaching for Improved Performance” from my LinkedIn Learning course Customer Service: Motivating Your Team. …

Continue Reading >

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 …

Continue Reading >

Your Organization’s Personality

Motorcycle company Harley Davidson has incredibly loyal customers. Riders join clubs and wear Harley clothes, and some even have Harley tattoos. Many CEOs and chief marketing officers point to Harley as the holy grail of customer loyalty, and wonder what they can do to be more like Harley. The answer: don’t be more like Harley. Be more like you. Connect …

Continue Reading >

Customer Advocacy: Harnessing Service and Operations

It’s a smart move and highly recommended for any organization to instill the principles of customer advocacy in the customer service and operations functions. Unfortunately not all do. In this video from the LinkedIn Learning course “Customer Advocacy,” we’ll look at why this is so important and some examples of how to put customer advocacy to work. Harnessing service and …

Continue Reading >