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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How to Balance Service and Cost in the Contact Center

Back in December, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Jeff Toister, a customer service consultant based in San Diego. The interview touched on a variety of topics, but was focused on issues around staffing and scheduling. We discussed how offering great service typically saves money, something that may be counterintuitive to many. You can access the interview here. …

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Knowing Your Customers

How do you know what a customer needs? If you mention customer advocacy and pose that question many executives will say, “Well they tell us, right?” I think they picture a frustrated customer across the counter or perhaps calling or posting a message that describes a problem. But there’s so much more to it. The video below from the LinkedIn …

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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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Controlling Contact Center Costs the Right Way 

With the current economic challenges, many organizations are likely looking for ways to control costs as they serve customers. Done right, these efforts can succeed. But the wrong approach can backfire and result in new and/or hidden costs, frustrated employees and dissatisfied customers. One thing is certain: reducing costs across the board does not work well. Insufficient staff, network or …

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“Press 1 for Frustration” Article

This article from Heather Kelly at The Washington Post is a great behind-the-scenes look at the challenges of reaching customer service when call volumes are high and wait times are long. I was honored to be a resource for the article—and I’m thankful for the heroic work so many customer service professionals are doing. https://wapo.st/3cme3JX

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Real-time Management: Level 2 and Beyond

These extraordinary times have impacted our lives in unimaginable ways. They have also impacted customer service in ways we might have never thought possible. For those struggling to manage unexpected volumes of customer contacts, the following real-time management discussion from the latest edition of Contact Center Management on Fast Forward may be helpful. Level 2 and Beyond In omnichannel environments with …

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Building a Cohesive Virtual Team

Information and communications technologies have created organizations that span geography and time. Multi-site environments, cross-functional teams, and extended-hour or 24/7 operations are common contact center examples. If you are a manager or director, you may have the responsibility of getting results from those who work in different locations, who don’t report to you, or who don’t work the same hours. …

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Customer Access Strategy as Playbook

Does a customer access strategy sound like something that would be nice to have? Actually, it’s vital. Just ask anyone who’s part of the University of California’s Retirement Administration Service Center (UC RASC). The University of California is the world’s leading public research university system, with ten campuses, five medical centers, three national labs and a network of researchers and …

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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. Avoid these five common pitfalls, discussed in my LinkedIn Learning Course “Customer Service …

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