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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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,” …

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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, …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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Contact Center Management on Fast Forward – Fourth Edition Now Available

It’s hard to believe that Contact Center Management on Fast Forward is in its fourth edition. It is a testimony to the strategic importance of contact centers to organizations of virtually any type. It has been a privilege to be a part of an industry that is dedicated to connecting with customers and helping organizations succeed. If you’ve read any …

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Keeping Your Customer Advocates Engaged

Our customer advocates trust us. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be advocates. They want that trust to continue and we need to do our part of this. Sadly, businesses lose advocates daily. Often, this stems more from neglect than from anything we do. The video below looks at five principles for maintaining trust and keeping the momentum going. This video …

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12 Principles for Building Profitable Customer Relationships

Over the past decade, ICMI has studied, codified and periodically published a summary of the most important principles behind building strong, profitable customer relationships. Lately, I’ve been asked, are these principles less important? Have evolving customer expectations, social communities, new channels and other developments changed the fundamentals? Not at all! These 12 principles are as important as ever, in large …

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