Being available for customers

One of the biggest challenges in many organizations is that the work arrives randomly from moment to moment. That’s true in a restaurant, a retail store, a contact center, a hospital’s emergency department, and many other environments. Those delivering services don’t control customer arrival rate, or the issues they need help with. I once worked with a healthcare system that …

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Good Governance Boosts Customer Experience Innovation

The term “governance” might feel out of place in the context of customer experience innovation. In fact, to some, creating a governance process might sound limiting or even stifling. But as a customer experience consultant, I’ve found the opposite to be true. It’s the department-spanning nature of customer experience that is precisely why governance is so important to innovation. Opportunities …

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7 Ways to See Your Business from Your Customers’ Perspective

The most successful leaders don’t rely solely on data to tell them what’s happening. They take steps to put themselves in their customers’ shoes. They want to deeply understand the business—its products, employees, and competitors—and experience it as their customers do. I agree. Get out there and see what’s happening firsthand. Make it a habit. Learn as much as you …

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What true motivation is (and is not)

As a leader you have to be able to motivate your team members. In fact you probably need to be able to motivate others well beyond those who formally report to you. You may be asking yourself, how on earth can I get people to do things they may not want to do? But that’s not motivation. That’s coercion. Motivation …

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Equipping Your Agents to Be Customer Advocates

Customer advocacy is a hot topic in marketing and customer experience circles—and especially so following the economic upheavals of 2020 and 2021. Many of today’s most forward-thinking leaders—Elon Musk, Richard Branson, and Emily Weiss, to name a few—see it as the only true and sustainable way to win customers and market share over the long term. I define customer advocacy …

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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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Navigating Labor Shortage in Customer Service: 3 Steps You Can Take Now

You’ve likely seen the signs posted in retail and restaurants: “Please be patient with our team.” You’ve probably heard similar delay announcements when contacting organizations: “Due to unusually heavy demand… “ Supply and production issues are, as Carrington York put it in a recent LinkedIn News story, “flipping the U.S. economy on its head.” And customer service operations are in …

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Want to Deliver a Great Customer Experience? Give Your Employees a Voice

When you think about customer experience, what comes to mind? For most people, the answer is likely that it’s an organization’s responsibility to provide customers with a great experience. This isn’t wrong, but there’s more to it. Your best-laid plans for customer experience go nowhere without invested and dedicated employees. To build a strong culture of employee engagement at your …

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Two types of quality standards for employees

Aren’t there a million and one nuances you could focus on when establishing quality standards for customer service employees? So how do you even get started? Here is an easy, yet effective, approach. A proven way to establish quality standards for individuals is to categorize them as either foundation or finesse. Learn more about foundation and finesse standards in this …

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Employee Experience: The Cornerstone of Customer Experience

Everything I’ve seen over the years — in both the organizations I’ve led and others I’ve worked with as an outside advisor — corroborates the importance of employee experience. It is indeed the cornerstone of customer experience. When you peel back the layers of any customer-centric organization, you’ll find a robust culture of honoring employees, encouraging their insight and ideas, …

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