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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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 …

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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 …

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Empowering Your Customer Service Team

Many organizations want to do the right thing for customers, but too often put a multi-layered, time-eroding approval process in place to get there. By then, the customer is gone, or the loyalty that could arise from their experience has dwindled. That’s not effective empowerment; in fact, it’s not empowerment at all. Your agents must be able to take action …

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The Stay Interview: A Powerful Retention Tool

The best contact centers continually work on the root causes of turnover. There are many common causes of turnover, such as insufficient development opportunities, pace of effort required, feeling of not being appreciated, the list goes on. What is most important in retention efforts is determining what is important to each individual employee on your team. One powerful tool in …

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Improving Performance: Two Types of Standards

The cornerstone of an effective quality observation process is documenting specific, observable behaviors and tailoring coaching accordingly. An effective way to consider performance (quality) standards is to categorize them as either “foundation” or “finesse.” Foundation standards measure whether something was done, and can be assessed with a simple yes or no. For example, the agent uses their name in the …

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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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Empower Your Workforce to Fix Things for Customers

Real-time management is often viewed as a matter of responding to workload quantities. What’s often missed in these discussions is how to respond to the nature of the workload. If it’s heavy, there usually are underlying issues driving it. You can throw all the resources at it that you want, but if your organization isn’t prepared to handle the content …

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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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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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