Clarifying customer experience responsibilities

An insurance company was eager to improve customer experience. They knew what was frustrating their customers, but customer satisfaction scores were stuck. They weren’t moving in the right direction. After speaking with their associates, I observed that everyone was being held responsible for customer experience at a general level, but it wasn’t clear how they were expected to support the …

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Principle #7: Skills, Knowledge and Leadership Make the Difference

What’s the real secret to improving performance? Build the skills, knowledge and leadership in your team to make it all happen. That, along with the right culture and focus, is the secret sauce. Organizations are made up of people with myriad personalities, backgrounds and skills. Success depends on creating an engaging environment and bringing out the best in everyone who …

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Motivating Your Team: The Role of Rewards and Incentives

Successful leaders put their efforts into creating an environment in which their team members’ intrinsic motivators can flourish. However, rewards and incentives, which are extrinsic motivators, can be effective, and a fun supplement to your efforts to create and support an intrinsically motivated culture. If you’re considering a team-based reward incentive initiative, this video has some important recommendations. Learn more …

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Principle #6: Improvements Must Be Ongoing

You face many choices when deciding where and how to improve the customer experience. And possibilities multiply when analyzing customer data from sources that range from social media posts to surveys to operational metrics. Which issues do you tackle first? Here are eight criteria that can help you make that decision: SAFETY: Customer safety should always be the top priority. …

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Creating Customer Advocates

Connecting with advocates doesn’t happen by accident. You need a plan, and a person or a team who’s responsible. And they should be collaborating with and part of the same efforts you’re putting into motion internally to improve customer experiences. Connecting and engaging with advocates is a strategic decision. It takes leadership to define its importance, and how you’ll approach …

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Principle #5: Customer Service Initiatives Can Lead to Significant Strategic Value

Customer service initiatives have enormous potential to improve customer experience and boost strategic value. For example, customer service can provide the broader organization with powerful insight on customers, products, services and processes. When this information is captured, identified, assimilated and turned into usable knowledge, it can literally transform an organization’s ability to identify and meet customer expectations. I love discovering …

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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 …

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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

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Principle #2: Quality and Access to Service Work Together

In customer experience, when service is required, quality of service and access to it are inextricably associated with, and complementary to, each other. Accessibility is an enabler. When customers wait too long, they will often verbalize their criticisms when they finally do reach an employee. Valuable time is spent apologizing and delivering service takes more time. Employee burnout can increase. …

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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 …

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