Execute a Voice of the Customer Strategy

Feedback from customers and employees is like oxygen. Your organization must have it to survive and thrive. Whether you’re a print shop with three employees, a government agency with 3,000, or a multinational company with 300,000, you need a strategy to fully leverage feedback. Voice of the customer, or VOC, is the term often used to describe this process. In …

Continue Reading >

Embarking on new customer experience initiatives? Avoid common pitfalls

“75% of customer experience initiatives fail!” That’s a sensational headline. And one, even with a modest search of cases and literature, you’ll see often (in fact, estimates go as high as 93 percent). My question is, if your focus on customer experience fails, what’s the alternative? Not focusing on customer experience? That just doesn’t make sense. Really, your organization has …

Continue Reading >

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 …

Continue Reading >

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 …

Continue Reading >

Understanding customer expectations

An important part of customer service leadership is understanding what customers want, and ensuring your delivery and experiences meet their expectations. But what do customers expect? How are those expectations changing? This video from my LinkedIn Learning course “Customer Service Leadership” explores customer expectations and how you can shape services that truly meet the needs of your customers. Understanding customer …

Continue Reading >

Practice seeing things from your customer’s perspective

The most successful leaders are uneasy with depending on data alone to tell them what’s happening. They take steps to put themselves in their customers’ shoes. They want to deeply understand and experience the organization— and its products, employees and competitors—as customers do. I agree. Get out there and see what’s happening firsthand. Make it a habit. Learn as much …

Continue Reading >

Traits of Customer Advocacy Success

When implementing your own customer advocacy initiatives, it can be helpful to learn what was worked well for others. This video explores ways organizations have structured their advocacy programs and five traits of successful initiatives. The video is from my LinkedIn Learning Course Customer Advocacy. Traits of successful customer advocacy initiatives from Customer Advocacy by Brad Cleveland

Continue Reading >

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 …

Continue Reading >

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 …

Continue Reading >

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 …

Continue Reading >