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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Principle #1: Quality Must Be Based on Customer Needs and Expectations

The need to identify and address customer expectations stems from a widely accepted principle: improvements in customer experience lead to increased customer loyalty, better business results and a stronger brand reputation. Consider the old adage about building the best-quality horse buggy in town: it doesn’t matter if no one wants it. A lesser-known but similarly powerful principle is also at …

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The Leadership Secret to Effective Coaching

In the most engaged teams I’ve seen, there are solid coaching principles at work. But the ultimate leadership secret is to approach training, coaching and performance standards as opportunities to empower your employees to coach themselves. Learn more about how to encourage self-coaching in this video “Coaching for Improved Performance” from my LinkedIn Learning course Customer Service: Motivating Your Team. …

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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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Knowing Your Customers

How do you know what a customer needs? If you mention customer advocacy and pose that question many executives will say, “Well they tell us, right?” I think they picture a frustrated customer across the counter or perhaps calling or posting a message that describes a problem. But there’s so much more to it. The video below from the LinkedIn …

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Quality Standards: As many as you need, but as few as possible

Can you have too much of a good thing? Well that can certainly be true with quality standards. If you have way too many, your team will become numb to them. My recommendation is to establish as many quality standards as you need, but as few as possible. In one of my recent LinkedIn Learning Courses, “Quality Standards in Customer …

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Quality and First-Contact Resolution: From the Agent’s Perspective

Quality and first contact resolution are essential aspects of effective service. Handling contacts with quality is at the heart of a customer service agent’s role in the organization. First contact resolution is an outcome of quality, really an extension. Better quality minimizes repeat calls and rework, and customers double-checking because they lack confidence. The time the customer spends with you …

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The Best-Managed Contact Centers: #3 – They Know that Their People Are the Key to Success

Cultures vary dramatically from one organization to the next. You’d likely notice some hairstyles that you don’t see every day at some tech contact centers. Some centers who cater to a younger workforce have break room amenities, such as video game consoles, that put most others to shame. Other centers, especially those who serve business customers, maintain a somewhat more …

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