Why Does Customer Service Matter?

Most companies want to increase the quality of their customer service – do you? Why do you?

Why do I ask?

Well, here’s the deal. Given most companies want to deliver better customer service, it seems like the right thing to want to do the same, right? I mean, imagine the response to a CEO who declares, “No! We’re not interested in delivering better customer service!” The reaction probably wouldn’t be positive. An interest in delivering better customer service seems like the right thing to do – but having good motives really does no good at all, unless you know why you’re motivated to change.

Defining and identifying the “why” will do wonders for your efforts.

All in all, why are you driven to improve your customer service?

When I’m consulting with companies over this question, they typically answer this question by regurgitating stats that I’ve given them. They know the bottom-line benefits of customer service improvements, so it’s easy for them to know why it’s important…but that isn’t really what I’m asking. I’m asking a much more personal question […]

By |August 27th, 2012|1 Comment

Connecting Employee Engagement and Customer Satisfaction

If you’ve read any of our material or downloaded our complimentary articles, you know by now that we believe there is a strong linkage between employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction. There has been an overwhelming amount of research on this connection and how it positively influences a company’s financial performance; however, it’s important to clarify that this link isn’t always linear. In other words, companies can inaccurately assume that by improving one, they’ll automatically improve both. So, they start with the easier option and wait for both situations to get better. This is the wrong way to go about it – let me explain.

It isn’t that easy. Just as exercising and eating healthy are two factors to losing weight, treating employees well and satisfying customers are two factors to driving success – but with that being said, if you just do one, the other won’t automatically change for the better. If you just eat well but never move your body, you won’t necessarily lose weight. And similarly so, if you just strive to satisfy your […]

By |August 23rd, 2012|Comments Off on Connecting Employee Engagement and Customer Satisfaction

Is the Customer Always Right?

Is the customer always right?

Isn’t this the inevitable question when it comes to customer service? It sure seems to be the case. But, here’s my take: if we’re asking that question, we’re not really concerned about customer service.

Just to prove my case – let me give an example and play both sides of the fence. Your business fixes sinks, and a customer calls to complain that the last rep didn’t clean up after fixing his faucet – yet, the rep claims she did. Does determining who’s right (the customer or the rep) really alter your response?

Let me first address those who answer: “Yes, it matters! If the customer is right, the employee needs to be reprimanded. And if the customer is wrong, I don’t want to blame an innocent employee for no reason.” All right, this is a valid point. However, there are two red flags about this argument (for me).

  • This reasoning revolves entirely around the employee. And although I think it’s great that you pay attention to how you’re treating your employees, your treatment […]
By |August 14th, 2012|Comments Off on Is the Customer Always Right?

A Continual Commitment to Superb Customer Service

Is great customer service a target you suddenly arrive at after years of experience, practice and research? Or is great customer service a commitment your business maintains consistently to reap the experience it wants? Is it the end or the means to reaching an end?

Excellent customer service is continuous. Constant. Persistent. Ongoing. Just like any commitment, you don’t maintain it for a temporary period of time – you dedicate yourself and your efforts to it, endlessly.

A lot of companies promise their customers a lot of things…the vow, the promise, the wedding so to say…companies entice their customers with all sorts of sweet nothings to lure them in the doors – but then what? Any company that’s good with words and charm can convince customers to give them a shot, but only companies that truly deliver will really win the hearts of those they aim to please. True loyalty breeds true loyalty. If you’re a leader, remember this: what you want your customers to give you, you must first offer them. You want them to be […]

By |August 5th, 2012|2 Comments

Clarity’s Effect on the Customer’s Experience

I’ve been writing about customer service lately – why it’s important and how to ensure you’re continually refining the experience you’re offering your customers. Today, my point is this: your customer either experiences clarity or confusion when it comes to your organization.

Many organizations think that it’s easiest to impress their customers by adding bells and whistles to their products and services – but it’s not that simple. In fact, that strategy is the opposite of simple. More often than not, “extras” confuse customers. And the more your customers have to figure out on their own to understand your product or service, the less likely they are to become loyal customers. The easier you make it on them, the quicker they’ll get the hang of it, catch onto it, and buy into it.

A product example of this is new gadgets. Although customers love knowing a lot of features are available if and when they decide they need them – the ease of use is essentially going to define whether or not the customer takes the bait. […]

By |July 17th, 2012|Comments Off on Clarity’s Effect on the Customer’s Experience

Quantifying the Quality of Your Customer Service

Measuring the quality of your customer service is a no-brainer, if you’re hoping to set a benchmark for your business. It’s easy to make blanket statements about the condition of your customer service – by saying, “it’s poor” or “it’s excellent.” But, if you don’t know the specifics driving each of these statements, you will have a hard time making improvements. (You will also have a hard time proactively recognizing when your service starts to deteriorate.)

You can’t know how to do better – if you don’t know what “better” means. It’s almost impossible to compare your business to competitors’ without some sort of measuring stick. This post is about solving that problem, answering that question: How do I quantify the quality of our company’s customer service?

#1. Define the Details of Your Process
Regardless of how you measure your customer service, you should decide upon certain details in advance.

 

  • Frequency: In order to benefit from the process, how often do you need to measure the quality of your customer service?
  • Follow-up: Before, during and after you measure, who is […]
By |July 15th, 2012|Comments Off on Quantifying the Quality of Your Customer Service

Vlog 16: The SuperSTAR Leadership Model: Good Boss Bad Boss Which One Are You?

How do you succeed as a leader? What do good bosses do that others don’t? Learn the 9 strategies of the SuperSTAR Leadership Model, and how to begin to achieve extraordinary performance gains for yourself and your team. Then take the complimentary SuperSTAR Leadership Assessment. See the box to your left, just add your first and last name, and email address for immediate access. Then buy our book to learn how to improve your skills. Click here.

By |June 14th, 2012|Comments Off on Vlog 16: The SuperSTAR Leadership Model: Good Boss Bad Boss Which One Are You?

The Customer Buying Process

To really explain the process a customer navigates as he/she makes a purchasing decision – we put together this diagram, which is followed by a detailed explanation of each part of the process. This outline is valuable information for anyone hoping to engage a consumer, for any salesperson hoping to make a sale, or for any manager that wants to sell an idea to his/her team. Study each step and get inside the customer’s mind.

Interest – Something engages the customer; something catches the customer’s attention. Maybe because they are actively searching for something in response to a need or perceived opportunity, or maybe they just connect with a well-positioned piece of information.

Need or Opportunity – Individually or with the help of outside influence, the customer “decides to pursue” a perceived priority. This may be an active decision to pursue a need or opportunity or it may be a passive open-mindedness that develops. The more positive expectation, curiosity or pain – the more motivation the customer will have to “know.”

Learning and Analysis – Customers move into […]

By |May 16th, 2012|1 Comment