Doug Fowler

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5 Sales Tips for Navigating the B2B Buying Process

Much has recently been written about the digitization of sales and marketing.  One study by CEB Global found that by the time a customer engages with your sales team after performing initial research, a whopping 57% of the B2B purchase process is already done.

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How to Cut Out Customer Feedback Friction

Customer feedback is an essential ingredient for building better customer experiences, which help businesses survive and thrive.

Too often, though, feedback processes contain unnecessary friction, which causes customers to drop out of the process.

This is a lose-lose situation. The company is deprived of customer insights and customers waste their time.

Here’s the good news: By following a few simple steps, you can prevent or solve much of the friction in feedback processes. Before getting to those, though, let me share why I’m writing about this in the first place.

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Customer Experience KPI’s: Unintended Consequences (and How to Avoid Them)

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) can be invaluable in helping companies manage progress towards their goals. A KPI answers the question “Are we on track?” with a single metric. Put enough KPIs on a dashboard, and you’ve struck management gold: a snapshot of your business, distilled to a single page.

Applied to customer experience improvement efforts, KPIs can help businesses put actionable, “hard” metrics around what can otherwise be a “soft” topic. Just the ticket for aligning your efforts to become more customer centric. So, what’s not to love?

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5 Reasons to Make Thanksgiving a Habit

For those of us in the US, the Thanksgiving Day holiday is just a couple days away.  Millions are flying, driving, cleaning and cooking, all while trying to keep the wheels turning at work for another day or so.

The run-up to Thanksgiving is often busy, and for some it can feel overwhelming.  The Google search term “holiday stress” is up 60% in the past seven days alone.

With that in mind, why in the world would we want to make Thanksgiving a habit?!

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The 5 Emotions of Customer Surveys

Customer surveys can help companies measure customer loyalty and identify opportunities for operational improvement and innovation.  Done right, they leave customers feeling valued and your organization better equipped to serve them.

To give your business the best chance of running an effective survey, besides applying technical best practices it helps to know how the process may feel to members of your organization along the way.

Below are five common emotions we see our clients experience in the course of performing a customer survey, along with tips on how to manage them:

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Unsung Heroes of the Customer Experience: Your Back Office

Believe it or not, your non-customer facing employees, from Sales, Support to Finance, to Legal, are the foundation on which great customer experiences are built. Yet, too often, organizations don’t realize this, or they forget the importance of the support team until it’s too late and your customers begin leaving for your competitors.

If you work in a sales function, take a moment to read the story below and consider the importance of your support team. If you’re in support, take a moment to pat yourself on the back!

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Rethinking Risk in Customer Experience Improvement

This summer, we finished rewriting a major part of our customer portal software to make it easier to use.

It took a lot of time, money, nights and weekends, and we ran into our fair share of bugs and headaches along the way.

After we had launched the update, I thought “rewrites aren’t for the risk averse!”

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How to Stop Playing Customer Service Whack-a-Mole

Whack-a-Mole is hilariously fun at first, yet it quickly becomes tedious and repetitive.  Just imagine having to play it for a living.  If you manage a customer facing team or function, that’s what you may feel you’re doing when dealing with customer service issues.  You run from one problem to the next, stopping just long enough to apologize or extend a goodwill credit before dashing to the next fire.

If you’d like to stop playing customer service whack-a-mole, consider using “continuous improvement,” a management method made common by Toyota and other manufacturing companies to help identify, fix, and prevent production errors.  Continuous improvement works on customer issues, too.

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How to Respond Effectively to Success

If you found yourself scratching your head about the title of this post, you aren’t alone.  We often hear so much about how to respond effectively to our mistakes and failures but rarely do we hear about what we should do when we succeed.  Yet responding effectively to one success can greatly improve our odds of securing another.

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How “Underdogs” Can Use Weaknesses to Win

If your business has weaknesses which are hard to change, don’t try to wish them away.  Instead, use them to clarify and fuel your game plan for success.

Some of your weaknesses may have the potential to be used as strengths, and the rest can be used to sharpen your focus and lull your competitors into a false sense of superiority.

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