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Reimagining the Customer Experience at our Annual Client Conference

The Daniel Group just wrapped up our seventh annual Client Conference last week.  It was an excellent opportunity to connect with clients and share ideas and best practices. 

This year, we wanted to shake things up a bit and the first thing we did was to select a unique and inspiring location.

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The B2B Sales Rep.: 3 Ways to Increase Customer Loyalty

With all the talk of social media and its importance in marketing and lead development, sometimes the importance and value of the sales representative in the B-to-B environment are overlooked. This concept was reinforced to me this week while working on a project for a client.

We conduct product delivery surveys for this client, and these surveys are designed to measure customer satisfaction with the product and their sales process. Our client, like many, has a network of dealers that sell and support their products to the end-user. They wanted to know which of the questions on the survey were most strongly correlated with overall satisfaction and likelihood to recommend.

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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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Is the NPS Measurement Still Relevant?

A few days ago I typed the following question into Google; “Is NPS® still relevant?”  Somewhat surprisingly, Google found 3.2 million results.  Apparently, NPS® remains a hot topic in the customer experience community.

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The State of Customer Service - A View from the Road

When you are out and about or even on vacation, do you observe the customer service you receive? What are your thoughts about the customer you receive every day?

I just spent the last seven weeks traveling in an RV with my wife visiting clients and prospects. Given what we do as a firm, I always pay attention to customer service I receive most anywhere. As we drove through the upper Midwest, I kept my eyes and ears open.  Here are some of my observations:

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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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"The Great Experience, But" Problem

Is your company missing opportunities by assuming “everything’s fine” with customers who rated their purchase or service experience a 9- or 10-out-of-10?

While all may indeed be well with many of your 9 and 10 customers, a surprising number of them may fall into the “great experience, but” category.

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Effortless Customer Experiences Aren’t Possible Without This Key Ingredient

Imagine for a moment you run a package delivery business.  Now picture what the most effortless customer experience might look like.

I’m willing to guess your vision includes a simple, mobile friendly online system for customers to schedule pickup, track delivery, and pay.  Just push a button.  Consider it done.

I’m also willing to guess your vision doesn’t include the customer inspecting every inch of your delivery van, then insisting to drive it.  That’s your job, right?!

Yet this is what happens when trust is lacking in a business relationship.  If your customers do not trust you, their experience will be far from effortless.

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What It Takes to Make a Loyal Customer

I recently had the opportunity to visit one of our client's service and sales location.  I particularly wanted to meet the team at this agricultural equipment dealer because of their sound performance on our survey program.  After spending several hours there, I came away with several observations.

First, they have designed their processes to actually serve customers.  Second, employees appeared quite engaged in what they were doing.  Lastly, there was a palpable sense of pride in what they were doing.  The visit provided many insights into how to deliver excellent customer service.

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Improving the Customer Experience: One Way to Do It

A few days ago, a client shared with me how they had improved their customer service over a period of a year.  Their NPS score improved over 20 points over the 12 month period.  What they did was seemingly simple but took a lot of discipline. 

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