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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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A Customer Service Surprise in Healthcare

It is easy to write about the unimpressive customer service experiences as subpar customer service is more the norm than the exception.  In this post, I would like to share a customer service experience that was quite pleasant even though the situation in which it was delivered is not where you typically find great service, healthcare.

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Making Customer Service a Big Deal

I could write a lot about why it is important to make customer service a big deal.  I have done posts in the past on this subject and will do more in the future.  A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of visiting a client that has come up with an approach that is helping the company deliver great customer service.

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Okuma America Implements ServiceConnect to Improve Customer Service

I am pleased to announce that Okuma America Corporation has implemented ServiceConnect by The Daniel Group.  ServiceConnect is a proven way to measure, manage, and improve customer service.  For more information, click here for the press release.

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Western States: Values and Customer Service

We are pleased to have Western States as a client.  This dealer provides Caterpillar construction, power systems and truck products and services and agricultural equipment (AGCO) and services to Idaho and portions of four other surrounding states.  They are noted for providing good customer service and are working to make it even better. 

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Common Customer Experience Pain Points

A recent article in Consumer Reports caught my attention.  The article, entitled "What's Wrong With Customer Service?" shared some interesting findings from their own research.  Keep in mind, this mostly applies to a business-to-consumer environment but many of the messages apply to the business-to-business world as well. 

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The Art of Admitting Failure and Creating Balance in Business

The Harvard Business Review has had a series of articles on the importance of creating organizations that are willing to admit failure.  Included in this post is a link to a HBR blog post that I find quite interesting.  There are some great examples of how companies have used failure to fundamentally change and improve their businesses (e.g., Domino's Pizza and Ford Motor Company).  I want to take a slightly different approach in this blog and talk about creating cultures where there is a healthy balance between looking at failures and successes.

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Social Media--Should I Pay Attention?

If you are a manager in a business-to-business company you may wonder about the value of social media (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, etc.).  I do!  While I find value in some, others I find to be of questionable value in the industrial, business-to-business environment.  While there may not yet be proactive value to some of these tools there is a reactive value to which managers of any company should pay attention. 

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Happiness As a Strategy

I happened to hear an interview with Tony Hsieh, the CEO of online shoe retailer Zappos this week.  It was a fascinating interview and one worth listening to (the link is at the bottom of this blog).  Hsieh's belief is that if you get a company's culture right and happiness then other things such as great customer service, increasing sales and growing profits will take care of themselves. 

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Using Behavioral Science to Improve Customer Service

Over the years, I have read several articles on using what is known about human behavior to improve customer satisfaction.  I am surprised that more companies have not adopted this approach to create a better service experience.  Based on research done in a health care environment, a new article appearing in the McKinsey Quarterly highlights how behavioral science can be effectively used to create better patient experiences.  While the research was conducted in healthcare, I suspect that many of these actions apply to some industries.  I want to translate some of their actions into what they may mean in an industrial service setting.

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