I have spoken with several clients over the past few weeks about how to “keep their customer service improvement process” moving forward and alive. They have been at it for several years and performance has plateaued. What were my ideas on getting new life into the program?Read More
I have written on several occasions about the need to focus on both the customer and employee when improving customer service. After a recent trip visiting clients I want to revisit the topic again.
A recent research project for a client opened our eyes to the impact that high-quality customer service has on growth. This client has used our transactional survey process for five years.
We compared the service growth over a four-year period by individual customer account with the responses from each customer account to the Net Promoter® question (willingness to refer).Read More
I recently toured a client’s impressive heavy equipment sales, parts and service facility and I had a realization during the tour, "Your employees are the engine of your company."
In the movie Finding Forrester, Sean Connery, playing reclusive writer William Forrester, advises a young friend that “the key to a woman’s heart is an unexpected gift, at an unexpected time”. Forrester’s friend, Jamal, acts on the advice and it works wonders.Read More
Imagine you ordered a cheeseburger. But as you prepare to dig in, you discover there is no cheese. Now you just have a burger. I recently spoke to a customer who had a “burger only” experience. He rented a backhoe and was ready to dig in at his construction site. But the bucket was loose and the dig was a disaster. You guessed it -- no cheese.Read More
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:Read More
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.Read More
I cannot say if customer service is, in general, improving or getting worse. The American Customer Satisfaction Index suggests that customer service improved until mid-2014 but has been trending downward since. It is probably growing in some industries and not in others. Personally, I am occasionally impressed with the service, but the service I receive is “adequate.” I give talks frequently, and I often start the presentation by asking who can recall a positively memorable service experience in the last few months. Typically, I will see a smattering of raised hands. If asked about unsatisfactory service experiences, the number of hands raised is usually far larger. Is Customer expectation changing or is consistency slipping?Read More
You receive a customer feedback survey and on the “likelihood to recommend,” question she responded with an "8". In the NPS* scoring scheme, she is a passive customer. When the interviewer asked why she gave the rating, her response was “I do not score higher than that as there is always room for improvement” and the survey comments do not provide any clues about her rating.Read More