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How to Keep a Customer Service Program Alive

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? 

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Keeping the Experience Alive and Vital

Many companies have had a formal customer experience program in place for many years. They have accumulated thousands, and in some cases, hundreds of thousands of interviews. Employees have completed training, and new technologies have been implemented to improve the customer experience. Among our long-time clients, all have a customer experience that is superior to what it was in the past. As I work with these clients, I have had several discussions about how to keep their program both fresh and effective. I want to outline some suggestions that can help keep the feedback component of your program alive and well:

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Rethinking Risk in Customer Experience Improvement

Over the past few years, we undertook 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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Employees, Customer Service and the Connection

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. 

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How Much Does a Follow Up Call Matter?

A friendly smile. A welcoming voice over the phone. Someone who makes an extra effort to make sure you are pleased. These things matter in customer experience, but since many of these “little things” are in the eye of the beholder, it is difficult to know just how much impact they have. Did you know there is one simple thing you can do that will improve your customer experience score?


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Service Quality and Sales Growth: Another Connection

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).

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How to Build Emotionally Positive B2B Customer Experiences.

I serve on the Board of Directors of a commercial construction company.  At our last meeting, we had a discussion about the increasing competitiveness of the industry and what strategies might be appropriate to differentiate further the company.  Management was talking about the increasing trend where a commercial construction company is viewed as a commodity.  Whoever can provide the lowest price, meet the quality standards, and hit the completion date wins the bid.

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Is a fantastic product alone enough for true success?

A fantasic product will only take you so far to success. I have argued that a strategy based mainly on product differentiation; without considering other aspects of a customer’s journey, is not a robust strategy for the long run. 

Why? 

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Do Your Customers Trust You?

It is a question not often formally asked of customers. The response to this question is assumed. “Customers trust us. Why else would they do business with us?” However, it is a question you should consider asking your customers based on our experiences. Their responses may surprise you and may also make a difference to your company’s bottom (and top) line.

Trust and Loyalty: What’s The Connection?

Intuitively, managers know that it is better to have customers that trust them more than less. Since trust, we think, is derived from experiences customers have with a supplier, I want to identify those areas that are critical to enhancing the level of a customer’s trust in your company.

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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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