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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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A Simple Question: Did We Take Care of Everything to Your Satisfaction Today?

Yesterday, a manager at one of our clients, Wagner Equipment (www.wagnerequipment.com), shared a new program they are implementing to improve the customer experience.  When a transaction is finished with a customer the frontline employee asks the customer, “Did we take care of everything to your satisfaction today?”  They are prominently displaying posters in all of their locations to remind customers that if they are not asked this question, they get a hat courtesy of Wagner.  Wagner wants to encourage customers to let them know of any unresolved issues that they can solve. 

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The Value-Added Distributor: Present and Future

In many business-to-business markets, value-added distributors are used to get products to the end-user. Well-known companies such as Grainger, Fastenal, and Ferguson Supply are examples of distributors that offer a broad range of products to a wide variety of industries. Such companies are typically non- or low-valued added distributors. They stock inventory from a variety of suppliers, market it to the end customer and typically provide product delivery.

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On Turning 25

I am not talking about me turning 25, as that happened many more years ago than I care to remember.  Our company, The Daniel Group, started business 25 years ago this past September.  We are having a celebration with our employees to mark the occasion.

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What a Difference Attitude Makes!

My wife and I like to travel by RV when possible.  It is a great way to see the US and Canada as well as visit clients. Our RV is an Airstream Interstate.  It is a great vehicle but a bit small for extended trips.  We have begun tentatively exploring other options.  We are looking for something a bit larger but not too large.  A bit like the three bears: not too big; not too small; but just the right size.

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Customer Service Metrics and Customer Sentiment

Companies working to improve customer service pay a lot of attention to the metrics.   It doesn’t matter what metric you use (NPS, Overall Satisfaction, Ease of Use) they get a lot of attention.  Well, they should because metrics provide a way to measure, at least directionally, whether your service is improving, declining or simply holding its own.  Too often, the metrics are only part of the story.  The comments from customers provide details that help improve service.  Let me share a couple of examples.

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What We Say About Our Brand May Not Resonate with Our Customers

I read with great interest a summary of research done by McKinsey. It appeared in the October 2013 issue of the McKinsey Quarterly.  Let me share a bit of what I learned from this and discuss implications for business-to-business companies.

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Why Customer Service Matters Now More than Ever

I recently spoke at the Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association, or MHEDA, Parts and Service Conference.  It was an amazing time and a vast amount of information was exchanged to the benefit of all the attendees.  I would like to thank MHEDA for the opportunity and I can’t wait to do it again.

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The Art of Theft

I have read a bunch of self-help styled books.  As a young man just joining a business you tend to want to find your own direction or cause some sort of massive change for the benefit of everyone, looking for some validation for the education you have received or the opportunities given to you. So I decided to pick up a book called Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon about the art of theft.  I assumed that it would be like any other self-help or motivational book, albeit with a more interesting title, but I was so very wrong.

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Opinions on Customer Service are Always Changing

A friend sent me this research report called the “2012 Global Customer Service Barometer: Findings in the United States.”  The report for American Express has fascinating insights.

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