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Proactive Customer Service in Times of Change

Building Resilience into Your Customer Service Strategy for Today… and Beyond

Shep Hyken interviews Jonathan Lerner. They discuss how digital technologies can support employees in delivering outbound, proactive customer service that truly delights.

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Top Takeaways:

  • Optimism is a great trait in a leader—and a sense of humor doesn’t hurt, either!
  • In order to have a great customer experience, you must have a great employee experience that incorporates and is empowered by digital technology. Neither technology nor the human element should be sacrificed.
  • Prioritize adding proactive service to your CX strategy. This means incorporating strategies to fix problems before they occur.
  • Technology can help make agents more productive, efficient and effective by providing them the tools and capability to provide proactive service.
  • As a leader, you must find a way to get the two sides of your business (the employee side and the customer side) to meet and work in tandem. Technology can help create a better experience on both sides.
  • Take an outbound approach to customer service rather than an inbound one—that is, waiting for the customer to call you with a problem. Instead, take the opportunity to reach out to your customers first to provide support.
  • Times of hardship and crisis, while tragic, is also a great driver of change. We must embrace the changes and innovations that come during these times if we hope to keep moving forward.
  • The support world has operated primarily with voice technology. Moving forward, video could become the new voice in terms of customer support as customers and companies rely more on video technology.
  • When an issue occurs, it’s crucial to not only address it in the moment, but also create strategies for the future. Customers want solutions quickly, but you must also make a plan for if and when a similar problem arises down the line.
  • Focus on building resilience within your team and your organization. This will ensure you thrive today and can weather any changes to come.
  • The C-Suite must be open and accepting of the ideas of others—at the very least, they must be willing to listen. They also have to look at the people side and the numbers side of every issue. When pitching ideas to the C-Suite, make sure you present them with an ROI attached.


“Have a mindset of change. If you build resilience into your models and encourage that in your people, then you’re building the right fiber into your organization.”

“COVID-19 is a horrible development. It’s tragic. It’s heartbreaking. But it’s forcing change. People are now embracing ideas they knew were coming but were on the back burner for so long.”

“You can’t wait. Waiting for a customer to call with a problem does not delight or turn an experience into a revenue-generating opportunity. Enable an outbound experience.

“If you leave out the human element and your brand ambassadors, then you’ve missed the mark. If you’ve forgotten digital, then you’re behind.”

“Driving really brilliant customer experiences equals employee experience raised to a digital level. CX equals EX to the power of DX.”


Jonathan Lerner is the president of TTEC Digital. Prior to joining TTEC in 2019, he was senior vice president and general manager for Customer Engagement Solutions at Verint.

Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert, New York Times bestselling author, award-winning keynote speaker, and your host of Amazing Business Radio.

This episode of Amazing Business Radio with Shep Hyken answers the following questions … and more:

  1. How can I enable customer support agents to deliver better customer service?
  2. How do I find the balance between digital and human customer support?
  3. What is proactive customer service?
  4. How can I adapt in times of change?
  5. How can I improve my customer service?

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