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Focus on the Customer, Not the Sale

Building a Customer Engagement Strategy That Lasts

Shep Hyken interviews Lou Gallagher, Consumer Engagement Specialist at Mitel. They discuss strategies for improving customer service, interaction, engagement and experience.


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Top Takeaways:

  • Become a partner to your customer. Work to solve your customers’ business needs without trying to make a sale.
  • When selling technology, focus on solutions and success instead of the technology. Identify business problems and needs before turning to technology.
  • Lose the mindset of customer service happening only in call centers and contact centers. Go broader, and think instead about consumer engagement and consumer interaction.
  • Technology has progressed rapidly, opening up new channels of communication. Companies must be ready to meet their customers on these new channels and provide a consistent consumer interaction experience.
  • Ideally, create an omnichannel communication experience. This allows you to communicate with customers across all channels using a single interface on the back end. This creates consistency, helps the agent provide better service and gives the customer a better experience.
  • Customers and companies alike should ask more open-ended questions when communicating with each other to facilitate a productive conversation. Customers should ask what that company is doing to understand their needs and entire journey.
  • Companies must ask themselves what their consumer engagement strategy is, whether or not it is holistic (stretching company-wide) and if it is truly customer-centric (instead of product- or sale-oriented).
  • As technology changes so quickly, be mindful of how you do and don’t adopt it. Don’t get too enamored with new tech and lose sight of the humans behind it—both your customers and employees.
  • Everyone in an organization has a positive or negative impact on the customer service and experience, not just the customer service department. It’s part of the company’s culture.


“First, we need to understand what the business needs are without talking about product. Lose the religion on product; gain the religion on the company’s success.”

“Ask what your consumer engagement strategy is and how holistic it is. Is it based on a product, technology or group within the organization—or is it based on your consumers? Look at it from your consumers’ point of view.”

“Everybody, in every organization, has positive and/or negative impact on consumer (customer) interaction. Consumer interaction is part of the culture.”


Lou Gallagher is a Consumer Engagement Specialist at Mitel. With over 35 years of experience as a business leader, business consultant, IT application developer and engineer, Lou has created customer engagement strategies that reduce cost and enhance CX.

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 communicate more effectively with my customers?
  2. How has COVID-19 affected the customer service world?
  3. What can I do to be a partner to my customers?
  4. How does technology support business decisions?
  5. How can I improve my customer service in times of change or crisis?

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