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Latest "App" Posts

What if your customers said they would be willing to pay you twice what you normally charge? All they want in return is an amazing customer service experience.

Really? That’s it? That’s all they want? We already give great customer service. This will be a piece of cake! (Or, will it?) Continue reading

It drives me a little crazy when I receive an advertisement in the mail from my cable TV or phone company offering me an incentive to sign up with them. First, I’m already a customer and can’t understand why they can’t figure that out. Second, why is the price they are offering a new customer lower than what I’m currently paying? Continue reading

I recently planned a small two-day meeting for about 25 people. This was the second year for this meeting. The previous year we had stayed at a hotel that did a magnificent job of taking care of us. After that meeting, I talked to our sales rep and mentioned that if they repeated the contract we signed for that first year, we would most likely come back. And, we did. Continue reading

Sometimes, the most common-sense customer service tips are the most important.

A while back, I was talking to my lawyer about the “client service” I experience from him and his firm. It was evident that he was truly interested in my feedback. My response was simple. “I just have one complaint. I wish you would respond quicker to my phone calls and emails.”   Continue reading

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been reading about predictions and trends for 2018. It got me thinking about the actions we must take to be competitive. Regardless of your industry, everything has changed about the way we do business. There are some businesses that claim they’ve done things the same way for years, decades, even a century. They claim they do business just as their fathers and grandfathers did. Nothing has changed. I disagree. Continue reading

The other night, I was out with some friends. We were at a well-known place, listening to music and relaxing. One of my friends said she wanted something chocolate, so she ordered a piece of chocolate cake. A few minutes later it arrived, and she took her first bite. You could tell by looking at her facial expression that she was not happy. She said it tasted very dry. Not what she expected. So, I tried a bite. She wasn’t kidding. It was worse than dry. It tasted like chocolate flavored sawdust. Continue reading

Here is a sobering statistic. According to the Five9 Customer Index 2017 report, 77% of customers in the B2C space will not do business with you again if you give them bad customer service the first time they do business with you. This is huge. That means that more than three-quarters of your customers will not give you a second chance if you don’t give them the customer experience they expect the first time around. Now, while the survey is focused on retail and consumers, don’t be fooled into thinking someone in the B2B space is exempt. The numbers are different, but the concept is valid for any business in any industry. Continue reading

For many years, I’ve shared the concept I call the One Thing Question. The idea is to ask a customer, “What’s one thing you can think of that would make doing business with us better?”

I love this question because it’s all about how a company can improve in virtually any area. Some customers might suggest product improvements. Some might suggest a way to improve the system. Some might share an idea of how to deliver better customer service. Every time a customer gives a thoughtful answer to this question, they are giving you a gift. Continue reading

It’s holiday time! What a joyous time of year!

And, then there is the holiday shopping experience… This is how I see it. I get in my car. About a mile from the mall I begin to experience heavier-than-usual traffic. Not just a little heavier, but sometimes it seems like worse than rush hour. Is there an accident? No, there’s a traffic jam at the mall. Once I’m at the mall, I experience the search for the parking spot. Then there’s the crowded stores, the lines to check out, and then the reverse commute to get home. Continue reading

“It’s Showtime!” Those are typically the words you hear right before hitting the stage or when the cameras start to roll in the studio. However, for John Lewis, a high-end retail department store in the UK, the retail floor is the stage and the employees are the actors. Continue reading

One of my colleagues in the speaking business, Bob Wendover, sent in this amazing story – and it’s not amazing in a good way.

For years, the cable industry has unfortunately been one of those industries that finds itself in the bottom echelon of customer service rankings. While I believe the industry is making an effort to do better, and some companies are definitely becoming more customer-focused, it’s this kind of story that makes me wonder if they are going about it the right way. Continue reading

It’s almost a given that every company has some form of a customer service department. Even the smallest companies – with just one solo entrepreneur – will act as if they have a customer service department. Why do people reach out to the customer service department? Because they need help, have a question, or want to make a complaint. Continue reading

It happens all the time. As a customer, you interact with good people who don’t seem to deliver great customer service. They are nice, even knowledgeable, but they don’t seem to be what I call customer focused.

So, I took a few minutes to talk to several people about how they were trained. I talked to a retail salesperson, a flight attendant, and a server at a restaurant. I asked them what kind of customer service training they received from the companies they worked for. Continue reading

I was out to lunch with a colleague at one of our local St. Louis restaurants. Rico was our waiter and was taking great care of us. First came the bread and butter. He then took our drink order. He came back with our drinks and asked if we were ready to order lunch. We were. My friend ordered a Caesar salad with chicken.

Rico asked my friend if he wanted the croutons left off the salad. My friend was surprised by the question and responded, “Yes. How did you know?”

And, I wondered the same thing. How did Rico know?  It turns out the answer was simple. He was very observant. He noticed that my friend hadn’t touched the bread and butter. He assumed, and correctly so, that my friend was staying away from bread. And just to make sure, he asked. Continue reading

Many people think of customer service as a department. If you’ve been following me, you’ll know my belief is that customer service is a philosophy, not a department. It should be embraced by every employee, regardless of their job and how long they’ve been there. With that said, the focus on this topic is on what many consider to be the customer service and support department – the people who have contact and interaction with the customer. Continue reading

So, the other day I’m flying to a speaking engagement. While waiting for my flight to board I bought a yogurt parfait. After paying for it, I looked for a spoon. There were knives and forks, but no spoons. The little compartment next to the knives and forks was empty. I asked the cashier if they had any spoons. He pointed to where they weren’t. I told him they were out, and in an effort to get rid of me, he suggested that I could go to the restaurant next door and ask them for a spoon. Continue reading

National Customer Service Week is coming up the first week in October. This is a time to appreciate employees for doing a great job taking care of customers. There are many ways companies are celebrating. Everything from an employee appreciation event, like a lunch or dinner, to fun games that are about team building and comradery. And, of course, there is showing some love and appreciation to your customers. Continue reading