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Latest "Customer Confidence" Posts

My wife and I were on the phone with our bank. They take care of our checking accounts and credit cards for our entire family, and we were having a problem transferring money from one account to another.

The frustration began with fifteen minutes of hold time. Once the customer service representative came on the call, Cindy briefly described the problem. The rep asked a number of security questions, which included her full name, address, where she was born, mother’s maiden name, social security number and driver’s license number. While more than the usual questions, I understand they are for our protection. That said, the entire interaction, including fifteen minutes spent on hold waiting for the rep, was now approaching twenty minutes and thus far nothing had been resolved. Continue reading

Last week United Airlines had a computer outage that lasted two and a half hours and caused 200 flight delays and six cancellations. Keep in mind, this wasn’t a single unhappy customer complaining to a gate agent at the airport. This situation involved thousands of people who were inconvenienced. I would describe a two plus hour delayed flight as a Moment of Misery™. Continue reading

wow-me-with-little-things-and-detailsLast week I wrote about the Un-WOW. After a number of comments from our readers, I want to discuss how, when and where you can WOW your customers. I’ve always been concerned with a company that tells me that they want to consistently WOW their customers. Like perfection is not reality, the concept of consistently WOWing customers is a lofty, if not impossible goal to achieve. Let me quickly recap my position on WOW. Continue reading

Start Over From The BeginningCustomer Opportunity

Just last week I wrote an article about companies that ask customers to repeat their problems, account numbers and more. So consider this a follow-up to that article that approaches the subject from a completely different angle. For example, getting transferred from one customer service representative to the next and having to repeat the issue. Or when a customer is asked to use the touchpad on their phone to type in their account number, only to be asked for the same number when the customer support representative finally connects with the customer. Continue reading

Don't Lie to a CustomerCustomer Experience

We had a reservation Friday night at a restaurant for 7:30. We arrived on time, if not a few minutes early. There were two tables that were available, right in the middle of the restaurant. However, the hostess was looking in other parts of the restaurant. I pointed at one of the open tables and asked if we could sit there. She said, “No. That table is for six people.” Maybe I can’t count, but from what I could tell, the table was set for four in the middle of restaurant that was jammed with tables. There was no way they could put six chairs around it. So, I asked her how she could put six chairs around that table. She thought for a moment and decided to change her story. She said, “Actually that table is being held on request for a party coming in with an 8:00 reservation.” Continue reading

Creating Confidence Through ServiceI recently interviewed Nate Skinner, the VP of Customer Care for Campaign Monitor, a company that helps businesses use email to market their businesses. It was for one of my Forbes columns, Seven Ways to Use Email to Build Your Brand and Create a Better Customer Experience.

In the process of the interview, I asked Nate about his favorite customer service story. Without hesitating he told me about Jordan, one of Campaign Monitor’s sales and support reps, from Minneapolis. As I listened to Nate tell the story, it was obvious that he was proud of how Jordan stepped up and reinforced one of the most important reasons a customer does business with a company… Confidence! Continue reading

Nice Service or Flawless ExecutionCreate Confidence

We all know what bad customer service looks and feels like. We hate the customer service rep that is just going through the motions without any sincere care for the customer. We try to avoid the employee with an attitude (a bad one) that doesn’t understand that his or her job is to help ensure the customer wants to come back the next time he or she needs whatever it is the company sells. We all have stories of why we won’t go back to a place of business. Continue reading

One Minute LateCreate Confidence

Vince Lombardi is the famous football coach, known for a number of amazing accomplishments as well as always being on time, if not early. It’s the being on time part of what he’s known for that we’ll be covering in today’s customer service lesson. Continue reading

Fortune Teller Predicts DeliveryEasy Customer Experience

“Set it, and forget it!” Those are the words of Ron Popeil, one of the greatest pitchmen on the planet, known for inventing and selling the Chop-O-Matic hand food processor, the Veg-O-Matic (that he said can slice a tomato so thin it only has once side), the Ronco Pocket Fisherman and many other inventions. His Showtime Rotisserie and BBQ sold over 8 million units and helped his company to exceed $1 billion in profits. (Wikipedia)

One of the lines he made famous was, “Set it, and forget it,” referring to just putting the chicken in the rotisserie and having it come out perfect every time. And, that is the lead in to this week’s customer service lesson. Continue reading

Negative Review Happy DanceOnline Customer Reviews

Nobody is perfect. And, no company is perfect. It’s not a matter of if you will ever have a customer complain. It’s when. Something is going to fail. It may or may not be your fault or in your control, but you are going to hear about it. And there is a chance that your customer will tell more people than just you. They will shout it out to the rest of the world by airing their disappointment on Twitter, Facebook or other social channels. Or they will post their comments on Yelp, Trip Advisor or other review sites. And don’t think that this is limited to just B2C types of businesses. There are hundreds of B2B industry review sites for customers to leave their negative reviews. Continue reading

Policy Manual Out the WIndowAs I travel the world and work with clients from all types of industries, they all recognize the importance of customer service and the role it plays in marketing, sales, growth and revenue. I continue to push my philosophy:

Customer service is not a department. It’s a philosophy to be embraced by every member of an organization, from the CEO to the most recently hired. Continue reading

Refund With a SmilePositive CX

Every business has returns. It doesn’t matter if you’re B2B or B2C. Returns are inevitable. The industry that probably has the most returns is retail. It’s just a fact. Beyond defective merchandise, which happens in any type of business, someone won’t like that sweater you picked out. Someone has no use for that gadget you thought he or she would love. You get the idea. So, just count on it. It’s going to happen. The question is, how well will you or your business handle it? Continue reading

Second Chance for Loyalty

Customer Service Lesson

I arrived to check in at one of my favorite New York City hotels, only to be disappointed that the hotel was under extensive renovation. Instead of walking into a beautiful lobby, a sanctuary from the hustle and bustle on the street, I experienced unfinished construction and the smell of sawdust and paint. Their cool and trendy bar that was usually packed with “beautiful people,” was temporarily cut down to about a quarter of its size with very few customers.   Continue reading

Customer SuccessCustomer Service Culture

In the past year or so we’ve seen the word customer success used by a number of forward thinking companies. Is this just another fancy name for customer service? Maybe it’s an updated way of a company saying, “We’re here for you when you need us. We want you to be successful.” While those loose definitions sound great, the official meaning of the term, in today’s business environment, is quite different from what we think of as traditional customer service. Continue reading

Customer Loyalty Month 2015Even though every April is Customer Loyalty Month, it doesn’t matter when you are taking in this information. Customer Loyalty Month is simply a time to remember how important it is to show a little love to your customers. The reality is that it should be practiced every month, every week, every day – in other words, with every interaction you have with your customers. Continue reading

Customer Service SpeakerIncrease Customer Confidence

It’s easy to build trust when you have the opportunity to connect with customers in person. You can look into their eyes, read their expressions, and interact at a more personal level. Even on the phone you can listen to a customer’s tone of voice and react accordingly. But, building trust online is a different story; not necessarily more difficult. Just different. Continue reading