Shep Hyken\'s Customer Service Blog

Posts tagged "customer service training"

Winter travel can be stressful with the concern of weather-related delays and cancellations. On a recent trip that had a connecting flight, I was notified the night before that my first flight was going to be delayed, which made me worry about missing my connection. I called the airlines and they suggested changing my connecting flight to a later one, which I was happy to do. Even though the flight was later, I would still arrive in time for my meeting. The customer service agent was happy to accommodate my request. 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

National Customer Service WeekCelebrate your Customer

In 1984 the International Customer Service Association started National Customer Service Week as a way to recognize and reward those people and companies focused on customer service. In 1992 President George Bush signed a proclamation declaring that the first week of October would be National Customer Service Week, making it “official.” Continue reading

Customer Service Fails

The Wrong Way to Help a Customer - Low ResLast week a major cable and Internet provider made “headline” news when a customer recorded a call to the company’s customer service center.  All the customer wanted to do was terminate his service.

The customer service agent proceeded to ask questions as to why the customer would want to disconnect.  The agent made statements about this company being the best at what they do and providing the best price.  Continue reading

customer-service-trainingDelivering Great Customer Service

Just because an employee understands what it means to deliver great customer service, doesn’t mean that he or she is able to deliver it.

As I talk to many different companies about how they build an organization that is customer-focused, many of them start with the hiring process.  You have to hire people that already understand customer service and that are capable of delivering it.  That’s the human side of customer service. Continue reading

customer-service-strategyAmazing customer service doesn’t happen by accident. It happens on purpose.

I recently posed the following question to a group of business owners at the International Franchise Association convention: How do you ensure a great customer service experience for your customers?

There were some commonalities among the answers. Even with the diverse collection of businesses, from quick serve restaurants to online businesses, most of them agreed that good customer service starts with people. Continue reading

This is the final blog in a series of ten frequently asked questions and answers about customer service. Please feel free to share your answer or comments to these questions.

As you may already know, I asked subscribers to my newsletter (The Shepard Letter) to send in their most important customer service questions. Thus, I have created this list of 10 frequently asked questions. A large percentage of the questions that came in focused on employee engagement, and I have already posted this list once. That is how important employee engagement is! So, how do you get employees engaged in your process, beliefs, mission, vision, etc.? Continue reading

This is the ninth in a series of ten frequently asked questions and answers about customer service. Please feel free to share your answer or comments to these questions.

What suggestions do you have to start a customer service program?

Again, I could write a book on this one question. Actually I have – a few of them! Seriously, I want to give you a simple answer. Go to the website www.CultOfTheCustomer.com. Download the forms and exercises. You will see the links on the left side of the page. These downloads are free. Take a look at the Touch Points Chain exercise. This exercise will help you identify the interactions you have with your customers.

A “Touch Point” is any point of interaction you have with a customer. There are several follow-up exercises that will help you develop strategies to enhance these “touch points.” This is a simple, effective and inexpensive way to get you thinking about how the customer perceives you and your company. Don’t be fooled by the simplicity. You could spend a day or more strategizing over the answers to these exercises.

Please share with us your answer or comments to the above question. Thank you!

Shep Hyken is a customer service expert,  professional  speaker and New York Times bestselling business author. For information contact (314) 692-2200 or https://www.hyken.com. For information on The  Customer  Focus™ customer service training programs go to http://www.thecustomerfocus.com/. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken
(Copyright ©MMXII, Shep Hyken)

This is the seventh in a series of ten frequently asked questions and answers about customer service. Please feel free to share your answer or comments to these questions.

What happens if a customer just isn’t being reasonable?

That happens. Sometimes customers aren’t reasonable. Sometimes it seems that no matter what you offer to do, the customer isn’t going to be happy. One technique we teach is to reverse the situation. This has to be set up properly. Ask the customer, “If you were me, working for this company, and I came to you with this situation, what would you do for me?” Ask the customer to be realistic. Remind him/her that you’re reversing roles. If it has gotten to this point you have probably already shared ideas or alternative solutions.

In the end, the customer may not be reasonable. Ask yourself, “Is this a customer worth keeping.” If so, do what you have to do. If not, this may be a good time to nicely help them learn about other options for getting what they want – such as the competition.

Please share with us your answer or comments to the above question. Thank you!

Shep Hyken is a customer service expert,  professional  speaker and New York Times bestselling business author. For information contact (314) 692-2200 or www.hyken.com. For information on The  Customer  Focus™ customer service training programs go to www.thecustomerfocus.com. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken
(Copyright ©MMXII, Shep Hyken)

Last week Starbucks closed down their stores – all of their stores in North America – that’s approximately 7,000 stores – for a three hour period. Why? Because Howard Schultz, the CEO, wanted to do a special training for all of the employees on how to make that perfect cup of coffee. That coupled with some customer service training made for a powerful three hour session. Mr. Schultz wanted his people to get back to basics and make sure they understood that the root of their basic product success is a great cup of coffee and outstanding customer service. Continue reading

I just had a problem with my computer monitor. It intermittently was creating all kinds of interesting colors. As cool as it looked, it wasn’t good for reading what was on the monitor. I called the manufacturer, who is known for customer service. It took an hour of time as we talked to four people to finally get to a person who could help, and by that time the screen had returned to normal. The person said they would like to help us with our problem, but we would have to call back when the screen was acting up. We were frustrated, to say the least. Continue reading