empowering your team

No Appointment? No Protection.






  There is no “rule” in your dealership more harmful to your long-term success than that asinine, unwritten guideline that basically gives half the deal for any previous customer to the salesperson who sold them the last time. Ugh. I wrote “rule” in quotes, because this isn’t so much as rule as a copout on(…)






United Breaks Humans






Lots of you, whether you are a frequent flier or involved somehow in digital marketing and reputation management, are aware that United Breaks Guitars. That is, you’ve viewed the nearly 8-year old music video written, performed and produced by a band that claims they watched as United Airlines’ employees carelessly flung their guitars around the(…)






The Customer Experience Series: The 7 Traits of a Great CSR






  Wait, what’s a CSR again? CSR stands for Customer Service Representative. For some of you this might mean anyone who answers your phones. It might also mean everyone on your sales team. You see, any employee or manager on your frontlines should be solving customer service issues; and anyone who should be solving customer(…)






The Customer Experience Series: Ditch the Antiquated Call-Center Metrics!






  Okay, you’ve got an empowered customer service team, but their average call times are still too high! What the heck? Average call times? You’re measuring average call times for a customer service team that’s supposed to be solving issues? Is this 2017 or 1967? If you’re like a lot of the call centers that(…)






The Customer Experience Series: Empower the Frontlines Dammit!






  It’s time to stop escalating the customer service issues in your business. While good leaders allow their subordinates to escalate customer issues, great leaders don’t see many escalated issues at all. This is because great leaders not only allow those on the frontline to solve issues; they expect it. Would you like to solve(…)






The Customer Experience Series: Kill ‘em with Kindness






  In the last post from this series, we learned to picture the customer with the issue as someone’s slightly confused, 95-year-old great grandmother. We do this primarily so that we’re always on our best behavior; but this exercise will also help us handle the nastiest of irate customers by teaching us to kill them(…)






The Customer Experience Series: Reactive Customer Service






  Resolving customer issues is not actual customer service, it’s reactive customer service. Businesses that assume this is actual customer service completely miss the point of managing the customer experience. The goal, of course, is to eliminate issues before they occur. When you’re faced with resolving an issue – that is, practicing reactive customer service(…)






The Customer Experience Series: Oops, We Screwed The Pooch. Now What?






  I think readers of this series are fairly clear on my feeling that great customer means never having an issue in the first place, right? Well, okay, but what happens when we mess up? What happens when we screw the pooch? Responding to and solving a customer service issue is required whenever your team(…)






The Customer Experience Series: But They’re Just After Dinner Mints!






  There’s a great 2002 study on manipulating the customer experience that was published in The Journal of Applied Social Psychology detailing how something as small as an after dinner mint can be used to dramatically increase a waiter’s tips. For those of you not wanting to read the entire study (I don’t blame you),(…)






The Customer Experience Series: Customers for Life






  Lesson number five of our Five Simple Strategies to ensure we never have customer service issues, is to always maintain the goal of Customers for Life. Why customers for life? Well, as we learned in the first post in this series, it costs six to seven times more to acquire a new customer than(…)






The Customer Experience Series: Real Alignment






  Fourth on our list of the 5 Simple Strategies that guarantee you never have customer issues in the first place is dubbed Real Alignment (like “wheel alignment,” get it?).  The alignment I’m referring to here is getting your customers’ expectations aligned with your realities. In other words, we are going to manage their expectations(…)






The Customer Experience Series: Convenience Store






  The third simple strategy of the 5 Simple Strategies that keep you from ever having customer services issues in the first place is called Convenience Store… as in 7-11; Circle K; QuikTrip; Wawa; RaceTrac; Speedway; Sheetz. You know, convenience stores; stores that are convenient. To prevent customer service issues from occurring in your business,(…)






The Customer Experience Series: Expect the Unexpected






  Any real fan of Road House (1989) knows that when Dalton gives his famous “Three Simple Rules” speech, he actually combines two rules into the first rule, giving his bouncer team four rules: “All you have to do is follow three simple rubies. One: never underestimate your opponent. Expect the unexpected. Two: take it(…)






The Customer Experience Series: Prevention is 100% of the Cure






As we learned in The Customer is Not Always Right, good customer service means never having to say you’re sorry. In other words, if we want the customer experience to always be a positive one, then our customer service efforts cannot be focused on solving issues, but instead on preventing customer service issues before they(…)






The Customer Experience Series: How You Say It Matters More Than What You Say






Enough about leadership with this series for a while; let’s jump back onto the front lines. Great customer service from a frontline employee comes from being aware: aware of your surroundings; aware of the rules; aware of your strengths; and, especially, aware of your customer. What do you mean, aware? Great poker players, salespeople and(…)






The Customer Experience Series: “Show Me” Leadership






Leaders who like being snowed about how their customers are being treated ask single, closed-ended questions like “Did your team institute the customer service policy we discussed?” or “Did you satisfactorily solve that customer issue that arose last week?” The answers to questions like these always match what the leader wants to hear; “Yep.” Conversely,(…)






The Customer Experience Series: Jerks Beget Jerks






As we learned in the previous post in this series, creating great customer experiences are a top-down proposition. In simple terms, this means how you treat your frontline employees is likely how they will treat your customers. So, if you’re fair, thoughtful, and respectful with your frontline teams; then you can expect they will be(…)






The Customer Experience Series: Beware the Dog & Pony Shows






Let’s recap a few of the things we’ve agreed to so far in this series: that is, that good customer service is not about solving issues, it’s about not having issues in the first place. Furthermore, if we can provide good customer service, this leads to higher customer retention, a willingness for people to spend(…)






The Customer Experience Series: The Customer Experience Is What They Say It Is






Think what you will, but the customer experience is exactly what your customer says it is. Their perception is their reality, and their perception is all that matters. To put it more succinctly: the perceived experience is what matters. How is the experience with your frontline team perceived by your customers? Would customers say that(…)






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