With consumers now firmly in charge of the digitized customer journey, the demand for prompt, accurate and personal service is critical. It is time to once again move our customer service efforts closer to those who matter most: the customer.
Among the biggest casualties of companies’ decades-long drive to cut costs has been the customer service organization. With an eye toward short-term results, many “conversations” with customers that were previously handled in-house were either outsourced, shipped overseas or both.
That no doubt pleased investors and made our finance people heroes, but it’s also had the perverse effect of placing our customer service functions even farther away from the customer, instead of closer. Continue reading →
Thanks to the explosion of information online, customers are more knowledgeable – and more demanding – than ever. Here’s how to make sure that “hyper-informed customers” also remain loyal, satisfied ones.
At the dizzying rate information accumulates online, we see a staggering rise of what I call “hyper-informed customers” – those who diligently scour social media, blogs, review sites and more to know virtually all there is to know about our products and services. Continue reading →
Conversations are the lifeblood of interpersonal communication. But, for some people, they’re the equivalent of a trip to the dentist. Here are some tips for breaking the ice and engaging in good, meaningful conversations.
I recently attended a great dinner party. It had everything you’d expect of a terrific get-together – fabulous food, interesting people and fascinating conversations all around the table.
Emails, LinkedIn, Facebook, and other digital solutions are great for information sharing but are killing innovation, collaboration, and efficiency in modern knowledge-based companies. It’s time to enter the era of meaningful conversation. I just rediscovered an old book that shows us how.
Just the other day I finished re-reading the New York Times bestseller, “Never eat alone,” written by Keith Ferrazzi. The book is basically a cookbook in achieving success by building and utilizing your personal network to get better jobs, more business, new opportunities, or whatever you crave in life.
The concept is simple: if you build a large personal network, the network will, over time, reward you with more opportunities in life. All you need is to plan your targets and execute your plan, and, of course, buy Mr. Ferrazzi’s book.
“Never eat alone” is about your personal success; re-reading the book made me realize that it also holds a hidden gem for the successful companies of the future. Continue reading →
Focusing on customer satisfaction is a no-brainer for every organization. But if you truly want to build long-lasting relationships with our customers, we need to humanize our interactions.
Our organizations are obsessed with customer satisfaction. Maybe too obsessed.
It’s pretty clear why, judging from the research. Customers who receive the best experiences spend 140% more than those with who receive the poorest ones. And far from being cost-prohibitive, providing superior customer experience actually reduces the cost of serving customers by as much as 33%. Continue reading →
We’re losing our ability to listen. This potential crisis threatens our relationships with our customers, organizations, families and entire nations. Here’s what we can do about it.
The art of listening is under attack.
This skill, among the most important we as humans possess, is getting drowned out from all sides: Increasing noise levels, myriad distractions, shorter attention spans and more people who just want to hear themselves talk. Continue reading →
For most of us, striking up a conversation with a stranger is difficult, and maintaining one is even harder. Use these practical tips to do better at both.
On the stress level, striking up a conversation with a stranger ranks up there with public speaking, taking your driver’s test and visiting the dentist.
Indeed, plenty of books and articles have been written on the subject. Search the words “conversation starter” in Google and you’ll get 7.5 million hits. You’ll get all kinds of advice too – from the old standbys (“So, what do you do for a living?”) to the mundane (“How are you doing?”) to the downright bizarre (“If you could teleport by blinking your eyes, where would you go right now?”)
For all their good intentions, the advice-givers tell only half the story. Firing up a conversation is important, sure, but maintaining that dialog is equally critical. How many times have you started a conversation only to quickly run out of things to say? The seemingly endless silence is deafening. Continue reading →