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Customer Service Strategy: Ten Questions to Ask When Something Fails
by Shep Hyken

The cliché goes: “We can learn from our mistakes.” And it is true, especially as it applies to customer service. No matter how good we are, nobody can be perfect, although it is a lofty goal. At anytime there can be issues, problems and complaints. I call these negative customer service issues Moments of Misery™. Whenever something goes wrong, this is the opportunity for your best customer service strategies to kick in.

Customer Service Stats Prove Why Everyone Must Deliver Excellent Customer Service
by Shep Hyken
Some might find statistics to be boring. Yet sometimes they tell a story, one that is so compelling, that everyone in an organization, from the CEO to the newest employee, must embrace. And, I believe that is the case with the following customer service statistics. Here are some of the latest stats and facts.

The Ultimate Client Experience: Recipe for Success in a Down (or Any) Economy
by Michelle Pope
Each step in discovering the right combination of Culture, People, Relationship Building and Client Understanding will lead you closer to the recipe best suited for your organization and clients. One that makes you stand out from others and keep your clients coming back for more as you provide the Ultimate Client Experience.

Up Your Customer Service Game
by Shep Hyken and Alyson Stone
The role of the customer has changed dramatically due to new social channels, online communities, access to information, and a new global business culture. We can't wait to see what the future has in store, particularly for small and medium sized companies who have access to knowledge and tools that permit them to compete on the same marketing level as mega corporations.

Adopt a People-Centric Approach to Improve Customer Satisfaction and Profitability
by Tony Kubica and Sara LaForest

It is essential for leaders to understand that customer service is the lifeblood of their business. (Yes we are aware that cash is king and without positive cash flow the business ceases to exist. Without satisfied customers, however there is no cash. And without satisfied and engaged employees there are no customers – satisfied or not!) So let’s take a critical look at what the most successful corporations, organizations and companies are doing different.

Ten Customer Service Tips for Customer Loyalty Month
by Shep Hyken
In a world where people have become extremely value conscious, one of the only ways to compete, outside of price, is with customer service. Create a better experience and you create better value. So, in honor of Customer Loyalty Month, here is a “Top Ten” list of customer service tips from my new book, “The Amazement Revolution.”

10 Ways to Differentiate Your Customer Service and Make Your Clients Actually Feel Valued
by Tony Kubica and Sara LaForest

Without consistent excellent customer care, customer loyalty is improbable, especially in this economy where buyers are more cautious.  Now more than ever in business, we need to find ways to differentiate ourselves. We find that customer service is a simple yet powerful differentiating strategy.

The Way You Manage Disaster
by Siddharth Sehgal
Testing circumstances separate the extraordinary from the ordinary. In my opinion, any organization can outlive a turbulent situation, whether it’s a calamity or a recession, if it’s ready to plan and go ahead an extra mile for its people.

Customers for Life!
by John Boe

The most successful companies place great value on developing lifetime relationships with their customers. Customer focused companies recognize that relationship building and follow on service are critical components for promoting both customer retention and revenue growth.

When 60 Minutes Calls: How to Handle the Media During a Customer Service Crisis
by Jeff Mowatt

There are times when being a manager can make you a media target. The larger your organization, the greater the odds of something embarrassing happening that ends up for the world to see on YouTube. If you are that manager being asked by a reporter to comment, here are a few tips to ensure that your company’s brand and your personal reputation withstand the barrage.

Listen Up Leaders: The Frontline Makes Your Bottom Line
by Eileen McDargh

It happens all the time: A full-page ad is placed in a major monthly publication. The ad touts the service excellence of their product. Catchy phrases. Great promises. Major dollars are spent to create an implied image in the mind of the consumer. And it can vanish in a heartbeat if promises made are not promises kept- if the derived image cancels out the implied image!

Selling Yourself Short? How to Stand-out Without Lowering Your Price
by Jeff Mowatt

Is what you do for a living perceived by potential customers as being a mere commodity; more or less the same as others in your profession? When that happens, customers revert to the easiest differentiator – price. The good news is you can change customer perceptions by changing the way you describe what you do.

Keep Your Advocates Advocating!
by Jill Griffin

There’s an important difference between a client and an advocate. Advocates do more than simply buy from you. Advocates are engaged customers who demonstrate their vendor allegiance through such activities as spreading positive word of mouth, recruiting new prospects and helping their vendors improve. How can a firm nurture trust to help sustain these important advocate behaviors?

Common Sense That Isn't Always So Common (A Lesson from "The Cult of the Customer")
by Shep Hyken

For years I've been preaching that a lot of customer service is common sense that, unfortunately, isn't so common. It is the great companies that consistently deliver an experience that meets, if not exceeds, expectations. And, much of this experience is common sense.

Crucial Questions to Superior Sales
by Jeff Mowatt

When your customers aren’t sure which of your products or services they should buy, consider this handy tool that not only helps create clarity, but also positions you as a trusted advisor. I’m referring to a time-test sales tool known as SWOT. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

How Vulnerable Are Your Customers? Five Keys to Protect Your Customer Assets
by Curtis N. Bingham

Your customers are vulnerable. With cuts made to sales, services, and programs, customer relationships are at greater risk than ever before. For perhaps the first time ever, your loyal customers may be listening to your competitors. What can you do to protect your most important asset: your best and most loyal customers?

The Key to Winning in this Economy is Great Customer Service
by Jim Sirbasku

Get your employees to stand together behind your company and you will find that it is possible to navigate through this harsh economy with a renewed confidence in what you have to offer and the customer service you provide. Trying economic times are an opportunity to build loyalty among customers by showing them that you care.

Cutting Service Costs without Cutting Service
by Chip R. Bell and John R. Patterson

How does an organization avoid sending a very mixed message by telling the front line to “wow” their customers in the morning and announcing staff cutbacks and expense reductions in the afternoon?  How do you add value when there are no more resources to fund the addition?  In a phrase:  imaginative service!  The notion that exceptional customer service must cost more is pure myth.

My Other Man
by Jill Griffin

I'm a happily married woman. But I'm here to confess: I have "another man" in my life. His name is Lalo. He is a reminder that America is full of remarkable, resilient business builders with abilities to search out untapped customer needs, profitably meet them, and earn deep customer loyalty along the way.

Service Recovery - Love Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry
by Shep Hyken
Just recently I've had several clients call to discuss problems they were having with service recovery. While their issues were somewhat complicated, the strategies we discussed were simple and direct. Here are the seven strategies that can help turn a touchy situation with a customer into a confidence building Moment of Magic®.

The New Silver Bullet for Growth and Customer Loyalty
by Curtis N. Bingham
If you want to grow your business while simultaneously increasing customer loyalty, the Chief Customer Officer (CCO) might just be the silver bullet you are looking for.  The Chief Customer Officer or similarly titled role assumes executive-level accountability for customer relationships, much like a COO is accountable for operations and the VP of sales for revenue growth.

Are You Turning Raving Fans into Roving Fans?
by Diane Berenbaum
Companies work hard to make their products work faster, last longer, look sharper, and taste better than others on the market. They go as far as to create high-tech systems enabling customers to order items at lightning speed. This is all great and certainly can lead to a heightened customer experience; however, neglecting the human side of the product marketing mix leads to missing opportunities to connect with your most enthusiastic customers.

Five Pillars of Sustaining Exceptional Service
by Jean Marie Johnson
Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of a great service provider? How do they consistently provide service that goes above and beyond customers' expectations? What makes it possible for some organizations to deliver consistently exceptional service? We at Communico have dedicated ourselves to finding the answers to these questions for years, and we are pleased to share our findings with you.

Is Customer Service Dead or Just Dying? Plus the Top 8 Ways to Insure Your Customer Service is Not!
by Bob Norton
I challenge any manager to make sure they use their own service anonymously on a regular basis (secret shopper) to experience what they have created. My guess is you will be shocked at the many layers of problems you will encounter created by automated attendants that route people in circles, poorly trained customer reps, badly designed policies and procedures that have somehow gotten out of step with the current world.

Buying Trends: the Shift to Hassle-Free
by Jeff Mowatt
You may have noticed a shift in recent years in what it takes to satisfy customers. Customers are now making buying decisions less on the quality of an organization's products and services, and more on the quality of the buying experience itself. If you're a business owner or manager, this trend offers both risk and opportunity.

Seven Steps to Build Customer Loyalty
by Gregory P. Smith

Most businesses spend more time and energy trying to find new customers instead of retaining those they have. The logic behind customer retention is simple--It costs far less money to keep customers happy than to spend much more money recruiting new ones. Loyal customers tell their friends about your business and will spend more money than new customers.

Have a Love Affair with Your Customers! Five Ways to Keep Your Customer Romance Burning
by Rosemary Rein, Ph.D.

As I have been finalizing my chapter on "WOW! Customer Service" in the upcoming book "Blueprint for Success and Survival" with Dr. Stephen Covey and Ken Blanchard, I have been reviewing my field notes from working with business clients who have successfully propelled their business from Now to WOW!  They are Businesses, large and small who have transformed their organizations and dramatically increased their revenues  by having a renewed love affair with their customers!

Making Attitude Adjustments: Improving Customer Service Behaviors - Other than Replacing People
by Jeff Mowatt

Not long ago, if a customer service employee fouled-up, he or she was warned, then if improvements didn't happen, was shown the door. In today's workplace however, where it's so difficult just maintaining staffing levels, dismissal doesn't really fix the problem - it just changes the problem. Next time one of your frontline employees needs an attitude adjustment, consider how this teacher handles a surly student.

It’s a Business Decision
by Jay Ewing

Those words seem to be the forgiver of any brutal decision in the business world. It is the reason given to employees who have worked tirelessly for a company for decades, only to find out at the 12th hour, that they are redundant. How did we get here? How did we arrive in such a callous world, and how can it be fixed?

Customer Service - A Reality Check
by Rick Sidorowicz

Here is a reality check in the format of an internal survey designed to highlight the gaps between intention and reality. It can be an extremely powerful tool to identify gaps, challenge perceptions, prioritize developmental needs and re-launch your enterprise or business unit to embrace a truly customer-focused culture.

Getting Rid of the Rulebook
by Liz Tahir

What rules and regulations in your company have the potential for offending your customers?  Certainly, it is necessary to establish policy and regulations to help your business run efficiently.  But are these rules so rigid they have no exceptions? When there is a need for an exception, your employees should not only be authorized but encouraged to use their judgment in each situation.

Can You Provide Extraordinary Customer Service?
by Liz Weber

How do we provide Extraordinary Customer Service? Look at it for what it really is: "Extraordinary" is simply "Extra Ordinary" Customer Service. Simply do more of the basics when it's appropriate.

Hurry Up and Wait
by Liz Tahir

What is becoming obvious is that while businesses are devising all sort of ways to save company time and money, it generally is at the expense of the customer. How did we get to the point where the company’s time is more valuable than the customer’s?

Being Present is a Gift to All: The Real Meaning of Real Time
by Craig Harrison

They say wherever you go, there you are. Yet how present are you at any given time and place you find yourself? Many professionals appear in body but little else. Don't get marked as missing in action.

Influence with Ease®
by Jeff Mowatt
Jeff Mowatt knows the art of influence:  employees serving customers; colleagues promoting ideas; human beings interacting in relationships. We have featured several of his tips in a column in The CEO Refresher and they are guaranteed to enlighten and inspire.
Exercise influence . . . with ease . . . for results.

Growing Your Business One Customer at a Time
by Liz Tahir

Remember that the big money isn’t as much in winning customers as in keeping customers. Each individual customer’s perception of your company will determine how well you do this.

The Five Biggest Customer Service Blunders of All Time
by Paul Levesque

Those businesses that deliver a superior total experience are typically those that enjoy a long-term competitive advantage - along with virtual immunity from the kinds of headaches that plague everybody else.

Magic Words: Music to the Ears of Your Customers
by Craig Harrison

Let's look at the power of words to create trust, allegiance and commitment in our customers and clients.

What is Your Lagniappe?
by Ed Horrell

How to apply "a little extra" effort to improve your customer attraction, retention and satisfaction.

Powering CUSTOMERS onto Your Agenda: Five Customer Questions Every CEO Should Be Asking
by Jeanne Bliss

For many CEOs, what now exists is a frenzied awareness of a problem that often leads to an even more frenzied approach to a "solution." Here are the questions you should be asking.

Stellar Service Requires A "Bias to Action"
by Craig Harrison

Customers pine for staffs that are more than pledged to serve, but poised to serve. Help your staff be biased to action and the reaction of customers will be great.

The Ultimate Question
by Keith Starcher

We have the example of those who have gone before us and built businesses that are “more than just profitable.” Are we courageous enough to ask our employees and our customers the “Ultimate Question?”

Do You Need a Chief Customer Officer?
by Jeanne Bliss

Beyond the notion that it's a good idea, not many know how to structure the Chief Customer Officer role and its place in the organization. Here are some thoughts to help you proceed.

The Voice of Customer Service
by Craig Harrison
Customer relationship management tools abound, yet let's hear it for old technology. Your voice is the most multifaceted customer service tool in your toolkit.

Actions CEO's Take if They're Committed to Customers
by Jeanne Bliss

I've never seen a CEO who wouldn't sign up for customer loyalty, customer focus and just plain improving things for their customers. It's getting them to drive the company to do something about it that's the challenge.

The Profit Power of Customer Intimacy
by Gerard A. Abraham

"Customer intimacy" is a much-less-publicized yet fundamental lever of sustainable top-line revenue and earnings growth, as a means to increase share price and shareholders' value.

Why Corporations Continue to Disappoint Customers
by Jeanne Bliss

For all the beating of breasts about the customer as king, we still haven’t gotten very far? It’s because of the corporate machine and how we citizens of the machine have been programmed to achieve our success and reward.

Customer Service is Not a Four-Letter Word
by Gregory P. Smith

The Ritz-Carlton hotels know if you treat your customers well and make a special effort to please them - guess what? They come back, tell their friends, and maintain a long lasting relationship of loyalty.

The Power of Using Names
by Shep Hyken

Want a simple strategy that will help build stronger relationships with anyone you work or do business with? It really is simple. You already know it, but it is worth reminding you of it. It is - using names.

Speed of Recovery
by Byron Kalies

How do you handle complaints in your business? I went to a seminar once where complaints were described as snowflakes. They're rare, precious and absolutely unique. You cannot buy them. They are the best feedback you'll ever get.

Create Customer Loyalty and Improve Your Bottom Line
by Jim Teegarden and Bob Krok

Understanding customers' requirements is fundamental to business success. The most important basis for strategy development, however, is a comprehensive understanding of what drives customer loyalty and how strong those drivers are.

Stop Sabotaging Your Customer Relationships
by Lora Adrianse

Take action now! Stop sabotaging those relationships with unnecessary standards that don't really matter to your customers. Your customers and your CSR's will love you for it.

At Your Service: The Ten Commandments of Great Customer Service!
by Susan Friedmann, CSP

When you satisfy our customers, they not only help us grow by continuing to do business with you, but recommend you to friends and associates. The practice of customer service should be as present on the show floor as it is in any other sales environment.

The Honeymoon Should Never Be Over
by Shep Hyken

The first time you do business with someone is like a date. You hope they want to go out – or do business with you - again. You finally, as some say, close the deal. . This is really the start of the long-term relationship.

Leveraging the Voice of the Customer - The Seven Step Process to Customer Oneness
by Tim Gregory

When you are a customer's best option, all things considered, the customer selects you. If your delivery team is profitable, you make money.

Your "Chief Customer Officer" - Why this New Role in Your Company is Indispensable
by Curtis N. Bingham

This officer will embrace a broad view of the customer base, the marketplace, and future trends, using this view to drive both corporate strategy and organizational changes and initiatives, so necessary for profitably servicing customers and adapting to the marketplace.

The Four Percent Solution: Using Complaints to Further Loyalty
by N. Ramasubramani

Research shows that only 4% of dissatisfied customers ever bother to complain. Others just keep quiet. They may be putting up with an inferior product experience or silently shift to some other brand without a warning. What does this mean to the marketing manager?

What Great Service Leaders Actually Do
by Chip R. Bell and John R. Patterson

Great service leaders don't stop for a moment to think about what "walking the talk" looks like. When the stress is on and the stakes are high they set the standard for their organizations.

New Rules for Mining Customer Intelligence
by Chip R. Bell and John R. Patterson

We found new rules for mining customer intelligence in a 1975 Peanuts comic strip. We marveled at how timely it had remained and how insightful its counsel for today's challenging business environment.

Do You Want Me to be Good to You, or Good for You?
by Shep Hyken

Think about that question for a moment. Being good to the customer means you take care of them, give them great service, etc. But being good for the customer is different. It is helping them or enhancing their experience.

It’s About Customer Service
by Susan Dunn

There is nothing so valuable as a customer in your store, in front of your face. It takes a lot of time and money to get a customer in your store in the first place, and what you do once they’re there matters.

Tips for Effective Leadership - Tip #3: Don’t Satisfy Customers
by Wolf Rinke

Only if you and your team members consistently exceed your customers’ expectations will customers remember you and your organization.

Low Value Customers: Children of a Lesser God?
by N. Ramasubramani

It is definitely a good practice to pamper your MVC. But the tendency seems to swing to the extreme right and axe all those who are not in this elite class. Such a strategy is myopic and is bound to affect the health of any brand because it suffers from the several misconceptions.

Magnetic Service: Secrets to Creating Passionately Devoted Customers
by Chip R. Bell and Bilijack R. Bell

The difference between remarkable and run of the mill lay not with the price the customer was required to pay but rather the value the customer felt privileged to experience. Shared stories led us to seven secrets for creating passionately devoted customers.

Winning the Battle for Customer Loyalty
by Jill Griffin

Companies with a clear and accurate picture of customers' preferences enjoy substantial advantages in anticipating customer needs and delivering exceptional products and services.

Trust Tools for Tough Times
by Jill Griffin
Trust. It's in short supply these days and for good reason. I have coined a customer relationship model that centers around key customer development stages. The model can be used to build, sustain and regain customer trust.

Why Can't Microsoft Make "Soft" Packaging?
by Eileen McDargh
Why is it that Microsoft wants you to buy its product but does not want you to open the plastic case that is welded around the cardboard box? I believe that such packaging along with cockroaches will survive atomic disasters!

Delivering Unanticipated Value
by Jill Griffin
Companies around the world today are struggling to build substantial levels of customer loyalty. The key to loyalty building is to provide value, as defined by the customer. Linda Farrington is a value builder of the highest order.

Twelve Laws of Loyalty
by Jill Griffin
Proven principles for turning non-customers into loyal advocates, by the author of Customer Loyalty: How to Earn It, How to Keep It.

Satisfaction Guaranteed!
by Debra S. Goldman

The customer determines whether a company will be profitable. Their loyalty will result in additional spending, increased market-share through word-of-mouth promotion, improved reputation, and increased profits.

Perfect Customer Service: Bigger is NOT Better
by David A. Goldsmith & Lorrie Goldsmith
If you're doing everything right, your customer base will be growing and your customer service department will not.

The "Wow!" Factor
by Shep Hyken

The "Wow!" factor boils down to one thing; exceeding the expectations of the customer. It goes past great customer service. In short, the basic idea is to bring the element of surprise into your business.

Think Like the Buyer
by Shep Hyken

What I mean by this short phrase is that sometimes we think we know what our customers want, but what they want is something completely different. So we need to get inside our customers' heads and give them what it is that they want versus what it is that we think that they want.

First Impressions
by Shep Hyken
A simple concept based on the original notion of managing the Moment of Truth and creating Moments of Magic.

Speed - the Differentiation Factor Between Great Service and Even Greater Service
by Shep Hyken
Speed and quick response need to be integrated into virtually every business. People want things fast.

Margaritas or Lemonade? Great Customer Service is About Small Details
by Gregory P. Smith

When designing your customer service plan, consider what small details you can provide making your place of business stand out in the hearts and minds of your customers.

The Dangerous Customer
by Shep Hyken
We aren't talking about customers who have a complaint about you and choose to tell everyone they know. We are talking about that potentially very dangerous type of customer, a "satisfied" customer.

Moments of Truth, Misery & Magic
by Shep Hyken

nytime a customer comes into contact with any aspect of a business, however remote, is an opportunity to form an impression. Seize the opportunities to create moments of magic!

Customer Service
by Jim Stovall
Whether it is in your personal or professional life, The Golden Rule still applies: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Too often in business, we spend all of our time on one side of the equation and fail to get that customer perspective.

Denta+: A Case Study of an Experience Economy Enterprise
by Bob J. Holder
Exceptional customer experience and Russia seem as similar as going to the dentist and being happy about it. Yet, Denta+, an Omsk Russia dental clinic, seeks to "wow" customers. Denta+ has lessons for not only Healthcare firms but any business that wants to improve customer retention and attraction, word-of-mouth marketing and seeking to provide new economic offerings.

Better Service for Our Customers
by Matthew Ho
The first tenet of retail is to make it "easy to shop." Matthew Ho has an interesting point of view from the front lines in travel retail and from Why We Buy - The Science of Shopping" written by Paco Underhill.

Your BOLD Service Mentality - Make Service Your Top Priority
by Jody Urquhart
How compassionate are your systems to the needs of your customers and staff? People keep the service mentality alive, so create a system that is flexible to them. Your bold service mentality will shine through.

Improving Customer Service Through Effective Communications
by Bob J. Holder

A firm develops a customer focus by providing its associates with communication skills that will allow them to be reassuring, empathic and responsive.

Leadership and Loyalty
by Steven C. Coats
Do you (or your company) deserve the loyalty of customers, employees, partners and shareowners? Think about your answer from their perspective.

What Happened to Customer Service? The State of the Union - Spring 2002
by Rick Sidorowicz

There is a very, very serious "disconnect" between what you want to have happen and what you think is happening, to what is actually happening with respect to customer service in retailing today. We are missing such an amazing opportunity.

Righting a Wrong - Getting the Customer Back
by Daniel Houck
Treat the glass with respect and it will do more than hold "whine", it will hold up your organization.

Mosquitoes Do Bite
by Jim Stovall
You have often heard it said, "Don't sweat the small stuff." When it comes to undue worry, everything is small stuff; however, when it comes to paying attention to details in your business or personal life, there are no small things.

Customer Service Lessons From the Trenches
by Martien Eerhart
How to deal with explosive customers, your nightmare customer, and seven ways to improve customer service without spending a dime.

Customer Service is a Timeless Key to Profitability
by Jim Clemmer
Effective teams, organizations, and leaders exist to serve others. And those who provide the highest levels of service/quality enjoy the richest rewards. That's not just some platitude or warm and fuzzy theory, it's become a well proven fact.

Four Ways to Motivate Service Professionals - A Guide to Getting Wow Performance
by Mary Sandro
The only thing harder than delivering excellent customer service consistently is motivating someone else to deliver excellent customer service consistently. Here are four motivation strategies that can help your organization succeed … one professional at a time.

What Happened to Customer Service? The State of the Union - Spring 2001
by Rick Sidorowicz
If you are an executive running a retail enterprise please listen slowly. The state of the union is pretty pitiful - honest! There is an enormous void and opportunity out there - just waiting to be filled.

Thank You for Outstanding Service!
by Rick Sidorowicz
They 'Get it' at the Banff Springs Hotel!

Customer Service That Goes Above and Beyond
by Laura Benjamin
Service on unbelievable levels means going a little bit above and beyond what most people expect.

Customer Service Quiz - Part One
by Rick Sidorowicz
A five minute quiz - with no middle ground - to identify gaps and opportunities.

Customer Service Quiz - Part Two
by Rick Sidorowicz
Another five minute quiz - true or false, black or white, on or off - with no middle ground - to identify gaps and opportunities.

Related Topics: The Customer Care Coach | High Performance Retail

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