Forget Customer Service — Focus on Customer Experience

Posted on April 6, 2015

Customer service. Two words that have been at the center of corporate improvement programs and countless awards ranging from JD Power to NCSA. Each year, thousands of well-meaning companies compete for bragging rights of being #1 in customer support in their industry.  But just what does this mean?  If customer service is what happens when things go badly, are these companies competing for the right metric? I think Maytag got it right ...

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Omni-Channel Commerce Starts by Optimizing Individual Channels First

I’ve been fortunate to be involved in Retail demand generation in the 1990s and into the 2000’s as e-Commerce exploded onto the scene. That perspective includes multi-language, multi-currency (think pre-Euro) and multi-country regulatory requirements working with brands selling through leading retailers such as Sam’s Club, Best Buy, Dixon’s (UK), Tesco (UK), Carrefour (France), MediaMarkt (Germany), and many others. In those days, the ...

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Credit Union Strategy: Filene, Zig Ziglar and Southwest Airlines are on to Something

Just before boarding leaving the office for a business trip this week, I brought a Filene Research Institute white paper to read.   Entitled "Credit Union Financial Sustainability: A Colloquim at Harvard University" (publication #232, 3/11) the document is a blueprint for credit unions to learn how to compete with their more performance minded competitors in the banking sector. Being new to the CU industry, I have documented my observations as ...

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eBay Giveth and Paypal Taketh Away

As an 11 year eBay user, I've watched eBay grow into the juggernaut that has enabled Meg Whitman and team to amass a fortune.  However, this growth (and the acquisition of Paypal) has come at a cost -- a disconnect between the two companies' IT systems and customer support organizations. Despite its global IT infrastructure, a simple mechanism like a gift certificate appears to be the latest in a list of customer transactions that eBay ...

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Customer Service — Easier Said Than Done

Earlier today I sat in the boardroom of a mid-size financial institution to discuss website design for lead generation.  One of the topics raised was the use of live chat as a deterrent to web page abandonment.  Of specific concern was whether or not an outside vendor (e.g. Live Person) could effectively answer financial services questions as effective as internal hosted chat with real financial experts.  Similarly, for call center functions ...

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Frontline Employees – Brand Ambassador or Brand Assassin?

Earlier today I met a colleague for a business lunch meeting at a new restaurant that has just opened.  This restaurant is part of a well-known chain in the city and enjoys steady customer traffic. On the menu is a delicious 1/2 pound burger that is advertised as "cooked medium" and so I ordered the $8.00 protein brick with much anticipation. When the burger arrived, I could tell by its shape and texture it had been frozen 15 minutes ago, but ...

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Increasing Sales May Not be Related to Selling

This post is going to raise an interesting point that has been alluded to by recent marketing authors such as Dave Evans in various marketing publications, but is probably not being trumpeted loud enough across all marketing circles: declining sales may not be a sales problem after all -- it might be something else. It's too easy to conclude your distribution channels are the primary source of rising (or falling) sales .   Sure, they play a ...

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Why Do New Customers Get the Best Deals?

Posted on January 27, 2009

Has anyone else noticed that it is the most recent acquired customer who gets the best deal? Specifically, if you look at the acquisition offers extended to new customers in many service/subscription industries (wireless, cable, airlines, banking, health clubs, etc.) it seems that the new customer (least invested in the brand) often gets access to the best offers while the loyal customers (most invested in the brand) often receives little for ...

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