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There’s No Time Like the Present for Service

It's 9:00pm, you want to get into your new high tech bed and enjoy a night of blissful sleep.  But, alas, your new purchase isn't working properly and you can't troubleshoot it on your own, so you decide to turn to the company for help.  You then find that they don't staff customer service outside [...]

Valuing Public Relations

Given the current news cycle with United Airlines, it seems apropos to revisit the topic of customer relationships and crisis management.  Our companies are unlikely to be as large or newsworthy as United Airlines, but any and all companies are at risk for customer-facing events that can quickly snowball into public relations disasters if not [...]

A Service Comparison

Customers patronize many different companies, some small, some large.  But customers do not differentiate between them when comparing their experiences as customers: every company is measured against the performance of all the rest.  This means it is especially important for us to not only compete against our marketplace competitors, because every industry is our competitor [...]

What to do When the Point of Service Fails

Another name for a customer service representative is simply: Fixer.  Our job centers around fixing customer problems.  Sometimes they are problems with the product, or the website, or a return.  But other times, they are problems customers have experienced at the point of sale or service.  It is our duty to handle these situations with [...]

Service Simplicity Doesn’t Beat Accuracy

When we asked about easily avoidable customer service frustrations, responses ran the gamut of experiences.  But one theme stood out overall: it is more valuable to be 100% accurate than it is to be 100% accommodating to our customers.  Consider Greatta's story for an illustration as to why. Gretta had ordered a large rug online.  [...]

Making Sure Your Service is Easy

Over the years, we've talked a lot about ensuring that it is easy for your customers to reach you and to interact with you.  From prominently displaying multiple channels through which to contact you on your website, to logical phone trees (or live operators), to clearly developed FAQ's that are easy to find on your [...]

Why Customers Expect Communication

"I just made a big purchase: a car.  The caveat was that they had to find one with my selected options, so it was a drawn out experience.  And while I was very excited about the final product, the process was really stressful because I never knew what was going on or when things should [...]

Setting the Standard: A Lowe’s Employee Sits Down

A woman in Wilkesboro, North Carolina is the proud owner of Baxter, a special needs rescue dog.  Baxter requires the assistance of a doggy wheelchair and, when his owner, Amy Jo Martin, decided to upgrade his chair with an anti-tip wheel, she headed to Lowe's for ideas as well as parts. Ms. Martin asked at [...]

Businesses’ New Battle Ground

As customers' buying behavior rapidly changes, businesses are constantly encountering new competitors.  It used to be that brick and mortar stores predominately competed with other brick and mortar retailers, but online retailers are increasingly competing for customers' attention and dollars (and vice versa) as the lines between the two categories blur.  So what can companies [...]

How Heidi Does Service

In customer service stories, we often hear about exceptional circumstances that compel a representative to provide service far out of the norm.  But, like we've frequently discussed, quality service has to be consistently pursued day in and day out.  Heidi, who works for the grocer Trader Joe's, shared her approach to ensuring a constant delivery [...]