Turning a Customer Service Culture

Turning a Customer Service Culture

We wish that changing a customer service culture could be like turning a Jet Ski®.

Turning a Customer Service CultureWe slam the steering handles hard to the side, the Jet Ski® turns around almost on a dime, and within moments, we are speeding the other way at full speed. Sure, the turn is tough, and the sudden motion jerks both body and watercraft hard, but for a short, intense effort we are rewarded with a quick and complete turnaround.

We all wish that changing a customer service culture happened that way. Unfortunately, it doesn’t.

Changing a a customer service culture, particularly in a large organization, is more akin to turning around a container ship. Take a look at the following graphic from ShipsBusiness.com. Note the slow wide path the ship must take to head in the other direction. In fact, notice that it has to “swing wide” to even begin to change direction. Read more

How Customer Service Can Save Cable

How Customer Service Can Save Cable

How Customer Service Can Save CableIn the Temkin Group’s 2015 Experience Ratings Industry Snapshots, Internet Service Providers were ranked last out of 20 different industries. It’s no surprise; few people love their cable or phone provider, and among the least beloved is Comcast.

Comcast announced recently that it will be putting a massive effort behind changing its customer service. The announcement will come as welcome news to many Comcast customers. In the last few years, Comcast has become the poster child for terrible customer service provided by a faceless corporation with captive customers. Its poor customer service ratings have been magnified and made archetype by a succession of viral customer service stories like this one about a recorded call with a Comcast phone rep and this one a few months later.

Comcast, like its fellow cable providers, has enjoyed a coveted market position: it could give bad customer service and still remain highly profitable. Each industry is different, but oligopolistic firms who are absent competitive pressure and that have customers who are captive or have significant switching costs can get away with poor customer service–in the short term. Read more

Be Your Customer's Hero Cover | Customer Service Book

The Official Book Launch and 72 Hours to Claim Gifts



The big day is finally here! Today is the official launch of Be Your Customer’s Hero.

Be Your Customer's Hero Cover | Customer Service BookTo celebrate the launch and to try to work our way onto Amazon’s bestseller lists, we are offering incentives if you purchase multiple copies of Be Your Customer’s Hero in the next three days. The breakdown below shows you the levels and the gifts! Spaces between bullets show anything that’s different from the level above it.

This offer is only good for the next three days and ends at 9:00AM EST on Friday, May 1.

Ready to help take your team’s service to the next level? Let’s go! Read more

The Ultimate Starter Guide to Employee Empowerment

Employee Empowerment the Smart Way

This morning we released CTS Service Solutions’ Ultimate Starter Guide to Employee Empowerment. This guide walks those new to the idea of strategically and consciously attempting to increase employee empowerment in their organizations through many of the basic ideas surrounding empowerment as well as nine tips for empowering employees effectively.

The Ultimate Starter Guide to Employee Empowerment

One of the concepts discussed in the guide is the idea we share at CTS Service Solutions called Smart Empowerment. Smart Empowerment was created as a reality check to some of the more airy and fantastical concepts of empowerment floating around — the short form answer that empowerment is always good and more of it is always better. Read more

Be Your Customer's Hero Customer Service Book

The New Book Revealed: Be Your Customer’s Hero

Be Your Customer's Hero Customer Service BookService triggers that set customers off. Power words that influence customer perception. Go-to tactics that turn difficult situations around.

My new book Be Your Customer’s Hero: Real-World Tips and Techniques for the Service Front Lines is finally here. And I couldn’t be happier with the end product!

I am truly thrilled to put this book into the hands of customer-facing professionals all around the world.

Be Your Customer’s Hero (HERO) is a different type of customer service book. Short chapters. Straight talk. Effective techniques. HERO was written to serve busy frontline professionals and the even busier managers and business owners that work with them.

HERO is not about theory; HERO is about results. Read more


Faces of Customer Experience: Nicole Miller

Meet Nicole Miller!

photo.PNGMy name is Nicole Miller and I graduated in 1990 at Marymount University where I received a bachelors degree in business and fashion merchandising.

Since graduation, I have always been in the retail industry and am currently the district manager for the Once Upon A Child stores. I am fortunate and proud to work for the original, owner and founder of resale, Lynn Blum. This year the company is celebrating 30 years of business.

Lynn started her stores with a cash box, ad in the paper, and a 350 sq foot store in Toledo, Ohio. The growth has been amazing. Now there are 250 franchised stores nationwide.

False Dichotomy

We know that the answer is often somewhere in between, but the fun of this section is that you have to pick just one!

Paper > Plastic

Personalization < Privacy

In-Store Shopping < Online Shopping

Transactional Relational

Mac > PC

Customer Service > Customer Experience

Captain Kirk < Dr. Spock

Talk > Text

Dog < Cat

Movie Theater > In-Home Rental 
Read more

Usage of Live Chat to Answer Question

3 Questions to Ask Before Launching Live Chat for Customer Service

At CTS Service Solutions, we believe one of the best ways to improve  customer experiences is by making interactions ad easy as possible and by decreasing the hassle-factor.

Enter live chat.

Live chat contains a number of attributes that contribute to hassle-free experiences. From ease of first contact, to low-to-no hold times, to the convenience of customers interacting with service reps while performing other tasks, live chat offers an opportunity for organizations to assist customers quickly, easily, and cost effectively.

Live chat allows organizations to assist online customers in real time. When customers run into a problem, the customer can immediately take advantage of the live chat feature, interact with reps, and hopefully have their question answered or issue resolved quickly.

Live chat seems like a no-brainer.

However, investing in a new or lightly staffed customer service channel comes at a cost. Live chat is not for every customer, or every organization. Using data from a recent Software Advice report, we have formulated three questions to help you determine if live chat might be an effective channel for your customers. Read more

Innovation is No Longer Optional | Hand writing light bulb

Innovation Is No Longer Optional

The pace of change is faster than ever before. Those in technology-based fields already understand the forces of constant change that form competitive pressures in those industries.

But what about the rest of us?

Innovation is No Longer Optional | Hand writing light bulbWhile the need for innovation might not be as obvious and the penalties for failing to innovate might be less drastic — even in non-tech industries, innovation is no longer optional.

  • Sell a service that really doesn’t change much? You had better be improving the experience that surrounds it.
  • Sell a commoditized product? You had better be innovating the way it’s packaged or delivered.

What parts of your organization are screaming out for change? Where can you find competitive advantage by looking for opportunities to innovate?


A version of this post originally ran in our eNewsletter The Customer Conversation. Subscribe here.

Photo credit: http://depositphotos.com/user-1101919/vichie81.html

Renee Cloyd

Faces of Customer Experience: Renee Cloyd

Meet Renee Cloyd!

reneeRenee Cloyd is a wife and mother of three young boys ages 11, 9 and 6 who balances her busy home life with a full time job as a Center Director at Christ Lutheran Children’s Center.

At CLCC, we strive to provide a quality early childhood program. In our center, forming strong ties to the families and the community is the key to the success of our program.

False Dichotomy

We know that the answer is often somewhere in between, but the fun of this section is that you have to pick just one!

Paper > Plastic

Personalization > Privacy

In-Store Shopping > Online Shopping

Transactional Relational

Mac < PC

Customer Service > Customer Experience

Captain Kirk < Dr. Spock

Talk < Text

Dog < Cat

Movie Theater < In-Home Rental 
Read more

Understanding the Other Side of a Bad Customer Experience | Noodles being spooned into takeout box

Understanding the Other Side of a Bad Customer Experience

Creating great customer experiences and delivering great customer service almost always boils down to one thing: being able to understand the experience of customers — to walk a mile in their shoes and to build a better shoe or create a better walking path with that knowledge.

It begins by understanding what your customers are going through, especially when the experience is not a positive one.

A Tale of Takeout

My wife and I were both exhausted. On most nights, my wife cooks dinner, as my culinary repertoire is limited to frozen pizzas and eggs. However, on Tuesday, she just didn’t feel like it, and she decided to grab takeout from a place nearby — but not that nearby.

She usually only gets takeout from this restaurant coming home from the office. It’s on the way and really only adds 15-20 minutes to the commute home; to leave the house and get it is another matter entirely. It’s about 45-60 minutes total, 15-20 minutes of car time each way and about 15-20 minutes parking and going into the restaurant. There is virtually no parking in front of this Japanese/Sushi/Hibachi restaurant in a busy shopping center; you almost always end up parking in a separate lot, sometimes pretty far away. Read more