Amazing Customer Service: An Interview with Shep Hyken

Amazing Customer Service with Shep Hyken

Amazing Customer Service: An Interview with Shep Hyken

In this installment of our “Expert Interviews” series on YouTube, I interview Shep Hyken.

Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert and the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations.  He is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author and has been inducted into the National Speakers Association Hall of Fame for lifetime achievement in the speaking profession.
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Interview: GetApp's Top 25 Customer Service Apps

Interview: GetApp’s Top 25 Customer Service Apps

Suzie Blaszkiewicz, GetApp

Suzie Blaszkiewicz, GetApp

Interview: Suzie Blaszkiewicz of GetApp

Suzie Blaszkiewicz is a market analyst and content editor for GetApp. 

GetApp offers a digital comparison tool of customer service software and recently published a report on the Top 25 Customer Service Apps.

Suzie speaks with us about the methodology behind the study and some of the surprising results. If you’re interested in customer service software, make sure to check out the interview.


You recently published a report on the Top 25 Customer Service apps on the market today. What methodology did you use to determine this?

“Our ranking uses five unique data points to create a Top 25 list that provides a snapshot of the leading options for customer service software for small and mid-sized businesses.

Interview: GetApp's Top 25 Customer Service AppsThese data points are reviews, integrations, mobile app availability, media presence, and security.

Reviews looks at the number and rating of reviews on GetApp, giving a sense of user perception of the application.

Integrations is based on the number of integrations listed on GetApp, giving a better idea of the maturity of a product and how it might integrate with other common software that’s already being used.

Mobile app availability pulls data from Google Play and the App Store to see an app’s rating in both stores.

Media presence uses followers and fans from Facebook and Twitter to discern the relative popularity of an app.

Security is based on a vendor-completed security survey comprising 15 questions.

Each of these data points is scored out of 20, for a total possible score out of 100.”

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Faces of Customer Experience: Becky Lollar

Meet Becky Lollar!

beckyI grew up in Bartlett, TN and attended Union University in nearby Jackson where I earned degrees in elementary education. I taught Kindergarten for three years then chose to stay at home with my two daughters.

After our first family trip to Walt Disney World, I was hooked! I now represent Magical Travel, an agency which specializes in selling Disney vacations. After four years, I am still thrilled to be helping clients make magical memories!

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 

Tell Us More About Yourself…

What was your first job and what did you learn about customer service in it?

My first part-time job was working at a summer day camp as an assistant counselor. Our primary customers were the parents of the children we were serving. In this job, I learned that meeting customer expectations is what really matters; if parents didn’t feel that we were providing their kids with a safe environment and planning fun, structured activities, they could choose other options.

My first full-time job as a public school teacher was no different; communication is the key to success. Parents have expectations that the teacher will enable their kids to progress at an acceptable rate. I had to learn how to plan and conduct conferences during which we would have constructive conversations about individual and parent-teacher “team” objectives and desired outcomes.
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Kate Nasser

An Interview with Kate Nasser: Better #PeopleSkills

Kate NasserKate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, is a smart, energizing, experienced speaker, coach, and workshop leader. Her work in customer experience, employee engagement, leadership, teamwork, transforms how people think, act, and interact. With 25 years in business and a Masters in Organizational Psychology, Kate has guided tens of thousands to engage in uplifting productive interactions.

Kate, what was your first job and what did you learn about customer service in it? 

My very first job was a part-time summer job in city government. Dealing with the public is great training for customer service. I learned that it was my job to adapt to their personality and attitude not their responsibility to adapt to mine.

Speaking generally, in what area of the customer experience do you find that people skills (or the lack thereof) tend to have the greatest impact? 

People skills impact every aspect of the customer experience. The people skills of team members working together affect the customer experience. Leaders’ people skills inspire and engage or de-motivate the teams. The people skills of customer interaction have a huge impact. Perhaps the greatest impact comes from people skills in difficult moments. It makes or breaks customer experience. Read More

The Hastings Humans Interview

“Make each caller feel better for having spoken with us.” – Ann Hastings, mom and founder.

Hastings Humans is a customer service call center in Austin, Texas. It’s different from many other call centers in that it’s a family-owned business. This ‘original start up’ was founded in 1948 by Ann Hastings and is now run by her two sons, Mark and Scott. They put a huge emphasis on being of service to their clients and their client’s customers, training their employees so that they can handle customer service for clients in the best way possible.

Recently, we discussed who comes first, customer over employee or employee over customer on the blog.  Hastings Humans seems to have figured out the balance. The average tenure of a Hastings’ client is 13 years, much higher than industry norms, and the average employee turnover is 19%, compared to the average turnover at this sort of call center of around 51%.

We took some time to talk with Mark Hastings to find out how Hastings Humans makes numbers like this happen.

The Hastings Humans Interview

There is a quote on your site, “The Hastings Humans’ success stems from not just providing a call center but providing a team of people ready to truly support and represent your company and actually talk back.” Tell us a little about your “human” focus and how it might differentiate you.

We think a lot about how our customers depend on us to help them be successful with their respective businesses. We have a mindset in our company that when we are talking to our customer’s callers, we are the company they are calling – what we say and how we say it has to represent that company in the best light. In fact, if you call one of our clients and talk to us, our goal is that you don’t know it. We strive for the caller’s experience when Hastings takes the call to be as close as possible to when the customer takes the call themself. Our customers find that having a person available to talk to their callers at any time gives them a competitive advantage over their competitors who have a machine take a message.

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Jeff Toister | Toister Solutions

Video Customer Service Training with Jeff Toister

Jeff Toister | Toister SolutionsJeff Toister is the author of Service Failure: The Real Reasons Employees Struggle with Customer Service and What You Can Do About It. His company, Toister Performance Solutions, Inc. helps clients identify the obstacles keeping them from achieving customer service success.

Jeff recently launched his new customer service video training series with, and I took an opportunity to catch up with him and to learn more about the new training.

What inspired you to create this video series?

There are a few reasons.

First, the training course was produced by, which is a fabulous online library of video-based training programs. A lot of my clients and colleagues are using them already, so it made a lot of sense to provide content on a platform they were already using. The second reason is video-based training is on the rise. I’m hearing more and more companies ask for this option because it’s engaging, consistent, and flexible.

The final reason is something called “flipped learning.” Traditionally, clients hire people like me to come in and do training, but they’d try to implement the concepts on their own. With flipped learning, employees take my course on before I come in and then hire me to help them use those new skills to get results. This means they get better results for their investment.

How does this video series differ from your usual workshops and trainings?

One of the ways that makes their courses effective is by breaking them into small modules that are typically 3 to 5 minutes long. My usual workshops are designed to be delivered in segments that are one hour to two days, but people taking my Customer Service Fundamentals course have the option of just watching a module or two at a time. Each module has specific suggestions, pointers, and exercises, so you could watch a short segment, try out some new skills with your customers, and then come back and watch the next segment.

The other nice thing about video is you can go back and watch a specific module if you wanted to review a particular concept. That’s a big advantage over live training. Read More

The New Rules of Customer Engagement Cover | Daniel Newman

An Interview with Daniel Newman, Customer Engagement Author

I was fortunate enough to sit down with Daniel Newman of recently and to talk to him about his new book, The New Rules of Customer Engagement: 6 Trends Reinventing the Way We Sell.

Daniel Newman is an experienced C-Level Executive that currently operates as a Strategy Consultant providing C-Suite services to small and mid-sized businesses. He is the founder of BroadSuite Consulting, the author of Millennial CEO, and the owner of the Millennial CEO website. Dan is widely published, is an Adjunct Professor of Management at North Central College, and has been recognized by the Huffington Post as one of the 100 business and leadership accounts to follow on Twitter.

In The New Rules of Customer Engagement, Dan brings some forward-thinking ideas to the topic of customer engagement and lays out a case for creativity and innovation as essential tools in the future of customer relationships. Check out the videos below to hear Dan explain these ideas in his own words.

Customer Experience Trumps All

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The Effortless Experience | Conquering the New Battleground for Customer Loyalty

The Effortless Experience: An Interview with Matt Dixon, Part 2

Last Thursday, we released three short video clips in Part 1 from our interview with Matt Dixon, coauthor of The Effortless Experience. Today, we are pleased to share the entire interview, which centers primarily around the idea of customer effort.

The concept of customer effort first began gaining traction back in 2010 when team members from The Corporate Executive Board Company (CEB) published an article in the Harvard Business Review entitled Stop Delighting The Customer (preview). Since that time, CEB has expanded its research into the relationship between customer effort and customer loyalty.

Much of this research culminated in the recent book: The Effortless Experience.

The full interview covers a wide variety of topics that were not in the excerpt clips posted last Thursday, including the origins of the research and why customer delight might not be the most effective customer experience strategy.

We hope you enjoy!





The Effortless Experience | Conquering the New Battleground for Customer Loyalty

The Effortless Experience: An Interview with Matt Dixon, Part 1

The concept of customer effort first began gaining traction back in 2010 when team members from The Corporate Executive Board Company (CEB) published an article in the Harvard Business Review entitled Stop Trying to Delight Your Customers. Since that time, CEB has expanded its research into the relationship between customer effort and customer loyalty.

Much of this research culminated in the recent book, The Effortless Experience.

The Effortless Experience posits a direct relationship between reducing customer effort and increased customer loyalty. Authors Matt Dixon, Nick Toman, and Rick Delisi put forth five drivers of disloyalty:

  • Multiple contacts to resolve
  • Generic service
  • Repeating information
  • Perceived additional effort to resolve
  • Transfers

As the list above indicates, the amount of effort a customer puts forth or perceives putting forth with an organization has a direct impact on that customer’s loyalty.

The Effortless Experience Interview

The Effortless Experience | Conquering the New Battleground for Customer LoyaltyOne of the authors of The Effortless Experience, Matt Dixon, was gracious enough to sit down with me and explore some of the key concepts found within The Effortless Experience. You can learn more about Matt’s credentials in his bio below, but I can tell you that the 20 minutes I spent discussing customer effort with Matt resulted in some of the most informative customer service content we have collected on video to date.

We have broken up the interview with Matt into three shorter videos that directly focus on some of my favorite topics from the discussion. Check out those videos below.

Then, make sure to come back Monday to see the full interview with Matt!

Once you’ve explored the 50,000 foot view through the clips below, I highly recommend purchasing a copy of The Effortless Experience. The book provides not only a deeper dive into the concepts discussed below but also explores the execution concepts centered around effort reduction. You can find the book’s Amazon page here. Read More

Inside Customer Service

Inside Customer Service: Jeannie Walters

We are pleased to present our next installment in the Inside Customer Service video series with Jeannie Walters.

Jeannie is the Chief Customer Experience Investigator and founder of 360Connext, a Chicago-based consulting firm specializing in the cornerstones of customer experience: customer engagement, employee engagement and connections like social media. In addition to writing and consulting, she speaks on topics including employee engagement, social media and communications in corporate environments.

Jeannie also blogs about customer experience here!