What Is an Internal Customer? | Office worker handing file

What Is an Internal Customer?

What Is an Internal Customer? | Office worker handing file

One of the more popular concepts in modern customer experience thinking is the idea of the internal customer. But who exactly are internal customers, and why do they matter?

An internal customer is anyone in the organization who needs assistance or interaction from another to fulfill their job responsibilities. This manifestation can happen in virtually any direction organizationally and is only limited to the the fact that one party in the relationship depends on another. Read more

3 Themes for National Customer Service Week 2016 | Team

3 Themes for National Customer Service Week 2016

3 Themes for National Customer Service Week 2016 | Team

National Customer Service Week 2016 is just around the corner!

Starting on Oct 3, National Customer Service Week is an opportunity for you and your team to shine a spotlight on the importance of customer service to your organization.

A good starting point for celebrating national customer service week is to adopt a theme for the event. Having a theme makes the event more manageable by enabling you to center the activities around a specific customer service concept.

The official theme for this year’s National Customer Service Week is “ONE GOAL, ONE TEAM, NO LIMITS.” Make sure to check our the International Customer Service Association’s website for more on the official theme and to request your NCSW celebration guide.

Below are three additional themes you can use in your organization for this year’s customer service week to either complement the official theme or to serve as a focal point based on the current needs of your team. Read more

How to Treat Customers: With Respect | Karate kids

How to Treat Customers: With Respect

How to Treat Customers: With Respect | Karate kids

You don’t have to be a customer service expert to know that respect is an immensely important part of customer service. In fact, we consider respect a cornerstone of any customer service philosophy, and we include “being disrespected” as one of our 7 Service Triggers, the seven customer service hot buttons that are guaranteed to ruin a customer experience. Read more

21 Ways to Not Make a Good First Impression with Customers | Employee smoking

21 Ways to Not Make a Good First Impression with Customers

21 Ways to Not Make a Good First Impression with Customers | Employee smoking

Research on first impressions confirms two very fundamental facts: first impressions happen rapidly and subconsciously.

The old adage is true: you never get a chance to make a first impression. Because once that impression is made, our tendency towards confirmation bias means we are looking for evidence to support that impression and ignoring evidence that contradicts it. In other words, first impressions are hard to overcome.

If the first impression is a positive one, that can work for us and our organizations. If the first impression is a negative one, then we start the relationship with a negative balance in our brand deposits account, so to speak.

In thinking about first impressions, I pondered the many ways organizations had made poor first impressions on me, and as a thought experiment, I set a timer for five minutes and tried to list as many ways as I could remember.  Read more

How Customer Service Training Is Like a Hollywood Love Story | Lovers in Paris

How Customer Service Training Is Like a Hollywood Love Story

How Customer Service Training Is Like a Hollywood Love Story | Lovers in Paris

Love stories in the movies, whether in the form of romantic comedies or more sentimental Nicholas Sparks-esque vehicles, have one similar device: the movie ends when the two love interests finally get together.

Usually, the couple has overcome obstacles that have kept them apart — either self-inflicted or environmental — and the movie closes when they are finally together, in each other’s arms, music crescendoing in the background as they start their new life together.

Romantic movies end there for one simple reason: what comes next is not romantic.

What comes next is bills and careers, crying babies and sleepless nights, and deciding whose going to leave work to pick up little Johnny from school.

What comes next is life, with its ups and downs, its highs and lows.

It can be messy, it can be complicated, and it is the reality that follows the fantasy at the end of the movie. Read more

5 Ideas for National Customer Service Week 2015 | Team

5 Ideas for National Customer Service Week 2015

5 Ideas for National Customer Service Week 2015 | Team

National Customer Service Week is coming up next week, October 5 – 9, so we came up with 5 ideas you can use (one per day) to celebrate with your team and your customers.

(Looking for more ideas? Check out our 2016 post: 3 Themes for National Customer Service Week 2016)

History of National Customer Service Week

First, a quick history of National Customer Service Week (NCSW). NCSW was established in 1992 by proclamation of President Bush (#41). The proclamation begins:

In a thriving free enterprise system such as ours, which provides consumers with a wide range of goods and services from which to choose, the most successful businesses are those that display a strong commitment to customer satisfaction. Today foreign competition as well as consumer demands are requiring greater corporate efficiency and productivity. If the United States is to remain a leader in the changing global economy, highest quality customer service must be a personal goal of every employee in business and industry. (Read the full proclamation.)

Of course, as we all know, every week should be customer service week; however, NCSW affords us the opportunity to highlight the importance of customer service, to generate discussions with customers and team members, and to celebrate the accomplishments of our teams. Read more

5 Customer Service Lessons from American Ninja Warrior

5 Customer Service Lessons from American Ninja Warrior

As we close out season 7 of American Ninja Warrior this evening, I thought it would be fun to talk about Ninja Warrior and customer service.

5 Customer Service Lessons from American Ninja Warrior

The Ninja Warrior competition has a number of parallels to frontline customer service.

For one, the course is ever-changing. The different obstacles require a number of different skill sets, and reps have to quickly shift between skills in a rapidly changing environment.

Also, each day is different, and a situation you have succeeded with in the past is the one that can take you out. And worst of all, the better you get — the farther you go — the harder it gets to succeed.

So, let’s take a look at 5 customer service lessons from American Ninja Warrior.

#1 Know Your Speed Limit

American Ninja Warriors need great balance, and among the most important skills is finding the balance between speedy and careless. Too slow, and you may not advance to the next round. Too fast, and you may make a fatal error. Read more

Is Twitter THE Channel for Customer Service? | Twitter Bird on Key of Keyboard

Is Twitter THE Channel for Customer Service?

Twitter understands that it is often a channel for immediate customer response, and it is not only embracing its role as a customer service channel but beginning to focus on selling itself as an indispensable channel for customer service.

Is Twitter THE Channel for Customer Service? | Twitter Bird on Key of KeyboardOn August 6th, Twitter released a Customer Service Playbook designed to convince organizations of Twitter’s importance as a customer service channel and to demonstrate how they can use the channel to generate effective results with customers.

Twitter makes the pitch this way:

The introduction of the 1-800 number changed the way brands approached customer service. In the nearly 50 years since, customer service hasn’t changed much, until now. We’re in the early days of the next revolution — customer service on Twitter.

To begin, Twitter has been used for customer service for so long now, that it seems odd for Twitter itself to proclaim a revolution this late in the game. But even if the revolution is already maturing into the status quo, Twitter is right that customer service communication has undergone a significant shift in the last decade. Read more

TMI from Frontline Reps; It's Deadly - Rep with hand over mouth

TMI from Frontline Reps; It’s Deadly

We’ve all had that awkward moment. We’re shopping in a store or asking about the product we ordered, and the frontline rep we’re interacting with starts to overshare. We hear about their life story, about the seven week saga that led to the order being delayed, or about how much they hate their job. It’s a case of TMI (too much information), and in customer service, it can be deadly.

Frontline reps share TMI in three primary ways:

TMI from Frontline Reps; It's Deadly - Rep with hand over mouth1. Too Much Personal Information

This is generally the most problematic form of TMI in customer interactions. Perhaps the rep is lonely, perhaps the rep simply lacks the social awareness to understand where to draw the line, but somehow the rep misses the clue that the customer does not want to hear their personal story.

No matter how bad their experience at the DMV was yesterday, no matter how much their foot hurts from their bunion surgery, the customer is not interested, and even if they might be, they should never have been put in the position to make that determination in the first place. TMI is simply not part of the professional relationship. Read more

Are You Customer Service Reps Eating the Marshmallow | Picture of Marshmallow | Walter Mischel's Marshmallow Experiment

Are Your Customer Service Reps Eating the Marshmallow?

In yesterday’s Monday Motivation, a Monday email sent to subscribers to our eNewsletter The Customer Conversation, we spoke about Walter Mischel’s famous  experiment on self control and delayed gratification in children. Here is part of the email:

Are You Customer Service Reps Eating the Marshmallow | Picture of Marshmallow | Walter Mischel's Marshmallow ExperimentResearcher Walter Mischel at Stanford devised an ingenious experience back in the Sixties to test self control and the ability to delay gratification in children. He put a marshmallow in front of a child and told them they could either eat the marshmallow or wait up to 20 minutes and then get two marshmallows. Most kids couldn’t do it.

However, a few could, and the researchers found something interesting about those who could: later in life, they seemed more successful, across every metric measured, than those who could not delay gratification. Those who gave in quickly… Read more