Joy Marsden, Keep Stepping to Succeed

Keep Stepping to Succeed with Joy Marsden

Joy Marsden, Keep Stepping to Succeed

I had the great pleasure of speaking with self-success speaker Joy Marsden about motivation, perseverance, and the power of keeping moving.

Keep Stepping to Succeed

Joy believes that we need to keep moving forward, to keep stepping, into the midst of challenge. And while not everyone may lead others or want to, we each must lead ourselves and find ways to do so that are effective Read more

Communication: The Most Important Skill in Customer Service

Communication: The Most Important Skill in Customer Service

Frontline reps require a wide range of customer service skills if they are going to deliver Hero-ClassTM customer service.

Like a father with his children, I don’t like to play favorites, but at some point, I must acknowledge that one skill is more important than all of the others.

That skill is communication.

Powerful, effective communication is foundational; without it, few other aspects of a customer’s experience will matter. Communication is the glue that keeps customer experiences from falling apart.

Communication is the glue that keeps customer experiences from falling apart. Click To Tweet

Communication is integral to every customer experience. Even something that seems noncommunication-centered, like an online order, has many layers of communication attached to it. From the language on the website to the confirmation message at checkout to the email that is sent once the order is placed, communication plays a crucial role in even an automated experience such as this one. Read more

5 Characteristics to Look for when Hiring for Entry-Level Customer Service

cts_2017-02_5-characteristics-hiring-entry-level-customer-service_FB

Hiring frontline reps is one of the most important parts of the customer experience process. Bringing someone in with the wrong attitude, skill set, or cultural outlook can be toxic to a team, wasteful of time, and damaging to the customer experience.

So, what characteristics should you look for when hiring for entry-level customer service? Should you focus on skill set or attitude?

There’s an old expression that says “Hire the smile, train the skills.” And what that means is to look for personality first. Often, when hiring those new to the workforce, this approach makes sense; however, there are many more attributes that make a great customer service rep, even one with little to no experience. Read more

The Power of Proactive Customer Communication | Wind Turbine

The Power of Proactive Customer Communication

The Power of Proactive Customer Communication | Wind Turbine

Proactive communication with customers is one of the most important customer service practices any organization or team can adopt.

Not only do you show customers that you care about them by checking in, you can also learn about their needs, desires, and preferences. In addition, you can potentially discover any negative feelings or emotions that that may be festering or growing and address them before they evolve into something more difficult to recover from.

As you’ve certainly read, a large portion of customers do not complain when they have a negative experience. In customer service, silent attrition is the silent killer.

Proactive contact can often uncover these hidden negative feelings and offer organizations the opportunity to resolve issues before they fester. Read more

Turn Your Customer Experience Inside Out | Dog looking out car window

Turn Your Customer Experience Inside Out

Turn Your Customer Experience Inside Out | Dog looking out car window

In customer experience, perspective is a powerful force.

Each participant in the customer journey has their own, individual perspective, and often, the gaps amongst these varying perspectives lie at the heart of dissatisfaction, displeasure, and misunderstanding.

Whether it be an unwillingness to take a step back and try to see the experience from the perspective of another or a failure to empathize with the other person’s emotional journey, this perspective gap is at the root of all too many customer experiences.

To remedy this disconnect, it can help to turn our customer experiences inside out. Read more

The Best Customer Experiences Are All About Heart with Phil Gerbyshak | Picture of hands holding plastic heart

The Best Customer Experiences Are All About Heart

The Best Customer Experiences Are All About Heart with Phil Gerbyshak | Picture of hands holding plastic heart


Phil Gerbyshak, social selling expert and host of Conversations with Phil

Phil Gerbyshak

Guest Poster: Phil Gerbyshak

The following is a guest post from Phil Gerbyshak.

Phil Gerbyshak teaches sales people and leaders to position themselves as an expert in their niche to up their influence, impact and income. If you’re looking to be more effective using LinkedIn, get your complimentary copy of LinkedIn Daily Dozen and tune in to Conversations with Phil, where Phil interviews today’s business leaders to find out the straight talk on the latest business issues affecting you.

Adam’s Note: The article below began as a Facebook post by my friend Phil Gerbyshak. When I first read the post, I thought to myself “wow, what a great story,” but when I thought about it further (how often does a post on Facebook make you do that?), I realized what a powerful lesson the story had to teach people at all organizational levels. In this brief story are lessons about the importance of focusing on the person in front of you, the impact of making human connections, and, of course, the value of having heart.

And now, Phil…


I’ve got a heart condition

This morning I splurged and got my shoes shined before my first meeting. I had an hour to spare and when I have the extra time and cash, it’s a nice treat for me.

I love to learn the story behind the person who has chosen to shine shoes for their vocation. Today I met Jimmie – with an IE, not a Y. Jimmie has been shining shoes for the past 15 years, the past 4 at Oxford Exchange in Tampa. He admits he’s not a 5 minute shine, and that’s what some people want. Instead, he’s a craftsman and it takes a full 30 minutes to shine a pair of shoes, at least it did with my pair. That’s what I want. Read more

Customer Communication Should Be for Customers

Customer Communication Should Be for Customers

Customer Communication Should Be for Customers

Customer service communication is at it’s core a balancing act. All too often, our spirit of wanting to do everything possible for our customers runs up against the limitations that reality imposes upon us. Whether it be liability exposure, legal restrictions, operational inability, or just pure right and wrong, sometimes we must refuse what customers want and must establish guidelines, or even, if you must, policies to frame our relationship with customers. Read more

3 Areas to Focus your Customer Experience in 2017 | Glasses focused on city

3 Areas to Focus your Customer Experience in 2017

3 Areas to Focus your Customer Experience in 2017 | Glasses focused on city

At the end and beginning of each year, there is an inevitable flood of articles and blog posts on customer service and customer experience predictions. Sometimes I have written about these myself, other times I’ve been quoted on these topics, and on a few occasions my partner Jeannie Walters and I have discussed them on the Crack the Customer Code podcast.

To start off 2017, instead of looking at new technologies or predicting the next “big thing,” I thought it would be useful take a different tack — to help identify those areas in customer experience that tend to be overlooked, those areas where organizations can reap huge benefits from directing their focus but often do not.

Those three areas are prevention, emotion, and follow-up.

#1. Focus on Prevention

The best way to handle a customer service issue is to prevent it from happening in the first place. All too often organizations get caught up in the hamster wheel of current customer complaints, operational challenges, and good, old fashioned busyness, and they fail to focus on the areas that most impact the creation of incredible customer journeys — customer experience design and customer service training. Read more

5 Ways to Use Language to Thank Customers

5 Ways to Use Language to Thank Customers

5 Ways to Use Language to Thank Customers

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches here in the United States, we thought it would be a great time to discuss a few different ways you can use language to express your gratitude to customers.

Thanking customers and telling them how much you appreciate them are important parts of the customer’s emotional journey, and it is important to remember that these expressions are only as valuable as they are authentic.

Sure, a team member can occasionally get away with a perfunctory “thank you”; yet, over time, customers can  sense when expressions of gratitude aren’t sincere. Read more

Who Owns the Customer Experience | rowing team

Who Owns the Customer Experience?

Who Owns the Customer Experience | rowing team

Who owns the customer experience?

This question has probably caused more organizational leaders to point fingers and reach for antacids than “why are we failing to meet projections?”

Of course, the easy answer, the consultant answer, is “everyone owns the customer experience.”

Drop the mic. Put the bill in the mail.

The real answer, however, is inherently more nuanced and complex. While everyone must take ownership of the customer experience in general, not everyone can own each part.

Organizations, especially large ones, simply can’t function effectively where employees exist in a vacuum of responsibility, in some amorphous, theoretical world where everyone finds exactly the right time and place to either serve the customer or to step aside for someone else to do so.

As business truisms go, “everyone owns the customer experience” does a good job of reaffirming the notion that every team member, whether on stage or off, has a part in the customer experience. Yet, it’s worse than useless in defining the execution of this principle.

In fact, in execution, it tends to run smack into another (and dare we say more definable) business aphorism: “When everyone is responsible, no one is.” Read more