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

The Peak-End Rule and Customer Experience | proposal at restaurant

The Peak-End Rule and Customer Experience

The Peak-End Rule and Customer Experience | proposal at restaurant

One key to designing great customer experience touch points is to understand the way our minds process and retain information.

Customers do not remember every moment of a customer experience equally. First impressions and primacy effects demonstrate that the beginning of an experience can have outsized importance.

Similarly, the peak-end rule informs us that specific portions of a customer’s experiences are more important than others in determining how the customer remembers the experience.

What is the peak-end rule? The peak-end rule states that we remember an experience by how we felt at its most intense moment and at the end, instead of an average of how we felt throughout.

Look at the picture above; what part of that dinner do you think both people will remember years later?

It is important to remember that the “most intense” moment can be positive or negative. This is one reason why an organization can do almost everything right yet the customer seems to focus on the one thing the organization got wrong.

Read more

5 Expert Tips for Customer Service Recovery | upset customer

5 Expert Tips for Customer Service Recovery

5 Expert Tips for Customer Service Recovery | upset customer

No matter how great a customer experience your organization provides, you will always have a need for service recovery.

Part of creating great customer experiences is not just designing fantastic, memorable experiences but planning and preparing for the service issues that inevitably occur.

No matter how good the product or service, no matter how effective the systems and procedures, every organization eventually drops the ball with a customer.

And even when they do everything perfectly from their perspective, they can still disappoint customers who had differing expectations.

No matter how good your customer experience, you will always need customer service. Read more

Hospitality Customer Service with Christoff J. Weihman | pic of Christoff

Exploring Hospitality Customer Service (Video)

Hospitality Customer Service with Christoff J. Weihman | pic of Christoff

In my conversation with hospitality service expert Christoff Weihman, we covered a number of topics surrounding hospitality customer service, including how it is evolving and how it differs from other service models.

How to Give 5-Star Hospitality Customer Service

Christoff believes that 5-Star service is about feeling – how customers feel during their experience with the organization and how they feel after they leave.

Christoff and I also discuss how hospitality organizations are using technology to improve experiences, and how they need to make sure staff is trained to communicate with customers around certain technological changes.

Make sure to check out Christoff’s insights in the video below. Read more

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

Save Your Customer Service Team from Vampire Customers

Save Your Customer Service Team from Vampire Customers

Save Your Customer Service Team from Vampire Customers

Vampire customers exist in every organization.

You know the ones — the ones that are excessively needy, that are overly demanding, and that can often be downright unpleasant.

In short, the ones that suck the life out of your team.

If your organization is like most, then I’m willing to bet that a small handful of “problem” customers are responsible for the majority of your service challenges. It’s the principle of the 80/20 rule, but in customer service, it’s usually closer to the 95/5 rule or the 98/2 rule.

A very small number of customers create a great majority of the serious issues. Read more