8 Ways to Be Your Customer's Hero

8 Ways to Be Your Customer’s Hero

It’s official! We’re celebrating the 1 year anniversary of Be Your Customer’s Hero!

By focusing on the skills frontline teams need to successfully navigate relationships and interactions with customers, Be Your Customer’s Hero has directly impacted customer-facing teams and businesses teams all over the country and the world.

To commemorate the one year anniversary of HERO, we thought it would be fun to put together an infographic on customer service techniques and tips from Be Your Customer’s Hero.

Our Customer Service Infographic

Customer Service Infographic: 8 Ways to Be Your Customer's Hero

Improve Your Frontline Customer Service

Interested in upping your team’s service game? Dig deeper into Be Your Customer’s Hero using the links below.

In Customer Service, Is Ordinary Now Extraordinary? | Light Bulb Stands Out

In Customer Service, Is Ordinary Now Extraordinary?

In Chapter 7 of Be Your Customer’s Hero, I wrote the following:

“Great customer experiences begin with a great attitude, but so does satisfaction and happiness at work. Attitude certainly isn’t everything; skills and competence do matter. However, without a great attitude, these attributes are almost meaningless. Your attitude will determine your ability to serve customers, your ability to inspire others, and your ability to work your way up in your organization.”

In a book dedicated to customer service training for frontline reps, I felt compelled to spend a chapter on the effects of attitude, because so many frontline reps do not understand that a caring, happy, and positive attitude is part of their job in interacting with customers.

In Customer Service, Is Ordinary Now Extraordinary? | Light Bulb Stands OutOne can learn all of the customer service skills there are to learn, but without a great attitude, you can never deliver Hero-Class® Customer Service. Read more

When Bad Systems Happen to Good People | Person in Laboratory

When Bad Systems Happen to Good People

I needed to get some routine blood work done a few weeks ago, and the doctor recommended that I use the hospital network his practice was affiliated with. My schedule was packed and the hospital was not close, so I found a major testing company that was closer to home and gave them a call.

Bad Systems

I was greeted by an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system — nothing wrong with that, at first — but the IVR only gave me two choices: book the appointment using the phone keypad or book online. I had a question about my test however, and I needed to speak to a human. I was already tight on time, so I wanted to make sure my question was answered to avoid showing up at the lab and having to go back another day. Since I couldn’t get a human, I bailed on the private company and called the hospital my doctor had recommended.

“Bad” People

When Bad Systems Happen to Good People | Person in LaboratoryUpon calling the hospital, I was not confronted with bad systems but instead with less than helpful frontline reps. The person who answered the phone was rude at first but then, oddly, turned extremely nice. I’m not sure if she had started the call a bit distracted or her boss had just walked into the room. Certainly, it was not a great first impression, but it was one from which the hospital could have easily recovered.

If only.

I was then transferred to the lab itself. The rep who answered the phone in the lab was extremely curt. The entire conversation consisted of him replying in one word and short single sentence answers. The exchange gave me zero confidence in the lab, its professionalism, or its ability to perform tests properly.

Sadly, when we’re discussing healthcare, I believe that this type of unfeeling service becomes an ethical issue on some level. My tests were routine, but imagine those people recently diagnosed with an illness or calling for a sick child. A little compassion and communication is the least one would expect. Certainly, poor service in healthcare is not new (in fact, I have written about my ridiculous healthcare customer service story before), but it can really impact those on the receiving end in a way that bad customer service at the mall cannot.

In healthcare, a little customer service can go a long way. 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

A Hero-Class (R) Thank You! | Arms in Air on Mountaintop

A Hero-Class® Thank You!

Be Your Customer's Hero | Customer Service Book CoverNow that Be Your Customer’s Hero is on bookstore shelves and being used by frontline customer service professionals across the country (and the world!) to help them deliver Hero-Class® customer experiences, I wanted to take a moment to publicly thank some important friends and colleagues who played a part in HERO.

Many of those listed below were listed in the acknowledgements section of Be Your Customer’s Hero, but so much of the work surrounding a book happens after publication that I wanted to acknowledge those who not only helped build the rocket ship but also those who helped to get it off the ground!


A Hero-Class (R) Thank You! | Arms in Air on Mountaintop As I mentioned in the Acknowledgments in HERO, “Writing is a solitary endeavor, but producing a book requires the efforts of a team.”

So, a very sincere thank you to the HERO team — to all of the friends and colleagues who helped make Be Your Customer’s Hero a reality and to all of those who have purchased HERO for themselves and their staffs. I am truly grateful for your counsel, encouragement, and support! Read more

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

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

Paradox of Choice

A Mash of Monthly Mashes

It has been a great run of mashed up customer service and customer experience tips, tricks and observations, but it’s time to evolve. To commemorate three years of the Monthly Mash, here’s a quick look at some of our favorite original content from the series.


Holiday Shopper Stress | Shopper Holding Head with PresentsVolume 37: November 2014The Sympathetic Holiday Shopper: To be open or not to be open on national holidays.


The Omnipresent Customer | Businessman checks his watchVolume 36: October 2014The Omnipresent Customer: Customers want to talk with us where they want to talk with us, and they want the experience to be seamless across channels.


Paradox of ChoiceVolume 35: September 2014Fewer Choices, More Happiness: A review of the key findings of Barry Schwartz’s book The Paradox of Choice and their relevance to customer experience.


Read more

The Retirement of the Monthly Mash | Beach Chairs on Sand at Sunset

5 Changes to the CTS Blog in 2015

Happy New Year, and welcome to the first Customers That StickTM blog post of 2015! I thought our first post of the year would be a good time to talk about some of our upcoming plans for the blog . While the changes are not revolutionary — the blog will still be very recognizable to regular readers — it is evolutionary, and we will be refining our focus and and concentrating on some exciting new areas to help provide you even more value.

More Resources

To begin, we’ll be creating more free resources you can use to enhance your customer service and customer experiences. We will start with the Customers That StickTM Guide to Customer Service Certificate and Degree Programs (launching on Monday, January 12), which will be a resource for those looking to learn more about what is happening in higher education in the fields of customer service and customer experience.

Next, we will be releasing a brand new collection of CS and CX resources on February 2 9.

You will find even more helpful resources posted as 2015 progresses.

Retirement of The Monthly Mash

The Retirement of the Monthly Mash | Beach Chairs on Sand at SunsetIt’s been a great run, but The Monthly Mash is ready to sip frozen drinks on a beach in blissful retirement. The Monthly Mash hit the three year mark this past November, and we think it’s feeling a bit burnt out.

We’ve enjoyed sharing so much great customer service and customer experience content over these past three years. We will continue to curate great content from the customer-centric disciplines and will share them via our social channels as well as in less structured ways than the Mash.

We’ll miss the Mash, and to celebrate its retirement, we’re throwing it a retirement party. Check back in on Monday, January 19 for a recap of some of the content from three years of Mashes. Read more