Customer Service Hero

Slideshare: What is a Customer Service Hero?

On January 28, 2013, we introduced a new way to define ideal customer service. We had a lot of fun putting together our concept of Hero-Class Customer Service™, a concept that stems from the belief that every delivery of superior customer service involves a hero of some sort.

We thought a Slideshare presentation would be a great way to capture the different qualities that make up Customer Service Heroes.

From Superman to Spiderman, here is what it takes to be Customer Service Hero:


What Is Customer Service?

What is Customer Service? A Look Back via SlideShare

On March 7, 2012, we asked 19 business, marketing and customer service experts the fundamental question:

What is Customer Service?

We received some truly insightful answers and thought we would revisit some of the better nuggets by creating a SlideShare presentation. If you missed the original post or have not read it in awhile, check out the presentation below.



Hero-Class Customer Service | CTS Man With Cape

What is Hero-Class Customer Service? Part 2

In our last post, What is Hero-Class Customer Service? Part 1, we discussed why we like the term Hero-ClassTM Customer Service and the characteristics that customer facing professionals need to become customer service heroes.

The final piece of understanding Hero-ClassTM Customer Service is to discuss what it looks like in an organization as a whole. What is the essence of Hero-ClassTM Customer Service itself? How does the sum of the parts, the actions of individual heroes, add up for the organization and its customers?

Hero-ClassTM Customer Service…

Hero-Class Customer Service | CTS Man With Cape… is super-fast but never rushed
… is proactive more than reactive
… is visible in result but invisible in execution
… is experience-focused and not silo-bound
… is self-aware but not self-centered
… is consistent without being inflexible
… is efficient but not effortless
… is relational not transactional
… is always present but never an imposition
… is referral generating more than referral soliciting
… is surprising but never a surprise
… is data-conscious but not data-dominated
… is broad in concept but individual in application
… is grateful in substance not just in form

Read More

What is Hero-Class Customer Service? Part 1

I’ve searched for a long time for a phrase to describe a level of service that is both amazing in its quality and impressive in its delivery.

Hero-Class Customer Service | CTS Man With CapeSure, I’ve used the typical phrases for years — world-class customer service, platinum-level customer service, 5-star customer service — and so on. But these phrases are common, and as such, have many meanings.

What you mean when you say “world-class customer service” and what I mean can be two completely different things.

I wanted a phrase that was not overused and that had a specific meaning. A term, well, that could have a specific definition.

In the end, I chose Hero-ClassTM Customer Service.

What is Hero-ClassTM Customer Service?

The phrase Hero-ClassTM Customer Service embodies the concept that every delivery of superior customer service involves a hero of some sort. They might not be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound or control sea creatures telepathically, but the customer facing professionals who deliver consistently excellent customer service are heroes to their customers.

In a world filled with poor service, administrative hassles, and a digitally-distracted populace, the attention and focus great customer service reps give their customers makes them heroic to most.

What Are the Qualities of a Customer Service Hero?

My original framework for this section referenced Joseph Campbell’s construction of the hero’s journey. In thinking about the matter, however, a customer service hero is a hero in a different sense. Read More

What Is Customer Experience Enhancement | Silo

What Is Customer Experience Enhancement? And Why It Matters

So you decide to buy a pair of shoes.

It begins when you see an advertisement for a holiday special. The advertisement promises free overnight shipping with a purchase over $100 and a discount on the pair of shoes you have been eyeing for months.

Since the shoes put you just under the $100 limit, you decide to add a set of socks to the cart to get the free overnight shipping. After trying three different times to add the items to your online shopping cart, you still can’t get the free shipping to activate.

What Is Customer Experience Enhancement | Telephone SalespersonSo you decide to call.

It takes almost five minutes of searching the company’s website to find the 800 number. It is hidden in small font on a Contact Us link at the bottom of the page.

As soon as you call the 800 number, you realize why the number is hard to find; the call center is obviously understaffed, and you wait almost 15 minutes before a human answers the phone.

Eventually, a salesperson picks up the line. It takes almost five minutes of explanation before the salesperson understands the situation. She then explains your problem. “I’m sorry sir, but the socks are not one of our brand items, so they don’t count towards the free shipping.”

You are now almost 30 minutes into trying to give this company your business and to say that you are disgruntled would be an understatement.

You are debating whether to just walk away when you decide to ask for a manager. The sales rep says that she would be happy to transfer you to the “customer service department.”

Fortunately, the customer service representative (CSR) is great and couldn’t be more helpful or patient. She calmly listens as you vent about how you have lost the remainder of your youth trying to do business with their company. She says all of the right things and wastes no time waiving the overnight fee.

The customer service department has their act together, and they save the sale. You finalize the purchase, thank the CSR, and then walk across the room to look for your blood pressure monitor.

So, here’s the million dollar question: How would you rate your experience with this company?

Read More

What Is A Customer? | Gandhi Quote Picture

What Is a Customer? Did Gandhi Really Say?

A fairly popular quote about the nature of what a customer is has been making the rounds in the customer service world for years. The quote, in it’s more common form, reads like this:

“A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption of our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider of our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favour by serving him. He is doing us a favour by giving us the opportunity to do so.”

This quote has been popularly attributed to Indian nationalist leader Mahatma Gandhi in blog posts, posters and pictures.

What Is A Customer? | Gandhi Quote Picture

Of course, the general nature of the quote seems to fit Gandhi’s inclusive philosophy that emphasized duty to others.

The catch, however, there seems to be no real evidence that Gandhi ever said this. Read More

What Is A Loyalty Program | Spoof Loyalty Card

What Is a Loyalty Program? (And Will It Work For You)

Loyalty programs seem to be everywhere these days. From major airlines to local dry cleaners, it seems like wherever we go a company is offering us the option of joining their rewards program or loyalty club.

So what are these loyalty programs and, more importantly, how effective are they?

What Is a Loyalty Program?

To my surprise, a good definition of loyalty program (LP) is hard to find. Considering the amount of focus and resources directed towards loyalty programs in modern business, one would think better definitions would be available. Below are the three best definitions I found, and ironically, none of them were from a “customer service” site:

  • “Loyalty programs are structured marketing efforts that reward, and therefore encourage, loyal buying behavior — behavior which is potentially beneficial to the firm.” Source: Wikipedia
  • “A rewards program offered by a company to customers who frequently make purchases.” Source: Investopedia
  • “A customer loyalty program is a structured and long-term marketing effort which provides incentives to repeat customers who demonstrate loyal buying behavior.” Source: 

Since the existing definitions are so weak and since I cannot very well have a post entitled “What Is a Loyalty Program” without defining the term, I decided to take a stab at creating a more comprehensive definition myself. Read More

What Is Customer Service?

What Is Customer Service?

What is Customer Service?

What Is Customer Service?It is the most fundamental of questions. Like many concepts, customer service seems to be in the eye of the beholder, a Rorschach test for how one views business and, to some degree, life.

Is customer service a mere business function, subject to the tight strictures of return on investment? Or is customer service an expression of human decency, something that transcends the mere confines of profit? Perhaps customer service is of some middle place.

To celebrate the official launch of Customers That Stick, I thought we could attempt to answer this most basic of questions. To do so, we went to 19 great minds from small business, customer service and marketing to get a diverse set of opinions about what customer service is, what it means, and how it affects us all.

What Is Customer Service?

Guy WinchGuy Winch, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist, a speaker and the author of The Squeaky Wheel: Complaining the Right Way to Get Results, Improve Your Relationships and Enhance Self-Esteem. In addition to Guy’s Blog, Dr. Winch also writes the popular Squeaky Wheel Blog on

“Customer Service is about creating a relationship of trust and loyalty with customers that transcends the interaction of the moment. Ironically, such bonds are best forged not when things go right but when things go wrong. Therefore complaint management becomes the premier opportunity to prove our care, responsiveness, and trustworthiness to customers.

Using complaining psychology allows us to turn crises into opportunities, to demonstrate we have the customer’s back, and by doing so to make them more loyal than they had been before a problem arose.”

Read More

What Is Great Customer Service | Man Stands Out

What Is Great Customer Service?

We wanted to try something a little different with this installment of the “What-Is” series and create a blog post completely written by our community. If you read blogs with any regularity, you know that often the real action happens in the comments, not in the post itself.

In this post, there is no doubt: it is all about the comments.

What is Great Customer Service?

What Is Great Customer Service | Man Stands OutThat is the question that we ask you to answer in the comment section below. Eventually, we will collect some of the thoughts below and distill the best ideas from the comments into something a little more bite-sized. Of course, you can write about stupendous customer service, amazing customer service, or whatever superlative you feel most comfortable with. We had to pick just one, and great customer service seemed the most appropriate.

So, if you’ve never written a blog post before, please feel free to share your thoughts below. You’ll have helped to write at least one!

Thank you all for your participation, and we look forward to reading the comments!

PS. The first 2 comments were copied from a previous post to this one due to the Launch Sweepstakes we are running in March 2012.

Understanding Customer Lifetime Value: A Non-Geek's Guide | Blackboard equations

Understanding Customer Lifetime Value: A Non-Geek’s Guide

Understanding Customer Lifetime Value: A Non-Geek's Guide | Blackboard equations

What is Customer Lifetime Value and Why Is It Important?

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) attempts to determine the economic value a customer brings over their “lifetime” with the business.  At the heart of understanding CLV lies the recognition that a customer does not represent a single transaction but a relationship that is far more valuable than any one-time exchange.

However, CLV is not about any one customer; it is about stepping back and taking a look at your customer base as a whole — understanding that while some never return and some never leave, on average there is a typical customer lifetime and that lifetime has a specific economic value.

Understanding Customer Lifetime Value is incredibly important for customer service professionals and for businesses of all types. Why?

Because if you don’t know what a client is worth, you don’t know what you should spend to get one or what you should spend to keep one.

For instance, if it costs you $100 to acquire a customer, and your customer’s CLV is $75, then we’ve got a problem Houston.

Understanding CLV allows you to drill down and understand the economic value of each customer, so you can make sound decisions about how much to invest in acquisition and retention.

Read More