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Why Amazon Will Swallow Almost Everyone

Why Amazon Will Swallow Almost Everyone

Amazon. The name itself perfectly captures the essence of what the company has become.

Why Amazon Will Swallow Almost EveryoneIt is the largest, dominant feature in its ecosphere. It provides sustenance to those who use its resources. It serves as an economic engine for those whose livelihoods center around it. And nearby bodies of water feed it more than they compete with it.

A few recent interactions with Amazon demonstrate how the company is slowly but surely going to swallow almost everyone. While these examples are certainly anecdotal, they seem to exemplify larger trends in Amazon’s continued growth and increasing dominance.

The Same-Day Suitcase

We needed a new suitcase, and our options were simple:

  • We could go to the traditional mall or outlet mall and hope to find a suitcase that matched our needs. A multi-hour proposition with a dicey chance of success.
  • We could research local retailers through phone or web for models and inventory, buy it online or call to have them set it aside, and then drive to the store to pick it up.
  • We could find the brand online and either buy it directly from the manufacturer or go bargain hunting on a variety of discount and often dubious websites, creating new logins, adding new account info, and navigating unfamiliar shipping policies and procedures.

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Faces of Customer Experience: Nicole Miller

Meet Nicole Miller!

photo.PNGMy name is Nicole Miller and I graduated in 1990 at Marymount University where I received a bachelors degree in business and fashion merchandising.

Since graduation, I have always been in the retail industry and am currently the district manager for the Once Upon A Child stores. I am fortunate and proud to work for the original, owner and founder of resale, Lynn Blum. This year the company is celebrating 30 years of business.

Lynn started her stores with a cash box, ad in the paper, and a 350 sq foot store in Toledo, Ohio. The growth has been amazing. Now there are 250 franchised stores nationwide.

False Dichotomy

We know that the answer is often somewhere in between, but the fun of this section is that you have to pick just one!

Paper > Plastic

Personalization < Privacy

In-Store Shopping < Online Shopping

Transactional Relational

Mac > PC

Customer Service > Customer Experience

Captain Kirk < Dr. Spock

Talk > Text

Dog < Cat

Movie Theater > In-Home Rental 
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Carol Euliss headshot crop

Faces of Customer Experience: Carol Euliss

Meet Carol Euliss!

Carol Euliss headshot cropI have been an RN for 36 years, a childbirth educator for 20 years, and a doula for 16 years. I have worked for Community Health Network in Indianapolis, IN for 27 years. I teach classes, coordinate a hospital based doula program, and attend births in the role of a doula. I have been privileged to assist hundreds of babies into the world and help families have positive birth experiences.

False Dichotomy

We know that the answer is often somewhere in between, but the fun of this section is that you have to pick just one!

Paper < Plastic

Personalization < Privacy

In-Store Shopping < Online Shopping

Transactional Relational

Mac > PC

Customer Service < Customer Experience

Captain Kirk > Dr. Spock

Talk < Text

Dog < Cat

Movie Theater < In-Home Rental 

Tell Us More About Yourself…

What was your first job and what did you learn about customer service in it?

My first job was in a vending business of which my dad was a partial owner. I was a hostess who filled in for different hostesses when they were on vacation. I would change locations every week or two. I filled vending machines, did minor maintenance on machines, cleaned coffee machines, cleaned tables, and made bank deposits from the machines for the vending company. Read more

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Faces of Customer Experience: Becky Lollar

Meet Becky Lollar!

beckyI grew up in Bartlett, TN and attended Union University in nearby Jackson where I earned degrees in elementary education. I taught Kindergarten for three years then chose to stay at home with my two daughters.

After our first family trip to Walt Disney World, I was hooked! I now represent Magical Travel, an agency which specializes in selling Disney vacations. After four years, I am still thrilled to be helping clients make magical memories!

False Dichotomy

We know that the answer is often somewhere in between, but the fun of this section is that you have to pick just one!

Paper > Plastic

Personalization < Privacy

In-Store Shopping > Online Shopping

Transactional Relational

Mac > PC

Customer Service < Customer Experience

Captain Kirk < Dr. Spock

Talk > Text

Dog < Cat

Movie Theater < In-Home Rental 

Tell Us More About Yourself…

What was your first job and what did you learn about customer service in it?

My first part-time job was working at a summer day camp as an assistant counselor. Our primary customers were the parents of the children we were serving. In this job, I learned that meeting customer expectations is what really matters; if parents didn’t feel that we were providing their kids with a safe environment and planning fun, structured activities, they could choose other options.

My first full-time job as a public school teacher was no different; communication is the key to success. Parents have expectations that the teacher will enable their kids to progress at an acceptable rate. I had to learn how to plan and conduct conferences during which we would have constructive conversations about individual and parent-teacher “team” objectives and desired outcomes.
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Holiday Customer Service | Red Gift Boxes

6 Ways to Kickstart Your Organization for The Holiday Shopping Season

With the official Black Friday starting gun for the holiday season now officially fired, we thought we would share some tips for helping you prepare your teams for the remainder of the season. Remember, Black Friday and Cyber Monday still account for only a small percentage of holiday sales. The bulk of the holiday season is still ahead.

Preparation is the key to not only surviving but thriving during the holiday season. Do you have adequate labor? How will you inform customers of changing store hours? Can you augment your parking if needed to accommodate customers? Preparing for the season’s challenges ahead of time is the best way to make sure that increased traffic does not result in increased customer service issues.

Below we’ve assembled 6 tips to prepare your organization for the holiday season. While not every tip will apply across business models, most are fairly universal.

1. Learn From the Past

Have an informal meeting with your frontline teams to determine best, and worst, practices from the previous year. Make an assessment based on your conversation about where you are and what you can do to enhance your winning strategies and to avoid repeating bad performances.

2. Take Inventory

No shock here. The holidays are prime time for running out of inventory — and supplies.  Make sure you are well stocked with both.

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Documentation and a Tale of Four Phone Calls

The following is a post from Tricia Keels, Social Media Manager here at CTS.

What I like most about Tricia’s story is that it demonstrates how great systems and training can make a high effort experience as effortless as possible. While the product design could be more customer friendly (wait until the screwdriver part), the call center handled the situation like champs from beginning to end.

And now, Tricia…


 

large_6005186410Electronics and I don’t mix. Electronics and our 11-year-old son, Atticus, do. So you can imagine how upset he was to find his little sister had shoved the SD card into his Nintendo 3DS backwards. The thing never worked the same after that. It was time to call customer support.

My expectation was that I was going to waste my entire afternoon on hold, not understand what the techie was saying to me, and endure lots of noise, not only from my three kids running around, but from a noisy call center as well. You can see why I didn’t want to pick up the phone.

But, I love our son, and he bought this Nintendo 3DS with his own money, and it wasn’t even a year old.

What actually happened was the exact opposite of my expectations.

As customer service professionals, we are always thinking of ways to respect our customers’ time. Nintendo’s documentation, their expert call center reps, and their patience with us flipped this on its head. In the end, they had me, the customer, respecting their time as we navigated the steps to get this device fixed. Read More

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Faces of Customer Experience: Ali Banks

Meet Ali Banks!

969602_10101919918888959_976237169_nAli Banks’ began her career in architecture but left her real estate development job to pursue her love of food at Le Cordon Bleu, Paris. Her food adventure brought her back home to New York and now Chicago.

Currently the Resident Chef for Sur La Table, Chicago, she teaches hands-on cooking classes to adults and children. Additionally, she is the recipe developer for Sitka Salmon Shares and enjoys experiencing the operation first hand by fishing in Alaska.

False Dichotomy

We know that the answer is often somewhere in between, but the fun of this section is that you have to pick just one!

Paper < Plastic

Personalization < Privacy

In-Store Shopping < Online Shopping

Transactional Relational

Mac < PC

Customer Service > Customer Experience

Captain Kirk > Dr. Spock

Talk > Text

Dog < Cat

Movie Theater < In-Home Rental 

Tell Us More About Yourself…

What was your first job and what did you learn about customer service in it?

My first job was as a lifeguard at a swim club in my home town. I learned that not everyone will be happy, and you can’t make everyone happy. I found it helpful to always be upfront but courteous when sharing information with a customer. People are infinitely more understanding and pleasant when you’re positive — a smile goes a long way. Read More

annette_franz

Faces of Customer Experience: Annette Franz

Meet Annette Franz!

annetteAnnette Franz, CCXP is Director, VOC Consulting at Confirmit. Through her blog, CX Journey, Annette shares her passion for helping companies transform their cultures to ensure the customer is at the center of every conversation.

She was recently recognized as one of “The 100 Most Influential Tech Women on Twitter” by Business Insider and has been recognized by several organizations as a top influencer in Customer Experience.

False Dichotomy

We know that the answer is often somewhere in between, but the fun of this section is that you have to pick just one!

Paper < Plastic

Personalization < Privacy

In-Store Shopping > Online Shopping

Transactional >Relational

Mac > PC

Customer Service > Customer Experience

Captain Kirk < Dr. Spock

Talk < Text

Dog > Cat

Movie Theater > In-Home Rental 

Read More

Mike Wittenstein | StoryMiners

Faces of Customer Experience: Mike Wittenstein

Meet Mike Wittenstein!

avatar_mike_wittenstein_2014.jpegTwenty five years, 25 countries, 400 clients, $1.5b in measurable impact. | IBM eVisionary. Founder/leader at Storyminers, one of the world’s first experience/service design consultancies. | Focus > Retail and Store of the Future initiatives. | English, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian. | Love time with friends/family, new things, travel, woodworking.

False Dichotomy

We know that the answer is often somewhere in between, but the fun of this section is that you have to pick just one!

Paper > Plastic

Personalization < Privacy

 In-Store Shopping < Online Shopping 

Transactional > Relational

Mac < PC

Customer Service > Customer Experience

 Captain Kirk < Dr. Spock

Talk < Text 

 Dog < Cat

Movie Theater < In-Home Rental

Read More

Customer Service Qualifications SlideShare Cover

SlideShare: 7 #CustServ Qualfications Everyone Must Have

Customer service is a tough job, and customer-facing professionals must have many positive personality traits to be successful. In 2012, we wrote a post called 7 Customer Service Qualifications Everyone Must Have, and we decided to present this content via SlideShare to provide you with a fun, useful tool you can share with your teams.