Annette 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.
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
Mac > PC
Customer Service > Customer Experience
Captain Kirk < Dr. Spock
Talk < Text
Dog > Cat
Movie Theater > In-Home Rental
What was your first job and what did you learn about customer service in it?
My first job as a teenager was in a department store. I worked in a few different departments during my tenure but also as a cashier. I learned a few important customer service lessons: (1) greet and acknowledge every customer that walks into your department; (2) honesty is the best policy; and (3) no matter how hard you try, you will not be able to please all customers – but give it your best.
Tell us how one outside influence impacted your customer service or customer experience thinking. (For ex. book, movie, sporting event, relationship, travel)
I can’t say that it’s necessarily been one thing. I’ve worked in this space for over 20 years, and I’ve read a lot, met a lot of great people with interesting perspectives, and worked with a lot of companies that faced different challenges from which to take away a wealth of knowledge. All of that has shaped my perspective into what it is today.
In your own personal experience, has customer service gotten better or worse in the past five years?
I’m not sure it’s gotten better or worse. It feels like it hasn’t changed much in the last five years, despite the heightened focus on customer experience. I think the best answer is, “It depends.” There are pockets where we are seeing improvement, but there are others where it’s the same or worse. Unfortunately, the latter overshadows the former.
> I consider it a bad customer experience when I am placed on hold for more than 2 minutes.
> In five years, the most important social media channel for customer service will be whichever one your customers prefer.
> The best book I read in the last twelve months was The Four Agreements.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Annette Franz
By Adam Toporek. Adam Toporek is an internationally recognized customer service expert, keynote speaker, and workshop leader. He is the author of Be Your Customer's Hero: Real-World Tips & Techniques for the Service Front Lines (2015), as well as the founder of the popular Customers That Stick® blog and co-host of the Crack the Customer Code podcast.