Five Wishes For Customer Service In 2010

As I mentioned in my previous post, customer service deserves a lot more attention. Well, Customer Service Week also deserves more than one post. So here are a five items on my wish list for customer service operations in 2010:

  • Forget about average handle times. If you want shorter calls, disconnect your phones. But if a customer calls you, focus more on making them happy then on getting them off the line.
  • Learn from every interaction. Customer service interactions are full of insights about problems and unmet customer needs; stop squandering those extremely valuable insights. 
  • Recover quickly and be proactive. A quick solution to a problem generates goodwill, while a drawn-out solution loses customers. Address customer issues immediately and look for ways to eliminate problems before the customer even contacts you — this includes enabling customers to help each other.
  • Make customer service a product attribute. Don’t view customer service as an afterthought, think of it as a key component of your offering; so design it like you design other product attributes.
  • Engage reps in customer experience transformation. One of my 6 laws of customer experience is that unengaged employees don’t create engaged customers. So make your customer service organization a great place to work, which will cut down on turnover and get reps more involved in customer experience transformation efforts.

The bottom line: Turn customer service into a strategic weapon

About Bruce Temkin, CCXP
I'm an experience (XM) management catalyst; helping organizations improve results by engaging the hearts and minds of their employees, customers, and partners. I enjoy researching and speaking about these topics. I lead the Qualtrics XM Institute, which is the world's best job. We're igniting a global community of XM Professionals who are inspired and empowered to radically improve the human experience. To achieve this goal, my team focuses on thought leadership, training, and community building. My work is driven by a set of fundamental beliefs: 1) Everything starts and ends with human beings, so you need to understand how people think, feel, and behave; 2) XM is a discipline that needs to be woven throughout an organization's entire operating fabric; and 3) Building the XM discipline requires a combination of culture, competency, and technology.

13 Responses to Five Wishes For Customer Service In 2010

  1. Bravo on your five points for Customer Service 2010. This past week I had tweeted the following on Twitter and I now add it to your wonderful list: “I envision the day when Customer Service is part of the heartbeat of all companies & held in that esteem.”

    Let’s make that in 2010 and remember: “Metrics don’t create great service. They measure great service they you first create. ~Kate Nasser”

  2. Cindy says:

    It seems like as the economy has declined customer service has become worse. It would seem like it would be the opposite.
    Nice Site.

  3. snoopdougydoug says:

    Just been recommended your blog and based on what I see I will be coming back for more. I particularly like wish number 5, this is a passion and belief you and I share. I will put a link to this on my blog and hopefully we can begin to reinforce some good thinking.

    Thanks Bruce

    Doug

  4. Pingback: Five Wishes « Stop Doing Dumb Things To Customers

  5. Bryan Lee says:

    Bruce, I love number three and four from your list. For number three, recover quickly and be proactive, while firms honorably strive to be perfect, I don’t think consumers expect them to be. What they do expect is that we will make it right and do it quickly as you say. In fact, I believe that recovery opportunities are a key place to differentiate your brand’s service AND give customers a good, positive story to tell…. maybe an even better one than if everything went as planned.

  6. Bryan Lee says:

    For number four, Make Service a Product Attribute – I agree, but think that at the end of the day SERVICE and the EXPERIENCE of using and owning the product ARE the brand and the key attribute!

  7. Bruce Temkin says:

    Hi everyone: Thanks for all of the great feedback. And I must say that snoopdougydoug has the best name I’ve seen on my blog. It’s given me the urge to become “snoopbrucybruce.”

  8. Beth Nast says:

    snopbethybeth loves the fact that Madrid, Spain needs your expert help. But back to more local matters, Starbucks appears to have failed with it’s instant coffee Via Ready Brew. Don’t they know that once customers enter the hallowed halls of Starbucks, they are prepared to drop whatever it costs to get the full Starbucks experience. AND speaking of that, why do they stop asking your name to put on coffee cups? That was their best feature…gotta get on them Brucie.
    Travel safe!!

  9. snoopdougydoug says:

    Hi all, I just can’t keep away. Wanted to highlight a great customer service activity going on here in England. A little something called the Wow awards. It’s powerful stuff. I encourage you to take a look and if you have the time, check out the 2 minute vid on their homepage. I have no formal connection with these guys, just sharing a good customer service idea.

    http://www.thewowawards.com/

    Best wishes from the English branch of the snoop family.

  10. Pingback: Spotlight Ideas » Top 250 Blog Posts – Advertising, Marketing, Digital, Media and PR

  11. Robert Brown says:

    Hey Bruce, I agreed with all your points they are vital in today’s competitive market. Thanks for sharing this useful information and keep up the good work.

    _________
    Call Center Quality Assurance

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