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Customer Service in the News | Week of March 4th

Posted on  4 March 13  by 


Customer Service News


  • Launches Service Cloud Mobile With In-App Customer Service, Co-Browsing, and Chat [TechCrunch]
  • How a Finance Company Implemented Customer Service Lessons from Ritz Carlton [WSJ]
  • Self-Service Trends: Helping Customers Help Themselves [1to1 Media]


Why You (Probably) Shouldn’t Go Mobile

Posted on  1 March 13  by 

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mobile phone customer serviceI recently came across an ad vaunting the endless benefits of mobile: slashing customer call volume, offering virtual hold, cutting that awful AHT. Heck, mobile sounded like such a sure-fire solution to everything that you’d be foolish to even hesitate for a second. And why would you? Well, here are some truths and debunked myths about mobile that these types of ads aren’t telling you. So before we leap aboard the mobile bandwagon, let’s just take a moment to consider what developing an app would really entail.

  • Mobile is not one-size-fits all. Vendors will tell you that Smartphones are becoming more prevalent in society, but let’s take a step back and look at the actual global market penetration rates of the leading providers.
  • iOS: 23%
  • Android: 56%
  • RIM: 6.9%
  • Symbian: 8.6%

Read More »

5 Tips for an Effective Service Channel Planning Session

Posted on  27 February 13  by 


issue to channel mapping sessionLast year, CCC uncovered some startling news.  Customers told us that when it comes to solving their service requests, they want actually less choice in what service channel/tool they use and more guidance from the company.  Turns out, in the abstract more choice sounds great – I mean who doesn’t like choice?  But in reality – when faced with an actual issue, customers just want the easiest and fastest way to fix their problem or answer their question – and they are more than willing to be guided by the company to that low-effort path.

And one of the first steps companies take to create a “less choice, more guidance” experience is to complete CCC’s highly popular Issue-to-Channel Mapping Tool (B2C | B2B versions).

This tool helps companies identify the best-fit channel for their top issues.  It audits the capability of each service channel to fully resolve a particular issue as measured by the required customer effort and company cost.  By repeating this for the top 8-10 issues the company has, the tool develops a map that indicates the better (and worse) channels for each issue.

The tool is a great starting place to figure out where to guide your customers (and we have a whole other section about how to guide them too!).

I’ve walked countless CCC members through this tool and had the privilege of partnering with a few members to guide them in completing this tool.  Along the way, I’ve learned a couple of quick pointers that’ll set you up for a successful, productive session: Read More »

New Hire Training Made Simple

Posted on  26 February 13  by 


New hire training

Hiring employees can be a taxing process; between recruiting, screening and interviewing, it’s difficult enough to welcome the right people into your organization. However, regardless of the potential quality of your new employees, the training they receive sets the tone for their performance. And while many companies will keep new hires in training for several months, what we’ve learned is that minimizing training and focusing on coaching is the best way to approach developing staff skills, so it’s important that the time spent in training is well used.

We’ve identified some guidelines to help maximize new hire training efficiency: Read More »

Customer Service in the News | Week of February 25th

customer service news6 easy ways to show your customers you don’t care (hint: don’t do this) [B2C]

How to incorporate social media to your customer service strategy [Entrepreneur]

Some ways airlines can improve customer service, according to consumers [Huffington Post]

With spring quickly approaching, consider a customer service “spring cleaning” [Alister and Paine]


Helping Customers Before They Know They Need You

binocularsAlthough most of us WANT to be more proactive in our service, as many as 40% of companies still remain mostly reactive.  The biggest challenge? It’s hard to identify and screen meaningful opportunities for proactive contact.

It’s relatively easy for companies to identify “critical” issues and proactively alert customers on these issues (think flight cancellation alerts), but most organizations are less sure about meaningful opportunities for proactive “value-added” contact (think forward resolving next likely issues or educating customers on product usage). The risk here is this: contacting customers on irrelevant or unimportant issues can annoy them, instead of reducing customer effort and pre-empting calls.

In this two-part blog series, we’ll talk about strategies you can use to identify value-added opportunities (part 1) and how you can screen these opportunities to make sure they’re relevant to customers AND viable for the business (part 2).

Read More »

Making the most of knowledge management

Posted on  20 February 13  by 


Imagine you are a frontline rep.  You’ve just solved a complex customer issue that you’re sure not many others would know how to solve.  But—what are your incentives to share this knowledge with others through Business Woman Climbing a Pile of Filesthe company knowledge base?

Let’s see…

  • It’ll take up more of your personal time to log in the information.
  • You won’t be recognized for your efforts and someone else might take credit for your great idea.
  • You’ve never really gotten any personal benefit from great wisdom left by other people.
  • No one is checking to see if you’re contributing so you won’t get in trouble if you don’t.

…wait a minute…something is wrong here.

Read More »

Hitting Delete (Again) on Email, Part II

Posted on  19 February 13  by 

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stop signIn my last blog post I proposed eliminating, or at least reducing the availability of email as a service channel.  The rationale is basically this:

1)      84% of customers prefer fast and easy resolution over channel of choice;

2)      That same 84% is willing to be guided to the best channel for resolution;

3)      Email has the 3rd lowest consumer confidence level of the “Big 4” (phone, web, web chat, and email);

4)      Email is the most expensive channel to resolve an issue.

So, if email isn’t a great channel—for both cost & experience reasons—how do you get rid of it?

Read More »

Customer Service in the News | Week of February 18th

newsIf there was a snag with the flowers you ordered this Valentine’s Day, Twitter was the best channel through which to voice your complaints [Forbes]

Why your organization should think of customer service as integrated into everything you do instead of treating it as the role of a separate department [Daily Nation]

See how Barclaycard tapped their cardholders to create  a community-designed credit card [Huffington Post]

Five service pitfalls to avoid [Forbes]

In an age of automation, a human touch can have a meaningful impact on service [TIME]

The Paradox of Outsourced Quality

Posted on  15 February 13  by 


Copy (2) of IT money puzzle pieceToday, we’re seeing more and more service organizations adopt strategies to adapt to the “Era of Quality 2.0.”  Many members have described it to me as choosing “depth over breadth.”  But as we’ve seen this shift now to “better for the customer”, this raises the question – “What’s better for me (customer service leadership)?”  Traditionally, cost effectiveness has been the biggest strategic consideration for service leaders, particularly around the implementation of outsourcing.  So taking outsourcing as our example, how can service leaders reconcile both “better for the customer” and “better for the company”?  Is it possible to have both?  Or must service leaders have to choose one over the other?

Read More »