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Effortless is a Feeling—Not Just a Process

Posted on  3 June 13  by 


From time to time, we feature guest posts from our member network.  This post comes to us from Jenna Heller, who resides in New Zealand.

CEB research has repeatedly shown that when customers describe their experience as effortless, they are more likely to be loyal to that business.

But what is effortless anyway? Is an effortless experience just about the process you have to follow to get something done?

Think about the things that you describe as feeling effortless. Did they always feel effortless to you? For example, if you drive a car, does it feel effortless to you now? It all depends on whether you’re just learning or if you have a few years of driving experience under your (seat)belt.

When you first learned to drive, it was probably rather effort-full. You needed to learn how to push the gas pedal, engage the clutch, brake to slow down, use your indicators, look in the rear and side mirrors, and pay attention to other drivers, traffic lights, kids on bikes, and pedestrians!

Chances are that when you were first learning to drive and for at least the first few months, you experienced a heightened heart-rate every time you prepared to drive anywhere. After a few months, though, it begins to feel easier and within a year or two, driving might even be described as effortless by you.

Does that mean that it IS effortless, though? Interesting thought, isn’t it? Read More »

When Segmentation Goes Awry

Posted on  3 June 13  by 


customer service segmentationThis week, while waiting to board a flight to return home, I witnessed possibly the worst segmentation of all time.  See if you can follow me through this … boarding was called for (in order):

1)      First Class;

2)      Premier Access Members;

3)       (Another layer of) Premier Access Members;

4)      Group 1 (group numbers were indicated by a number on the boarding pass); … (keep reading … it gets worse!) Read More »

Customer Service in the News | Week of June 3rd

Posted on  3 June 13  by 


Service in the newsCheck out these top reads for customer service managers [The Week]

Mobile may be the way to go when it comes to building brand loyalty [Econsultancy]

If you already have or are planning to launch a mobile app, consider providing customer service through the app itself [VentureBeat]

The importance of customer service is increasing in China [NPR]

Learn how one company integrated and bolstered their brand using technology [Business 2 Community]

When Efficiency Is Not Good

Posted on  29 May 13  by 


As many of you probably know, CEB Customer Contact set out to study the culture of service organizations as our major research initiative this year. In our survey we asked nearly 10,000 reps to describe in one word both their current and ideal organizational cultures. To our surprise, an overwhelming number of reps actually described their current and ideal culture in the SAME one word. However, it does not mean that most service organizations have already created the ideal culture for their reps to work in. Let’s take a closer look at each of the word clouds below to see how the same word can mean very different things.   Read More »

Customer Service from Australia to America

Posted on  29 May 13  by 


customer service australia to americaby Devin Poole

In 2008, I made one of the biggest decisions in my life: I was going to move to Australia for a one year overseas deployment for CEB.  It took me 5 wonderful years in Sydney to remember I’d forgotten to leave!  But just over a month ago I finally returned to the States.

Now I don’t have to tell you that moving around the world is never easy.  But this sentiment is not simply because I love a sunburnt country.  It’s also driven through my extensive experiences with service organisations on both sides of the Pacific.  In fact, I’ve spoken to, chatted with, emailed, IVRed, or Facebooked reps in so many industries that I can hardly remember a day in the past month where I haven’t had need to contact some company for something!  As you might suspect, the experiences have varied from the outstanding to the downright dreadful.  So here are a few things I’ve noticed along the way. Read More »

Customer Service in the News | Week of May 27th

Posted on  27 May 13  by 



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IBM’s Watson supercomputer now provides customer service (Forbes)

Customers find most service websites outdated (CIO)

Improve difficult customer service situations through “perspective taking” (Forbes)

Verizon ranked number one among customer service carriers, according to customer survey (BGR)

How to Ease the Pain of Waiting

Posted on  24 May 13  by 


customers wait It’s bound to happen. Seasonal peak volumes, periods when you’re understaffed, changes in your product or service offerings that invite an influx of calls… your live resources are going to be scarce and you’re going to make your customers wait longer than they want to.

Customers hate to wait, and it seems impossible to change your capabilities, but what if we told you there are some simple things you can do to drastically change the perception of waiting? In other words, how can you help ease the pain of waiting for your customers and do so in a way that doesn’t drive up effort? Here are a few tips:

Read More »

What You Should be Reading This Summer

Posted on  22 May 13  by 


fileIt’ summertime again and I’m sure you’re looking forward to some relaxing reading by the beach (or on the couch for those of you taking a staycation this year). A surefire way to have more fun reading this summer is to mix some thought-provoking, work-related reading to those relaxing beach reads. Don’t believe me? Research suggests that an interruption in a pleasurable activity (such as reading for fun) actually increases your pleasure.

So, in the spirit of furthering yourself on a professional level this summer, we have culled together a few suggestions—resources that you shouldn’t miss: Read More »

Focus Your Training Efforts

Posted on  21 May 13  by 


TrainingTraining is a topic that comes up often during our conversations with members. We’ve seen a recent uptick of questions regarding training in our discussion forums, with questions about how to increase training engagement as well as training on language skills.  Considering this, I thought it might be helpful to spend some time here outlining a few findings from our research about the good and bad sides of training.

Specifically, CEB Customer Contact research has found that coaching is a better driver of staff performance than training—and that when it comes to developing staff skills, it’s better to focus on coaching and to deemphasize training. There are a few key reasons to keep training short and limit the volume of information that staff learn:

1.       It’s hard to retain information taught in training

If employees don’t use information soon after they learn it in training, they are likely to forget it. In fact, our research has found that 87% of training is forgotten in a matter of weeks. Read More »

If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Add More Options

Posted on  21 May 13  by 


ATMRecently, a CNN Money article boasted that by adding functionality to automatic teller machines (ATMs) banks may increase self-service foot traffic and reduce costs, too.

The article describes a few “new-fangled” technologies and other changes that will improve the ATM experience and prevent customers from having to enter a branch.  One of the technologies that the article described is a video-chat feature with a live teller (presumably sitting in a centralized contact center) that customers can choose to help execute more advanced functions, like withdrawing amounts in $1 or $5 increments.

Here’s my question, though: is adding more functionality really what your customers want? Read More »