TRAINING THAT GETS RESULTS
Five Steps to Turn Customer Complaints into Loyal Customers
This article offers a five simple steps that every organization can follow, if they choose to.
Angry customers can seem like our worst nightmare. But, if you handle them right, they can be your company’s best friend. Because when you do listen to angry customers, you get a lot in return. Complaining customers often have valuable information about ...read more
Research Findings on the Importance of Creating a Customer-Focused Culture
What is Customer-Focused Leadership?
This article discusses why Customer Focus is a Leadership issue.
While Customer Focus and service excellence is everyone’s responsibility, this is particularly true for anyone who manages and supervises others. That’s why we believe that... Customer Focus is a Leadership issue. To become a customer-focused leader, it is helpful to look at the best practices of other organizations ..read more
To be (Customer Focused) or not to be... What a Question
They say that Shakespeare’s stories represent the basis of all movie plots these days. Here’s a look at what he says about customer focus.–we have used a little artistic license.
Most of you will probably recognize this soliloquy from Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
To be, or not to be: that is the question: ...read more
Why Customer Focus Differentiates
This article discusses why Customer Focus is an organizations only differentiating factor.
Has this ever happened to you? You're in a hurry. You want to complete your business and the person serving you is preoccupied with something other than serving you. Then when you are served, you might get an insincere apology for the delay followed by the completion of your transaction. If asked to describe this experience you would likely respond "That's typical" or "It's nothing more and probably a little less than I expected." ...read more
FAST GUIDE: 10 Success Factors of Customer Focus
This article discusses the importance of pro-active service recovery.
"Submitted for your judgment, a business plan. This plan is mapped out to the nth degree. It describes the particulars of how to do business. But what can't be anticipated is the tension that washes over a customer like a dense fog. ...read more
Improving the Customer Experience through Customer Journey Mapping
Using Information to Create Value for Your Customers
How Can You Drive A Customer Crazy?
We were recently interviewed by Canadian Retailer Magazine and the resulting article is a great read. We have published it here, with the author's permission.
If you're in the retail business, you know customer service is one of the biggest targets of consumer complaints. What you probably didn't know is that a recent survey found ...read more
Customer Focus in a Slow Economy
This article discusses why Customer Focus and Service Excellence are more important in the current economic climate.
So here we are again. The economy is getting tough and for many, life is stressful and difficult. For business, this is not new. We’ve all been here before. Hopefully we’ve learned from the last time the economy slowed … But then again, have we? ...read more
This article a short summary of some recent research findings from several reliable sources.
Every month we scan as much of the Customer Focus, Service Excellence and Customer Experience Research as we can to make sure we have our fingers on the pulse of what customers and business leaders are saying and thinking. Here is a short summary of what current research is revealing. It's not listed in any order as it is all important! ...read more
Customer Expectations vs. Customer Needs
This article discusses customer expectations, how these are formed and the impact these have on their behaviour.
The first rule of stellar service delivery is: Service is all about expectations. You buy a product; you expect it to work the first time. You go to a discount supplier, you expect the quality to be less than the high end dealer, but you still expect what you buy to work, first time every time. When it comes to products, expectations are pretty clear. People expect a good quality product based on the price they are willing to pay for it. When it comes to service, expectations can get a little fuzzy. When a customer begins ...read more
This article provides a brief outline of the critical steps which lead to customer focus transformation.
Customer Focus is more than Customer Service. It is an aligned whole-organization approach to customer satisfaction and service, leading to customer loyalty and advocacy. The result is sustainable profitability...read more
This article discusses what is involved in Customer Journey Mapping
Today’s customers are becoming more demanding and often drive a hard bargain. They utilize multiple channels and touch points to interact with your organization during their life cycle (Customer Journey). If you are serious about differentiating your organization, you cannot ignore the negative impact that inconsistent and piecemeal customer experiences will have on your business. ...read more
The title says it all.
Ask most any employee at work today in American business the same question: "What's our biggest problem?" and you're likely to get the same answer: "Communication!" How can that be? Look at the proliferation of technology that has vastly improved the way in which information is sent and received in corporations ...read more
Six Steps to More Loyal Customers
Would You Do Business With You?
No Theory. . .No Learning: A Requisite for Real Change!
This brief article offer 6 easy to follow steps.
We all know it’s important to have loyal customers. But do you know how important it is? A study by Bain & Company suggests that a 5% increase in customer loyalty can improve profitability by anywhere from 25% to 95%. It shows us there are...read more
To quote an unheralded Deming phrase... "No Theory, No Learning." Explained, it warns us that unless we fully understand the theory, set of assumptions or thinking that we held true when we created practices and procedures that we use presently, we will be forever condemned to create different versions of what we have always done in the future. The result...no real change, just different manifestations of what we always used to do. ...read more
This article discusses the concept of No Theory...No Learning.
This article asks a critical question.
If more company presidents and their senior managers asked themselves this question with the customers’ view in mind, many would answer “probably not.” The reason? Customer service. Much has been said, done and written about customer service during the last decade. Millions of dollars have been spent on programs, training and systems. However, the results have been disproportionate and often ...read more
Qualities of Leadership
Qualities of Leadership – Part 2: Genuine Respect for Others and Humility
Qualities of Leadership – Part 3: Honesty and Integrity and Confidence and Courage
Qualities of Leadership – Part 4: Influential and Decisive
Qualities of Leadership – Part 5: Effective Communicator and Core Values
Qualities of Leadership – Part 6: Continuous Improvement and Physical, Mental and Spiritual Health
Creating a Culture
The Role of a Leader
This is the first article in a six part series which discusses the Qualities of Leadership. Why six parts? Most people to under time compressed these days and don’t have the time to sit and read at length. On the other hand, everyone can find 3 minutes if they had to. So we decided to divide this series into six three minute “sound bites” if you will.
In this article we will discuss leadership in general terms. Then in the five articles which follow, we will explore the Ten Qualities of Leadership in a bit more detail. read more...
This is the second article in a six part series which discusses the Qualities of Leadership. It builds on what was covered previously so if you haven’t read the first article, be forewarned.
In this article we will discuss in greater detail two of the qualities of leadership: Genuine Respect for Others and Humility. read more...
This is the third article in a six part series which discusses the Qualities of Leadership. It builds on what was covered previously so if you haven’t read the previous articles, be forewarned.
In this article we will discuss in greater detail the next two of the qualities of leadership: Honesty and Integrity and Confidence and Courage. read more...
This is the fourth article in a six part series which discusses the Qualities of Leadership. It builds on what was covered previously so if you haven’t read the previous articles, be forewarned.
In this article we will discuss in greater detail the next two of the qualities of leadership: Influential and Decisive read more...
This is the fifth article in a six part series which discusses the Qualities of Leadership. It builds on what was covered previously so if you haven’t read the previous articles, be forewarned.
In this article we will discuss in greater detail the next two of the qualities of leadership: Effective Communicator and Core Values read more...
This is the sixth article in our six part series which discusses the Qualities of Leadership. It builds on what was covered previously so if you haven’t read the previous articles, be forewarned.
In this article we will discuss in greater detail the next two of the qualities of leadership: Continuous Improvement and Physical, Mental and Spiritual Health …read more...
Every company no matter what size develops some type of culture. The culture can be a productive one or, the culture can be a negative one. Whether you set out to create one or not your company develops a culture. That culture is the perception of employees who see and hear how things are done. Your culture is the summary of your environment, morale and management style. This article discusses what you can do to create the kind of culture which will move your company forward. read more...
Your ability to negotiate, communicate, influence, and persuade others to do things is absolutely indispensable to everything you accomplish in life. The most effective men and women in every area are those who can quite competently organize the cooperation and assistance of other people toward the accomplishment of important goals and objectives. read more...
Hey Coach? Bridging the skills gap one skill at a time
One of our clients passed along this training scenario that paints a strong mental picture: “To illustrate the importance of feedback and coaching of employees, ask for a volunteer from the group. Position the volunteer in a standing position and place a large empty box at some distance behind the person. Place about 20 pieces of wadded up paper within reach of the volunteer. Explain to the group... read more...
Alphabet Soup—How to Become a “New School” Leader
If you pick up a training or human resource magazine these days, you're likely to find at least one article about how to work with, maximize, engage and otherwise lead the "Millennials". Sure it rhymes with perennials, but these people aren't just popping up in the spring, they are with you day-in and day-out in the workplace. read more...
How to Make Employee Training Stick
Untrained employees present a bad image for your company. If your workers understand your products or services but cannot communicate effectively with customers, your business will suffer. If your customers do not get the attention from employees that they deserve, they will take their business elsewhere. And if employees can’t get along with co-workers or work as a team, morale and productivity will suffer. read more...
What we have here is a failure to communicate!
Many people fail to realize their effectiveness as a manager or supervisors stands or fails on their ability to communicate. No matter what organization you’re in, department you lead, team members you have, or person you are...to manage is to communicate. The ability to communicate effectively helps build a well-oiled and productive organization. read more...
Becoming a Master of Persuasion
Persuasion power can help you get more of the things you want faster than anything else you do. It can mean the difference between success and failure. It can guarantee your progress and enable you to use all of your other skills and abilities at the very highest level. Your persuasion power will earn you the support and respect of your customers, bosses, coworkers, colleagues and friends. The ability to persuade others to do what you want them to do can make you one of the most important people in your community. read more...
7 Tips To Boost Your Sales
Tip number 1: Get serious! Make a decision to go all the way to the top of your field. Make a decision today to join the top 10%. There is no one and nothing that can hold you back from being the best except yourself. Remember, it takes just as long to be great as to be mediocre. The time is going to pass anyway. Your job is to commit to excellence, to get better and better each day, and to never, never stop until you reach the summit. read more...
Throughout the developed world, we have moved from an era of manpower to an era of mind power. We have moved from the use of physical muscles to the use of mental muscles. Today the chief sources of value in our society are knowledge and the ability to apply that knowledge in a timely fashion. In the information age, knowledge is king, and those people who develop the ability to continuously acquire new and better forms of knowledge that they can apply to their work and to their lives will be the movers and shakers in our society for the indefinite future. read more...
Transforming Bad Habits
Pay Now or Pay Later
Why employee financial education should be a priority
Your habits have been developed from early childhood as the result of things that you have chosen to do, or not to do. Your entire life is the result of your past choices and decisions. And like all of us, you probably have some bad habits that have held you back from your true potential. But here’s the good news: Since you are always free to choose, you can make new choices and decisions today that will determine what happens to you in the future. read more...
Money — the more you make, the more it takes, or so it seems. This statement applies to employers as well as employees. While most businesses struggle with the challenge of doing more with less, employees struggle with the same challenge and are drowning in debt more than ever. While some debt may be necessary for both employers and employees, too much debt is usually the result of poor money management. Financial education, offered to employees by their employer, can be one of the best investments employers can make. read more...
The Customer Focus Training Top Forty
This article answers the question: What Should Customer Focus Training accomplish?.
Since this training is a significant investment, it is essential that you maximize your return on investment from this training. In response to these inquiries we have put together a list of the essential learning objectives your training should achieve. The list ...read more
Silent But Deadly
This article explores why most customer don’t tell you when they have a poor service experience.
When your customers encounter a mediocre or poor service experience the vast majority will not complain but rather, they will simply take their business elsewhere. Here is what research from several reliable sources tells us: ...read more
Do Companies Really Care About and Value Their Customers?
This article discusses recent research into what customers value in the current economy.
Apparently not enough! Last week American Express released the findings of its Global Customer Service Barometer, a survey conducted in the U.S. and eleven other countries exploring attitudes and preferences toward customer service. Following the release of this survey...read more
Is the Customer Always Right?
This article discusses recent research into what customers value in the current economy.
You have no doubt heard the expression “The customer is always right!” and I suspect many of you have contemplated this when dealing with an uncooperative service provider. But, is this really true? The answer to this question is absolutely critical! Critical, that is, if you are interested in customer retention and building long-term customer loyalty. Understanding the answer to this question starts by...read more
Why Customer Focus Training is a Strategic Investment and NOT an Expense
Let me prove to you that using training to create a customer-focused organization is one of the best strategic investments you will ever make! ...read more
This article offers a business case for why Customer Focus training is a strategic investment.
Top Ten Customer Service Books
Ten short reviews of great customer service resources
This is the first in a regular series of Top 10 lists. Every month I’ll present my top 10 list of resources that can help you improve customer service and increase customer loyalty. ...read more
This free MP3 audio article discusses the financial value of a customer focus strategy from a time management and operational effectiveness perspective. Click here
How to Turn an Economic Downturn into an Opportunity For Profit and Sustainable Growth
This article examines current customer opinion and behaviour and offers a roadmap for how to turn the current economic climate into an opportunity for profit and sustained growth. Click here
American Express Global Service Barometer 2011 Survey Press Release
Poor customer service is leaving consumers hot under the collar and threatening to switch brands, even as consumers say they’d spend more with companies that provide excellent service in 2011 vs. 2010. Consumers will spend 13% more with companies that provide great service – up from 9% last year according to the new American Express Global Customer Service Barometer. Click here
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Customer Service Training Versus Customer Focus Training
Published May 19, 2011
I Got an Email: Getting Service Training to Stick
Published May 19, 2011
This article discusses how you can improve your return on investment for service training by describing what you can do to ensure that the training gets embedded into daily life. Click here
This article explains the difference between Customer Service and Customer Focus training and shows you which of these two will have the greatest impact on sustainable service performance and profitability. Click here
The Consequences of Poor Service in the New Economy
Published June 28, 2011
This article examines current research on customer behaviour and discusses the consequences of this research for your business. It also offers several actions you can take to determine how your organization’s service performance compares. Click here
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New Free Service
Ask The Customer Focus Expert
If you can’t find the answers to the customer focus issues or questions you are looking for in these articles, click here to ask our expert.
Crazy Enough to Work
Unconventional Business Strategies
Posted March 8, 2012
Business magazines and business books contain enough tips to keep five hundred business owners busy for five hundred years. Or do they? The answer is probably not, because most of the tips are redundant. To find truly helpful business tips, business owners need to look beyond the surface read more...
American Express Global Service Barometer 2012 Survey Press Release
Published June 12, 2012
Americans are growing more frustrated with customer service and businesses are feeling the heat. More than nine in ten Americans (93%) say that companies fail to exceed their service expectations. One in two (55%) have ditched a purchase in the past year because of a poor customer service experience, according to the new American Express Global Customer Service Barometer. Click here