customer service

A Big F***ing Deal in Customer Service (hat tip to Joe Biden)

I heard a remarkable conversation recently. A woman, whom I pictured to be in her 50s, was talking to a help line to solve a problem she was having with her internet service. The very polite support technician continually misinterpreted her question & asked her which channel on her cable television was acting up. After three go-rounds with no progress being made, in a low, teeth-gritted voice she told the computer she was talking to: “Send me to a person.”

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Customer Service 2.0: Transparency, Tribes, and Talent

I confess that I have a warm spot in my heart for customer service operations. It is probably because I met my wife of 29.5 years Eileen Marie when she and I were on the customer service phones at the Polaroid Corporation. As an old phone jockey, it is apparent to me that the world of customer service is transforming.

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A Look Forward, Some Predictions for 2010

Time to look ahead into 2010 and think about what's going to make an impact this year: 

 

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Next Business Day

Remember Dell Hell?

In 2005, Jeff Jarvis got a lemon of a laptop and made the story of his customer support tribulations public on his blog.

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Customers Who Return Products – Not as Bad as We Thought?

There’s been lots written about customers who deserve to be fired. “Bad” customers call customer service constantly, return products willy-nilly, and otherwise misuse the gifts that corporations bestow on them with their products and services.

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Customer Relationship Metamorphosis

This piece by Eddie Yoon of The Cambridge Group over on the Harvard Business blog makes an interesting point. In any product category, roughly 10% of the consumers account for more than 50% of the profits. The principle that, with any product or service, there is a core of customers or users that interact more, contribute more, consume and buy more, is not new news.

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Customers Are Talking: In Praise of “Customer-Oriented Defiance”

Behind many great customer-service stories is a front-line person who went outside standard operating procedure to solve a customer problem. Now this practice has its own name: Customer-Oriented Defiance.

 

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Does HP Need a Plan for Broken Promises? Do You?

Well before the social media age, we all learned that trust and reputation are important currencies in this thing called life.  That's why our parents, professors and parish priests have taught us to be honest and honour our promises.  And most of us try and do just that.  It doesn't always work like we want, but largely we get by.  Or if things go wrong, we apologise and try to make amends.

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To Motivate Front-line Employees: Don't Just Thank Them, Use Their Insights

Sylvia Ann Hewlett blogged at Harvard Business Review that leaders need to inspire lower-level employees. She writes:

 

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The Invaluable Stories inside Customer-service Calls

Much of the story work I’m familiar with involves asking people to tell stories about their experiences on a particular topic. I do some of this myself. But I’ve also done work with a completely different class of story. This story is created out of the spontaneous meeting of two people - a customer and a customer-service rep - over the telephone.

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