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Connected Customer Experience

10 reasons why Customer Self-Service Portals increase customer satisfaction

Author Eric Marlan on May-16-2017

A Customer Self-Service Portal helps companies to reduce customer service costs significantly and leads to better customer satisfaction, loyalty, and engagement

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How to Get Your Employees Obsessed with Customer Service

Author Jeff Toister on Apr-6-2017

Imagine you could develop a customer-focused culture so powerful that your employees always seem to do the right thing.

They encourage each other, proactively solve problems, and constantly look for ways to go the extra mile. In short, imagine a workplace culture where employees were absolutely obsessed with customer service.

Almost every leader wants this.

My new book, The Service Culture Handbook, provides step-by-step guidance on how to get there. It combines lessons from elite companies with practical advice that's easy to implement.

Most important, it shows what customer-focused organizations do differently. Here are a few highlights:

#1 Customer-Focused Companies Have Clarity

Here's an easy way to test the strength of your organization's customer focus. Pick a random sample of employees at all levels (executive, mid-management, and frontline). Ask them to answer these three questions:

  • What is our customer service vision?
  • What does it mean?
  • How do you personally contribute?
The average employee struggles with these questions, or their answers don't match their colleagues'.

Employees in customer-focused companies can give clear and consistent answers to these questions. That's because their organizations have a clearly articulated customer service vision that's consistently reinforced.

#2 Customer-Focused Companies Engage Employees

Will we ever stop talking about employee engagement?

Probably not. It's important but there just aren't many companies that are good at it. According to Gallup's most recent employee engagement report, the percentage of engaged employees has remained relatively flat since 2013.

There is a silver lining in that report.

According to Gallup, the best companies have 70 percent or more of their employees engaged. And they do it by following a few basic steps:

  • Employees know how the organization defines success.
  • Employees know what's expected of them.
  • Employees feel they are making a contribution.
Look familiar?

These same key drivers are the ones customer-focused companies use to ensure employees understand the customer service vision.

Sure, there's a bit more to it than that. Which leads us to number three.

#3 Customer-Focused Companies Are Committed

"We're working on customer service this year."

I've heard many executives make that statement. Each time, I know they're bound for failure. Why? Because customer service isn't something you treat like a New Year's resolution.

Customer-focused companies have leaders who are truly committed. Here are just a few things that set them apart from the rest:

  • Customer-focus is a way of doing business, not a side-project
  • Strategic decisions are made with customers in mind
  • Customer-focused leaders consistently model the culture
  • Employees are truly empowered to deliver outstanding service
  • Customer-focused leaders take the long-view on investing in service

I'm sorry to tell you that culture isn't a quick fix. You need to be fully committed if you want to make a lasting change.

These three characteristics of customer-focused companies are just the icing on the cake.

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Connected Customer Experience or CRM Service Cloud?

Author Eric Marlan on Dec-28-2016

Manufacturing companies are increasingly considering customer experience as a sustainable differentiator and redesigning their business to be more customer-centric. Manufacturers face a different set of challenges in executing their customer experience strategies as compared to service companies with frequent but short interactions. The durable products last for years and the customer service the companies deliver during the own cycle is more critical to build customer loyalty and maximize customer lifetime value.

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What does Connected Customer Experience mean?

Author Eric Marlan on Dec-20-2016

Connected Customer Experience means:

  • Knowing who your customers are, understanding how customers use your products, and being there when customers need help
  • Making it easier to do business with you, implementing customer-centric processes, and eliminating frictions and gaps in the customer interactions
  • Improving customer satisfaction, retaining more of your customers for long term and maximizing the customer lifetime value of the loyal customer base
  • Supporting customers across all channels, devices, and screens, bridging the silos of knowledge, applications, and systems, and connecting all service interactions throughout the customer lifecycle

We look at five ways Connected Customer Experience enables you to build a sustainable competitive advantage and maximize customer lifetime value.

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Why is Warranty considered a cost center but Marketing is not?

Author Eric Marlan on Aug-26-2016

Companies spend on average 11% of revenues on marketing and 1.5% of revenues on Warranty. Despite the higher cost of marketing, why is warranty considered a cost center, but marketing is not.

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Improve Product uptime and Customer Satisfaction with Inspections

Author Eric Marlan on Aug-17-2016

Many asset-intensive industries have used Pre-Delivery and regular Service Inspections to ensure product uptime and customer satisfaction.

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