Articles By: Chip & John

Are You Staffing the Front Line with Experts?

new hire name tag

A quick trip to any museum not only provides an interesting picture of yesteryear, it reveals an instructive barometer on the ways we have changed.  What would go in a Service Museum and what would it tell us about the ways customers have changed?

In the not too distant past, retail stores had sales clerks on the floor (not just at the register), grocery stores had bakers, elevators had operators, gas stations had a mechanic, and mail-order catalogues were all-purpose and not specialty.  Stores had layaway plans and returns clerks; banks had signature loans.  Doctors made house calls and treated whatever malady they encountered.

What has changed?  Obviously, there has been a dramatic push toward speed, ease, and self-service.  But, there has also been a swing toward reliance on specialists.  We often hear “we don’t carry that item, check with…” or, “I need to refer you to…” or, “you might look it up on-line.”

As customers[…] Continue...

Do Customers Feel Trust in Your Service Experience?

two men shaking hands

We live our lives on promises. From the time a child can grasp the concept of “cross my heart and hope to die,” there is a forever realization that anxiety can only be reduced through proof of trust while waiting for a promise to be kept. From “Scout’s honor” to “I do” to “the whole truth and nothing but the truth,” we seek cues that allay our worries. Lifeguards, the bus schedule, and the spotlessness of a hospital room are all obvious artifacts of promises waiting to be kept.

Trust is the emotion that propels customers to the other side of the gap between their expectation and their experience. Making trust the centerpiece of innovative service can catapult a service provider into a position of distinction in the eyes of customers. The manner in which the organization manages customer trust drives every other component of the service encounter. What are ways you can ensure today’s wired and dangerous customers always trust your[…] Continue...

Innovative Service Is Edgy!

customer typing on computer placing online order

The weather was the type that drives you indoors on a Saturday afternoon.  It had been a hard travel week and I needed some unwind time; perfect conditions for two back-to-back Academy Award-winning best picture movies.  The first was the 1995 winner—Braveheart; the second was the 1996 winner–The English Patient.

The order of movie viewing was a big mistake.  I only watched 2/3rds of the second movie.  Now, before you play the “Guy Movie” card, you should know I actually prefer movies with more plot and less gore.  But, Braveheart was so “in your face,” heart-pounding edgy that The English Patient seemed plain vanilla by contrast.  The first movie made me ready to go out in the front yard and charge something; the second made me ready for bed.

I was on one of my favorite websites buying my wife a pair of shoes.  I needed to get a bit of help from their call center smart person.  The experience was terrific…and, a lot of fun. […] Continue...

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