Customer Volcanoes

erupting volcano

Working in Nicaragua we were surprised to see active volcanos with large craters and smoke seething from their tops.  Volcanos usually offer a warning before “blowing their tops.”  Sometimes, it is added smoke billowing into the skyline; sometimes it is a series of minor earthquakes.  When the internal pressure builds to a certain point, fire and heat go sky high; volcanic ash and lava spread way beyond the crater.  The greatest tragedy is that nothing grows in the path of the lava for many, many years.
Customer issues can be like volcanos.  Customers typically provide warnings before they blow their tops. It could be a minor complaint or an unexpected change in buying habits.  It could be an unexplained reserve or shyness on the part of the customer.  If service providers ignore the signs of discontent and fail to intervene, they catch the wrath and heat of customer anger.  Today’s customers sometimes erupt without warning. All[…] Continue…

How well do you anticipate your customers’ future expectations?

girl with fingers crossed

Have you noticed that your customers have changed? Their expectations have increased dramatically in the last 12 months! They have raised the bar on how they view customer experience. They are looking for service providers who consistently deliver service experiences that drive loyalty! Service providers focused on delivering GREAT service! The kind of service that takes the customers’ breath away! If we can consistently deliver this kind of experience the payback is huge! Xerox found that customer loyalists were 6 times more likely to repurchase than satisfied customers! Verizon found that the top 15% of customers who responded to their satisfaction survey were worth 10 times as much in lifetime profits as the bottom 15%! 10 times!
Customers today are expecting treatment that telegraphs they are special and unique, not just one of the masses. They expect you to know what they want even before they know it. To achieve this in depth[…] Continue…

Innovative Service Requires a Culture of Trust!

male and female business people shaking hands

“Would your work practices change if your son or daughter was watching you in order to learn life lessons?” my business partner, John Patterson asked a group of senior leaders.  The company was famous for its profit at any cost mentality and had indicated a desire to become more customer-centric with a long-term view.
A major conflict had emerged when one of the senior leaders wanted to implement an opt-out product.  Opt-out means a current customer is sold a product or service they did not request and is required to proactively let the company know they did not want the product or service.  Many customers do not micro-manage their monthly statement and thus fail to catch the added fee.  Once they do, they scream at the call center.  Tricking the customer might generate short-term profits but it clearly is not customer-centric.
The incident launched a discussion about the relevance of an impeccable character among leaders of an organization. […] Continue…

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