Customer Volcanoes

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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…

Innovative Service and the Rules of Combat

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Next week we celebrate Memorial Day. We deeply thank all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country! We also thank those who served for their service. We both had the distinct honor and privilege to serve our country. Chip is a highly decorated Vietnam War veteran.
Several years ago Logan Graves posted the “Rules of Combat” out on his website. We filed the clever set of rules away but have recently dusted them off for a fresh look at innovative service. Here are a few of his rules.

The easy way is always mined. There is an adage that goes “only dead fish swim with the current.”  Innovative service seeks the road less traveled in the pursuit of ingenious and novel.  Today’s wired and dangerous customers are bored with pretty good service.
No combat-ready unit ever passed inspection; no inspection-ready unit ever passed combat.  Innovative service is scrappy and provocative.  It focuses on what works, not on what’s […] Continue…

Do Customers Feel Trust in Your Service Experience?

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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…

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