Category: Customer Service

Leaders who wear a name badge, pick up trash and talk plainly send an important message

Problem: New Yorkers agree that their subway system is a mess.

Solution: Andy Byford, a world-renowned Mr. Fixit for troubled subways.

On October 21, 60 Minutes profiled Byford who is the new president of transit for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority – the MTA. He has a big problem to fix. Millions of subway users agree that the trains are packed, breakdowns and delays are routine, and the system has gone off the rails.

Byford, however, seems undaunted and is committed to full transparency of his efforts. He proudly wears his nametag for all disgruntled commuters to see, he expects to be held accountable. He also just wants the trains to run on time.

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Putting things in context

One of the biggest stumbling blocks to good communication is the absence of context. Context is defined as a set of facts or circumstances that surround a particular event, situation or communication. At best, that information can help the listener put things in the proper perspective. It can also be a persuasive tool to influence with integrity.

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Dan, Dilbert and the words we use

Last evening I ran into my neighbor, Dan, after we had both parked our cars in our respective garages and were making our way through our backyards to the house. Being the friendly neighbor that I aspire to be, I said to Dan, “Hey, how was your day?” He looked at me and said with a straight face, “Well, I’ve been on quite a transformative journey! I have shifted many of my paradigms, increased my intellectual bandwidth, clarified my understanding of our company’s vision and I’m fully engaged and on-board! After a second or two trying to determine if he was for real, we bought started to laugh.

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Customers: Wired and Dangerous

How many of your customers have over 5000 followers on Linked-in, Facebook or Tweeter? So, instead of telling five people about their service hiccup with you, they can now instantly tell a thousand times that number! It would not take many unhappy customers to cut a sizeable dent in your bottom line and brand reputation. With customer expectations up 33% over this time last year, you are very vulnerable to a today’s wired and potentially dangerous customers.

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Following up on Customer Feedback

I wonder what has happened to all the customer feedback surveys I have filled out in my time on the planet?

I believe in providing feedback to companies and services I do business with. So, as a customer, when I’ve been asked for feedback – whether over the phone, online or through a mailed survey – I do my best to take the time to respond. I am one of those people who will also write a letter if deserved. It has been my way of giving back – as in, feedback is a gift. I believe in the value and importance of a great customer experience – and I recognize that it is a two-way street. To get it, you have to give.

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Go Undercover for the Customer

Many of you have seen the popular new CBS series titled, Undercover Boss. Each episode follows a senior executive of a major corporation who is working incognito as a new entry-level hire for one week. Through the experience they discover how the company really works. The show is well done and sends out an important message to leaders: You need to experience your company through the lens of the employee to truly understand what is working and what’s not.

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