Uplifting Service - Blog

Everyone Can Do Service Benchmarking

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Traditional business benchmarking is a high-level activity with careful target selection, substantial pre-visit planning, and a rigorous process of post-visit evaluation and implementation. You can do this, too. But don’t let a thorough and detailed approach stop you from encouraging a much simpler version of benchmarking. Remember, one of the goals is for everyone to become curious about learning and improving.

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First Choose Your Target, Then Fire at the Bull’s-Eye

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One of my clients launched a vigorous service improvement program to create greater value for external customers. Hundreds of classes were conducted for thousands of Service Champions around the world. The business objectives were clear: reclaim market share and rebuild a slipping reputation. Bounce back in recovery situations. Focus on external customer experience, not internal political issues. Demonstrate passion for existing customers. Go all-out to win new business.

But something unusual happened as the program rollout expanded. Rather than focusing on these identified external business targets, earning high internal course evaluations became the course leaders’ primary focus. Being rated highly as a very engaging course leader was viewed as great success. Scoring 9 out of 10 for leading a wonderful class became a cause for celebration. That’s a great score, but a very different bull’s-eye.

Customer success and better business results are why the program was originally conceived. High course leader scores are not the same as valuable business impact. Eventually this lack of alignment
became painfully apparent—the focus had drifted away from the early goals, and the entire program needed to refocus. Don’t let this drifting happen to you.

Learn how to increase the impact of your investment…

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Don’t Just Collect Data; Create Value

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Service Measures and Metrics are a valuable building block for service improvement. But to build a service culture, the methodology of these metrics must be uplifting for those you query and for the members of your team.

Clarify What You Are Measuring and Why

Just because you can measure many things doesn’t mean that it makes good sense to track them all. What do you really want to know, and what action will you take with what you learn? Review this list and then decide which insights will be most helpful to improve your service now.

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Can You Really Overhaul a Nation’s Customer Service Culture? Part One

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In a harsh global economy, great service is the price of admission. Companies whose cultures aren’t built around the ability and the willingness—no, the eagerness—to delight the customer won’t survive. You know this. And if you’re a leader at global enterprise, no doubt you’ve gained more than a few gray hairs worrying about it. It’s true: Transforming a culture that crosses many boundaries is no small task.

But I have a question that might put it all in perspective: If an entire nation can build a service-based brand and culture, what’s stopping YOU?

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11 Lessons from Microsoft’s Initiative to Create a Sustainable Service Culture

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Guest Post by Tom Moran
Director, Customer and Partner Experience, Microsoft Operations

Microsoft Operations manages a huge portfolio ever-changing products, business units, customers, clients, and partners.

Here are few tactics that have brought good results as we work to Build an Uplifting Service Culture:

(Disclaimer – Microsoft is a client of Uplifting Service. The models and tools which Tom refers to in this post are taught in the Uplifting Service Courses.)

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Perception Points vs. Process Points in Service Delivery

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The focus on process improvement has been one of the key strategies for business success over the past 40 years. Whether simple checklists or complex process maps, what started on the manufacturing floors is now seen in every industry. Quality, speed to market, cost savings, safety, and innovation are just a few outcomes that can be realized.

So where does service fit here? Looking at when and how we interact with internal colleagues or external customers is clearly a part of many business processes. But are we improving the customer’s experience with our processes (the Perception Points), or are we focused only on improving the process itself (the Process Points)?

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Why a Customer Service Revolution Must be Fast and Furious – Part Two

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Don’t start only with customer-facing teams. Starting your service transformation with customer-facing team members might seem like the obvious move. But if your objective is to build an uplifting service culture, this approach can be very problematic. Because your people in “customer-facing” roles interact with customers daily, they already understand that service is important. They know that upset customers complain. They know happy customers are easier to serve. What they don’t know is how to fix the behind-the-scenes issues that often affect the customers’ perceptions.

Read the other tips for a fast and furious customer service revolution…

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Why a Customer Service Revolution Must be Fast and Furious – Part One

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You know you’ve got unhappy customers so you’ve decided it’s time to do a complete service overhaul. You’ve spent hours with your C-level executives crafting a strategic plan and making sure your i’s are dotted and your t’s are crossed. The idea is to roll out the new plan in one area of your company—for example, your call center—and get things under control there before you move on to the next department. Over time, as you get your strategy perfected and everyone buys in, you’ll surely reap the benefits. Makes sense, right?

Sorry, but that’s no way to start a revolution…

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Say What? Five Quick Scripts for Responding to Customer Complaints

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The last thing a customer with a complaint wants to hear you say is: “You’re wrong.” What they want to hear is that you understand them, appreciate them, and agree with them on the importance of the value they have cited in their complaint.

Here are a few quick scripts to use when responding to customer complaints:

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Airport Avatar Enters Brave New World of Customer Service

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Travelers coming through the New York City area’s three airports—La Guardia, JFK, and Newark—might soon feel the need to double check that they aren’t walking through the set of a science fiction movie. That’s because the airports are introducing some high-tech help in the form of “Ava”—a life-sized, computer-generated female avatar. She’ll provide answers to airport patrons’ common questions. Ava the Avatar offers a fun, exciting way to improve customer service for weary travelers.

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