Inside Customer Service

How to get your customer service employees to be more proactive

Inside Customer Service

"I want them to be more proactive." The vice president was talking about his company's customer service team. His primary concern was customer retention. He worried that employees were too transactional and didn't work hard enough to retain customers. He shared a number of examples.

The ultimate guide to service recovery

Inside Customer Service

My first customer service interaction didn't end well. I was sixteen and had been on the job for 15 minutes. An irritated customer approached and I said the wrong thing. He stormed out of the store. It was a terrible feeling to see a customer literally walk out the door.

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How to help customer service employees move away from scripts

Inside Customer Service

I recently had to contact technical support. My external hard drive was failing, and I wanted to recover the files. The rep clearly had to follow a script. Unfortunately, none of his scripted troubleshooting steps fixed the issue. Then, it got awkward.

How to build better customer relationships by following up

Inside Customer Service

Paul Harvey was on the radio in my house a lot when I was a kid. Harvey was famous for a segment called "the rest of the story" where he shared a forgotten story or little-known fact about a famous person or event. Each ended with with a surprise twist and his famous phrase, "And now you know.

How to Work with Your Customer Success Team to Create a Great Product Feedback Experience

Speaker: Rebecca Notté, Product Operations Manager and Hannah Chaplin, Director of Product Marketing at Pendo

In this session, Hannah Chaplin and Rebecca Notté will detail the challenges of managing feedback between product and customer success teams and share their best practices on how to combat these challenges.

How observing subtle cues can improve customer service

Inside Customer Service

Last December, I visited three bicycle shops to search for a new bike. I wanted a hybrid bike that was easy to maintain and fun to ride. The employee at the first shop immediately focused what they had in stock, which wasn't much. He didn't ask any questions and barely answered mine.

Three ways to help your employees become brand evangelists

Inside Customer Service

There's something amazing about being served by an employee who loves the brand they represent. My wife, Sally, and I experienced that recently at the Dr. Martens store on Newbury Street in Boston. We walked in the store and Sally quickly zeroed in on a pair of shoes she liked. Scratch that. Loved.

How to ask for a raise

Inside Customer Service

Several customer service professionals have recently requested advice on asking their boss for a raise. The timing is good. Unemployment is low, wages are rising, and companies are struggling to fill key customer service roles. Meanwhile, many customer service professionals still feel underpaid.

Lessons from The Overlook: Investigate small problems

Inside Customer Service

Note: Lessons from The Overlook is a periodic update on lessons learned from owning a vacation rental property in the Southern California mountain town of Idyllwild. It's a hands-on opportunity to apply some of the techniques I advise my clients to use. You can find past updates here.

What are the advantages of having a service culture?

Inside Customer Service

Imagine you wanted to meet a friend for coffee. Your friend suggests a place they think you'll like that's located in a nearby neighborhood. You've never been there before and don't know the address. How would you get there?

The Importance of Having Strong Decision Agility in Your Product Development Process

Speaker: Emily Tate, Managing Director at Mind the Product

In this talk, Emily Tate, Managing Director at Mind the Product will unpack how we can quickly make deeply-researched decisions on multiple topics that will positively influence your product development process.

Lessons from The Overlook: 5 things vacation rental guests should know

Inside Customer Service

Note: Lessons from The Overlook is a periodic update on lessons learned from owning a vacation rental property in the Southern California mountain town of Idyllwild. It's a hands-on opportunity to apply some of the techniques I advise my clients to use. You can find past updates here.

3 reasons to stop conflating customer service with customer experience

Inside Customer Service

"You're p **g me off!" The one-sentence email came from the company president. He was upset that the phones had been ringing all day, and blamed me for what was happening. Our phone lines rang throughout the office whenever a customer was holding for more than a minute.

How campers can make your culture stronger

Inside Customer Service

Carol was a camper. That's a term for someone who is content in their current job and doesn't want to get promoted, add new responsibilities, or move to a new company. Carol showed up every day, did her job, and went home. She didn't want to "get ahead." Carol just wanted to do her job.

How to fix customer experience by keeping your promises

Inside Customer Service

Domino’s helped me survive college. My school had a deal with the local Domino’s franchise where you could use your meal plan to order a pizza. The meal plan even covered the delivery driver’s tip. It was way too convenient for a student who was strapped for cash.

How Customer-Centric Feedback Loops Can Evolve Your Product Process

Speaker: Nickey Skarstad, Director of Product at Duolingo

Join Nickey Skarstad, Director of Product at Duolingo, as she discusses why it’s important to actively gather customer feedback, how to build customer feedback loops into your product planning, the best ways to decipher different types of feedback, and different frameworks for how/when to apply feedback processes.

The data doesn't lie: Texans like In-N-Out better than Whataburger

Inside Customer Service

Which fast food burger chain is better: Whataburger or In-N-Out? The debate rages. Texans loudly proclaim their allegiance to Whataburger. Californians quickly tell you that In-N-Out is the best. Other states might feel caught in the middle. So just for fun, I devised an objective test.

How customer service employees can survive a bad boss

Inside Customer Service

Advertising disclosure: This blog participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. "We We have totally lost control."

Five advanced customer service techniques to raise your game

Inside Customer Service

Advanced techniques are one of the top requests I receive as a customer service trainer. Many people feel the basics are, well, too basic. If that's you, I have five advanced techniques to share. But first, a word from our sponsor: basic skills. The basic skills never go out of style.

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Increase productivity with this one counterintuitive trick

Inside Customer Service

It started as a typical, busy Wednesday. Then a miracle happened. A half-day event got cancelled. Another meeting was rescheduled for a different day. My calendar was suddenly wide-open. It was tempting to fill that found time with more work. I took my dog to the beach instead. We had a lot of fun.

Roadmaps Are Dead! Long Live Roadmaps!

Speaker: Bruce McCarthy, Co-Author of Product Roadmaps Relaunched and Founder of Product Culture

Join Bruce McCarthy, co-author of Product Roadmaps Relaunched, as he discusses the best ways to innovate your product roadmap. So that it reflects your customers’ needs while simultaneously and accurately communicating your products strategy and vision.

How to rapidly improve your service culture

Inside Customer Service

Advertising disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Tell me if this sounds familiar. The CEO announces a service culture initiative.

Three ways to immediately improve your customer experience

Inside Customer Service

Today's customers are increasingly unhappy. The American Customer Satisfaction Index has steadily declined for the past four years. By the end of 2021, it had reached its lowest point since 2005. What's causing the decline?

Contact center agent satisfaction remains high after a rough year

Inside Customer Service

This past year has been tough on contact center agents. The pandemic shifted more agents to working at home. Those who were at home already likely had their lives disrupted in some other way. Some contact centers endured unimaginable spikes in volume.

How to win back your customer's heart with an apology

Inside Customer Service

"You shouldn't have to experience this." The words just blurted out of my mouth. A customer had called, upset about receiving the wrong item. I saw past their anger and empathized with the inconvenience it was causing them. I'm really sorry about the mistake. We need to do better.

Feedback: The Secret to Innovating Your Product Development Process

Speaker: Liz Love, Chief Commercial Officer at ProdPad

Join Liz Love, Chief Commercial Officer at ProdPad as she details how product feedback can improve your product development process while mitigating stakeholder conflict, constant feature requests, failed launches, unexpected outcomes, unhappy users, and complexity.

Three easy ways to develop empathy super powers

Inside Customer Service

The webinar software wasn't working. An important client was paying me to facilitate a virtual session for its employees. The client had juggled a lot of schedules to make sure everyone could attend. A lot was riding on this. I could feel a rising sense of anxiety.

Why strict procedures are the key to a great customer experience

Inside Customer Service

I've spent a lot of time at the post office lately and it's fascinating. My latest book came out in March, which means I've sent a lot of books to people I interviewed or who endorsed the book.

How to motivate employees to learn new customer service skills

Inside Customer Service

I once delivered the same customer service workshop over 200 times in a two-year period. Thousands of employees attended. Over time, I learned I could split the classes into three distinct groups: Motivated: Enthusiastic employees who were eager to learn.

Lessons from the Overlook: The importance of leverage

Inside Customer Service

Note: Lessons from The Overlook is a periodic update on lessons learned from owning a vacation rental property in the Southern California mountain town of Idyllwild. It's a hands-on opportunity to apply some of the techniques I advise my clients to use. You can find past updates here.

How a Strong Customer Engagement Strategy Can Improve the Usability of Your Product

Speaker: Hannah Chaplin, Director, Product Marketing at Pendo and Esther Edel, Product Operations Analyst at Pendo

Join Mobile expert Hannah Chaplin as she shares best practices and real examples to help you improve your mobile apps with in-app guides.

Why customer success is the secret to revenue growth

Inside Customer Service

"We had $1 million in preventable returns last year." The executive who shared this shocking figure explained that his company had recently entered the consumer market for home improvement tools.

Why your people are the key to getting great customer feedback

Inside Customer Service

"How was everything?" The hotel associate asked this standard question as I was checking out. Most guests probably say, "fine" without even thinking, but I had some constructive feedback to share. Yet I hesitated. Three other hotel employees had ignored the feedback I gave them throughout my stay.

How to gain customer service skills when you're not working

Inside Customer Service

It's hard to build customer service skills when you can't practice. Perhaps you're a student, in-between jobs, or transitioning into a new career. Whatever the situation, you want to practice the essential customer service skills that will help you succeed in your new job.

Lessons from The Overlook: Know when to leave

Inside Customer Service

Note: Lessons from The Overlook was a periodic update on lessons learned from owning a vacation rental property in the Southern California mountain town of Idyllwild. It was a hands-on opportunity to apply some of the techniques I advise my clients to use. This will likely be the last one.

How to Evaluate and Implement Customer Feedback Into Your Product Roadmap

Speaker: Rebecca Notté, Product Operations Manager and Hannah Chaplin, Director of Product Marketing at Pendo

This interactive session, Hannah Chaplin and Rebecca Notté will share their experience of building product roadmaps that align with company goals while also ensuring that customers are truly heard.

How long should new hire training last for customer service employees?

Inside Customer Service

New hire training is under pressure. Executives want to shorten it. Training costs time and money. The faster new employees can get to work, the better. New employees want it to be longer. They complain about not getting enough support. Some quickly leave.