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  • HFTP Research Report: Pre-opening Expenditures in Hospitality

    A study of the pre-opening budget; the timeline for these expenditures; timeline for onboarding of staff; and the selection, installation and training of the technology component. By Agnes DeFranco, Ed.

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    The HFTP 2018-2019 Global Board of Directors was installed during the association's 2018 Annual Convention and introduces new directors Toni Bau, Carson Booth, CHTP and Mark Fancourt. These extensive director profiles give insight into the distinguished professions and personal goals of HFTP's newest association leaders.

  • Letter from the HFTP Global President: At the End of the Year, We Reflect on the Best of the Year

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  • Members Only: 2018 HFTP Compensation and Benefits Report

    By Tanya Venegas, MBA, MHM, CHIA. Results to the biannual survey conducted by Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP). Information includes data on compensation and benefits trends for finance and technology professionals in the club and lodging industries.

Core Values are Decision Filters

Shepard Presentations, LLC. · 7 February 2019
I'm honored to be the keynote speaker later this year at Office Pride, a franchisor of commercial cleaning service companies. All of the franchisees will be attending their annual meeting to network and learn about the latest and greatest opportunities happening in their industry. My job is to talk to them about customer service.As part of my homework, Todd Hopkins, their CEO, shared the Office Pride Culture book. As I was reading it, I came across a concept worth sharing. While Office Pride has created a great set of core values, Todd describes them as decision filters. He writes, "Our core values filter the outcome of what we, either impulsively or mindfully, decide to do."Core values are what an organization believes and stands for. These are the principles and beliefs that guide an organization - and the employees of that organization. Many organizations' core values include words like honesty and integrity. Office Pride's core beliefs and values are as follows:Honor GodAlways Do What is RightIncrease Brand ValueDemonstrate Honesty, Integrity, and Hard Work EthicTotal Customer SatisfactionGo the Extra MilePersevere with a Servant's AttitudeAccountability to CommitmentsThe key for core values to work is to keep them in front of you, memorize them, and be conscious of how they tie into your daily behavior with your customers and employees. Just writing them down without acting on them is simply a writing assignment.Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos, came up with ten core values for his company. In his book, Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose, Hsieh says he hires for those core values. He will also fire for a lack of any of the core values. That's how important they are to the health of his organization.It was Tony Hsieh's book that inspired Hopkins to write his own culture book, which is a great exercise for an organization to consider. This short 84-page book devotes a chapter to each of his eight core values, supported by examples of how Office Pride employees and franchisees live by them.So, back to Mr. Hopkin's concept of core values being a filter. If you are working for a company or going to work for a company, take time to understand their core values. Do they align with what you believe in? Can you live by these values? Is this the culture that you want to be a part of? If the answer is yes, then let the values be the natural filter that guides the way you perform and treat others.Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, keynote speaker, and New York Times bestselling business author. For information, contact 314-692-2200 or For information on The Customer Focus customer service training programs, go to Follow on Twitter: @Hyken(Copyright MMXIX, Shep Hyken)

The Best Feedback Question

Shepard Presentations, LLC. · 1 February 2019
"Please stay on the line to answer a short, one-question survey at the end of this call."That's what I heard just before the agent picked up the phone to help me. Just a one-question survey? Sounds short enough. Sure, I'll give them an extra minute of my time. So after the call, I stayed on the line. What came right after the call was the promised simple question. It may be one of the best feedback questions I've ever heard. I put it right up there with the NPS (Net Promotor Score) question, which I'll share later. Here it is:"The next time you call us, would you want the same person to take care of you? Push 1 for yes and 2 for no."That's it. It's that simple. In one quick question, the customer gets to grade the support rep that took the call. It sums up if the customer was happy and if the agent did their job. No, it doesn't tell you if the problem was resolved or not, but that question could be for another day. I started to think about other one-question surveys that can give you a snapshot of what a customer thinks about a company. Here are a few questions to get you thinking--and each of these questions can be answered using the keypad of a phone.Let's start with the one that prompted me to write this article: the next time you call us, would you want the same person to take care of you?The Net Promoter Score: On a scale of, what's the likelihood you would recommend us to a friend or colleague?Was the question answered or the problem resolved to your satisfaction?On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate our customer service?On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate the quality of our product?The secret to the success of the survey is the simplicity and speed by which the questions can be answered.In the perfect survey world, I like to follow up one of these questions with an open-ended question. Obviously, you can't answer that on a telephone dial pad, but if you email or text, you can follow up a simple question with a, "Why did you give us that score?" kind of question.I'm often asked by clients how to get more responses from customers who are sent surveys. You now know the secret: simplicity and speed. Just promise that it won't take a lot of time - a minute or less - and watch how many more surveys your customers take.Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, keynote speaker, and New York Times bestselling business author. For information, contact 314-692-2200 or For information on The Customer Focus customer service training programs, go to Follow on Twitter: @Hyken(Copyright MMXIX, Shep Hyken)
Article by Shep Hyken

No Toilet Paper - Is Customer Service Getting Worse?

Shepard Presentations, LLC. ·11 January 2019
Some people claim that customer service is getting worse. I disagree. Customers are getting smarter and expecting more. The customer service "bar" is raised by great companies who teach us what good customer service should be. And, when there is a customer service "horror story," it seems to stand out much more than when everything is right and works the way it's supposed to.My friend, Shary Raske, a motivational speaker and coach, sent in a story that reminds me that sometimes common sense isn't so common. This is the perfect example that might cause someone to think, "Customer service is getting worse!"Shary was on a road trip and needed to stop for gasoline. Before filling up the car with gas, she decided to go to the bathroom. She noticed there wasn't any toilet paper in the woman's restroom. After making sure the men's room wasn't being used, she checked there. No toilet paper there, eitherSo, Shary went asked the attendant working behind the counter and asked for toilet paper. His response was, "We don't have any."Now, this was a convenience store, and guess what? There was plenty of toilet paper for sale. All the attendant had to do was give Shary a roll of toilet paper. Now, some of you may point out, that the toilet paper on the floor is for sale, not for use. So, what! This isn't like the attendant had to work hard to come up with a creative solution. The toilet paper was staring him in the face. Was he worried his manager might be upset? If so, shame on that manager!Well, the attendant did come up with a solution. He told Shary, "You could use the toilet at the gas station across the street."She did. She also bought $26.67 worth of gas across the street.Here are just three thoughts on this rather unfortunate situation:It's obvious the employee was not empowered. That could be a sign of bad training.Maybe this was a just a "bad hire." Had Shary come at another time, a different employee might have recognized how simple the solution was and fixed the situation. Yet this employee was all Shary will remember about this store. One employee can create a perception for all employees.Why weren't the bathrooms checked on a regular basis for cleanliness and toilet paper? This is standard operating procedures for many public restrooms in restaurants, gas stations - really almost anywhere.There are more lessons and ideas to be discussed, but you get the idea. Sometimes the solution is so simple, it's almost ridiculous that someone can't come up with it. Share this story with your team. Ask them what their thoughts are about what happened. Sometimes a bad customer service example is a great learning opportunity.Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, keynote speaker, and New York Times bestselling business author. For information, contact 314-692-2200 or For information on The Customer Focus customer service training programs, go to Follow on Twitter: @HykenCopyright MMXIX, Shep Hyken
Article by Shep Hyken

A Doctor's Prescription for Good Customer Service

Shepard Presentations, LLC. · 3 January 2019
Here's another great story we can learn from. This reminds us that having a good system with good people who understand how to take care of their customers is the backbone of a good service experience.My friend, Dr. Neil Baum, the world-renown urologist, was speaking in Las Vegas at the Wynn resort. He noticed the electronic scale in the bathroom didn't work. He saw the housekeeper and mentioned the problem to her. Within a few minutes, there was a knock at the door and a man from engineering was there with a new scale. And, just a few minutes after the engineer left, Neil received a call from the front desk to make sure the scale was working and if there was anything else he needed. Contrary to the old saying, "What happens in Vegas stay in Vegas," Neil states, "That's a story that happened in Vegas, but it doesn't have to stay there!"So, Neil is telling everyone. And, he's calling it a Win-Wynn. The resort wins because they created a happy guest. The guest or customer wins because of the great service. Not to mention that this guest wants to tell the world about the experience. Furthermore, Neil says any type of business, even a doctor's office, can have a Win-Wynn.One of Neil's patients was a Medicare patient on a fixed income. He received a prescription for medication. The cost was several hundred dollars, and he had not yet met his insurance deductible. After a few days, he had an adverse reaction and had to discontinue the medication that he'd already paid for. Neil prescribed a different medication, but unfortunately, the patient couldn't afford it. What did Neil do? He was able to get some samples from the pharmaceutical company. That way the patient could avoid the additional expense. He called that a Win-Wynn.Neil says, "We are always trying to endear ourselves to our patients and help them achieve good health. Sometimes, it requires a little more effort, but in the end, it's worth the time and energy we put forth. When we create a Win-Wynn, we feel much better knowing we've gone a little above what is expected for our patients."The system the Wynn has for dealing with guest requests and complaints works. There are quick response and follow-up. That impresses a guest. A doctor that shows some empathy and takes the time to help a patient solve a financial dilemma, that impresses a patient.It doesn't matter if you're a big resort, a doctor's office - or any other type of business. When your system works, and you have competent people who make good customer-focused decisions, everybody is happy. That's a Win-Wynn!Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, keynote speaker, and New York Times bestselling business author. For information, contact 314-692-2200 or For information on The Customer Focus customer service training programs, go to Follow on Twitter: @Hyken
Article by Shep Hyken

Ten Reasons Why Customers Choose To Do Business With You

Shepard Presentations, LLC. ·27 December 2018
"People don't buy what you do; they buy why you do it." That quote comes from Simon Sinek, author of the book, Start with Why. This quote makes me think about the different reasons behind why a customer chooses to do business with a company. There are plenty of them to consider, so I put together a short list of some of these Whys:Price: Let's get this one out of the way first. Some people choose price as a primary reason. Those companies that get customers because of low price will lose those customers when someone else has a lower price. The loyalty to the company is because of price, not the company.Convenience: Who doesn't want an easy and frictionless experience? And, people are often willing to pay a higher price if the experience is convenient.Customer service: You love the way they treat you. Employees are friendly, knowledgeable, and quick to respond. They are there to take care of you, and in turn, you take care of them... by doing business with them.The culture: This is the kind of organization you want to be affiliated with. Your values are congruent with theirs.A Cause: You believe in what they believe in. At some level, this ties into culture and values, but this is more about giving back and community involvement. It can be a charity or any other cause that is important to you; everything from saving elephants to curing world hunger.Trust: You trust them. They do what they say, every time. If you don't trust the organization, you probably wouldn't be doing business with them anyway.Reputation: You've heard good things. Maybe it's comments from friends or colleagues at work. Or, maybe there are plenty of reviews that can confirm this is a good company. Reputation is a big part of the decision.Consistency: This ties in with trust and reputation. Outside of lying, if there is something that erodes trust quicker than anything, it's a lack of consistency. You want customers to use the word "always" to describe their experience with you. "They are always friendly, knowledgeable, helpful..." You get the idea.The Way: The way they do business: This is about their process, policies, the hours they are open, their location and more. It is really about their operation. These are very tangible reasons. These may get a customer in the door, but many of the other reasons are why customers choose to come back.The Why: Let's end where we started, with Simon Sinek's quote. All of these reasons (and more) may contribute to the decision of why a customer chooses one company over another. When you figure out a customer's Why and can scale it to meet the reasons and needs of a larger group, you connect on another level that brings customers back, again and again.Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, keynote speaker, and New York Times bestselling business author. For information, contact 314-692-2200 or For information on The Customer Focus customer service training programs, go to Follow on Twitter: @Hyken
Article by Shep Hyken

Do Your Customers Trust You This Much?

Shepard Presentations, LLC. ·19 December 2018
There was a magic shop in Washington, DC owned by Al Cohen. I met Al when I was a teenager. As I started to perform more and more for money, I could afford to be a regular customer of Al's. Whether I bought tricks from his newsletter or came to the shop in person whenever I was in town, Al would consider me one of his "regulars." One day Al said, "Shep, I know what you like. I get new magic books and props in here every week. If you want, I can take your credit card number and send you whatever I know you'll want. If I'm wrong, send it back."Without hesitating, I handed over my credit card info. Every so often I would receive a package from Al's shop. He was never wrong. Not once did I return an item. He knew me so well - and treated me so well - that I trusted him.About ten years ago I had a little convertible. I bought it on eBay for a few thousand dollars. I referred to it as my "hunk of junk." It was fun to drive, and it was mechanically sound. The car was 35 years old, and most regular car dealers wouldn't work on it because of its age and the difficulty to source parts. I found a mechanic who had one bay in an industrial area and knew how to work on these older cars. I remember taking my car in for service and asking him, "What's this going to cost me?" He replied with a smile, "Half of what the dealer charges. You'll have to trust me." Well, I did, and he never disappointed me. Whenever he worked on my car, it was always less than I thought it would be, and I'm sure at least half of what a typical dealer would charge. I'm glad I trusted him.Not long ago I had dinner at one of my favorite restaurants. The owner asked if I trusted him to surprise me with a meal that he knew I would enjoy. I reminded him I didn't like mushrooms. He prepared an amazing meal. It wasn't on the menu. I had to trust him, and he didn't disappoint. I can't wait to go back and trust him again.These are simple examples just to make the point. It doesn't matter what type of business you are in, trust creates loyalty. Earning your customers' trust typically takes time. It comes from a predictable and consistent set of experiences. Your customers know what to expect, and you deliver every time. They also know you won't take advantage of them. So, how much do your customers trust you?

Be Different : By Shep Hyken

Shepard Presentations, LLC. ·13 December 2018
If you compete head-to-head with your competition, you may win or lose. If you compete by being different, you stand out. And, that's a win.Over the years I've talked with many clients who are looking for ways to disrupt a competitor and/or win more business from existing customers. When we dig deep, I've found many clients are trying to compare themselves directly with their competitors. They want to make sure they offer at least what their competition is offering. It's not that they're trying to keep up. It's that they are trying to not be outdone by their competition.While I'm not excited about saying, "I want to be as good as them," I'm willing to accept that this can at least be a starting point. The next step is to improve on whatever the competition is doing. I have written about this in the past. You can benchmark with your competition, but just use that as the starting point. And, more than just being better, can you offer something that the customer can't get from the competitor. In other words, can you offer something that is different and makes you stand out?Growing up we learned that different can be difficult. Different isn't good. You're taught that you want to fit in. But, in business, you want to be different - as long as what makes you different is something the customer wants and appreciates. You want to be known for something.There are some great brands that are best known for one trait - that one trait that makes them different.Volvo is known for safety. They are not known for high-speed performance cars, nor do they choose to compete in that world.Huntington Bank differentiated themselves by extending the hours of operation. The recognized traditional hours were not convenient for the typical banking customer, so they extended their hours, staying open later during the week and being open on Saturdays.Ace Hardware stores are not nearly as big as their big-box competitors. They separated themselves by promoting that they are smaller, which makes it easier for their customers to get in and get out. They also pride themselves on a different brand of customer service they refer to as "helpful service."Southwest Airlines is known for low fares, not charging for checked bags and no change fees. They are not known for having cushy first-class seats and meal service.Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches is a typical sandwich shop that delivers, but what makes them different - and what they advertise - is how fast they deliver. In their words, they are Freaky Fast.So, what makes you different? Is it obvious? Do your customers know about this big difference? Do they care about the difference? Answer those questions and you will be competing on another level - a different level!

Let Your Customers Tell Your Story

Shepard Presentations, LLC. ·29 November 2018
In the past, Ive written and talked about Telling Your Story. The idea is that you look to create the legendary type of stories that come from your employees and set the bar for the customer experience you want to deliver. Probably the best example is the famous Nordstrom story where a customer returned a set of used tires to a Nordstrom and the store employee gave the customer a refund. We all know that Nordstrom doesnt sell tires. If you dont know the entire story, you can simply Google Nordstrom Tire Story and youll find plenty of information confirming the validity of the story.The traditional way to get your story used to be to ask employees to share their best examples of the customer experience they created for a customer. Or, maybe a customer might write an accolade letter. Well, thanks to social media and online review sites, the customer now has a voice in your Tell Your Story efforts.Yes, we hope for positive reviews on the different review sites, Google and Facebook. But why stop there? Why leave it to chance for your customers to leave those positive comments? Why not create a campaign that gets the customers who love you to not only share but get some attention for themselves?So, heres my idea. Have your customers create videos that tell the story of what its like to do business with you. You could create a contest. Customers submit videos about how much they love doing business with you and why. This can be shot using an iPhone, although some may want to bump up the experience and do something more professional looking. It really doesnt matter, as long as they send something.By the way, why just do it with your customers? Why not do it with employees? One of my clients had an internal contest where groups of people, mostly within their own departments, although not always, submitted short three-minute videos. It was a great teambuilding experience. Once the videos were submitted, the company had a viewing party and awarded an Oscar statue for the team that created the best video, which by the way, was chosen by the audience as in fellow employees.Back to your customers. Their testimonials are powerful. Putting that into a video form means additional exposure compared to the written accolade. Consider putting these videos on your website and/or a YouTube channel. Be sure to ask permission before you do. Ask them to be honest, but also to have fun. Youll be surprised what you get. As a thank you gift for submitting their video, send them the replica Oscar statue I mentioned to give employees. Its a fun way of showing your appreciation and ties in with the movie theme.Think about the power behind real people or should I say, real customers sharing their story about you on video. Its powerful and different. Okay Thats a wrap!

Be as Easy as Ordering a Pizza

Shepard Presentations, LLC. · 8 November 2018
Back in my college days, I remember how easy it was at 11:00 at night, while studying for a test the next day, to order a pizza from Domino's. I just picked up the phone and in less than thirty minutes, it was delivered. Today I do the same thing. I pick up the phone and order a pizza - but I don't have to... pick up the phone.Technology has taken us to a new level of pizza ordering. Picking up a phone to order a pizza is an option, but it's so old school. You can order online or use an app on your smartphone or tablet. Or, you can just use a voice command and order with Alexa or Google Home. And, once you order your pizza, you can track the order. You know when your pizza is being prepped when it comes out of the oven and when it's on its way. Domino's has made it easy - as in convenient.And, if you've been following my work, you know about my fascination with convenience. I wrote the book, The Convenience Revolution, and identified six "Principles of Convenience," one of them being delivery. I included Domino's as a case study in the book, but guess what? I didn't include them in the chapter on delivery. I included them in the chapter on technology.In 2008 Domino's was struggling and their brilliant leadership turned the company around. They recognized their pizza wasn't as good as it could be, and publicly stated it needed improvement. So, they improved. They also revolutionized their process and started building technology into the customer experience. The Domino's ANYWARE concept allows their customers to not only order the pizza with the toppings they desire but to connect with their neighborhood Domino's by more than ten ways, with more to come. They include:Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Slack, Facebook Messenger, Zero Clicks, Text, Twitter, Ford Sync, Smart TV, Voice and Smart Watch. And, of course, you can still order using the traditional "land-line" phone.Consider that while some people still use the phone, a younger generation experienced these new apps as they were being released and have decided they don't want to use the phone anymore. And an even younger generation has never ordered a pizza with a phone, and they simply won't.The point is that even a pizza company recognizes the necessity to reinvent its processes to keep up with the times. Beyond being a better pizza, they wanted to make it easier on their customers, and that's what every company must do. Study what Domino's has done. What are they doing that you can do in your business? What can you do to be more convenient for your customers?

Always Do Your Best

Shepard Presentations, LLC. ·31 October 2018
Our mantra at Shepard Presentations is to Always Be Amazing. Those three words are very important. They are totally consistent with what we stand for, what I write about in my books and articles, and how we conduct ourselves at work every day. It's simple...We want to be amazing for our employees.We want to be amazing for our clients.And, we want to teach our clients to be amazing to their customers, clients, guests, members - and anyone else they do business with.Last year I wrote a book titled Be Amazing or Go Home. I wrote about the concept of consistency and used acting legend Richard Burton as an example. The focus was on consistently doing your best. Every day Burton tried to perform at his best. When he performed in plays, night after night, as he was walking out on stage, he would say, "I want to be so good tonight that I cheat the audience that was here last night." In other words, be better today than yesterday.That's a lofty goal, but one worthy of trying to achieve. Maybe you do it. Maybe you don't. Regardless, you give it your best shot. Often, it's the effort of trying your best that gives others confidence about you. That's what brings customers back - when they can say, "I can depend on them to always do what's best." And, if for some reason there is a failure, it won't be for lack of effort.That brings me to another example of doing your best. Sometimes you may need a reason. That reason can be your personal motivation. I recently read a quote by another legend, this time in the sports world. It is said that baseball icon and Hall of Famer, Joe DiMaggio, was asked by a reporter, "Why do you play so hard every single day?" Dimaggio replied, "Because in the stands there may be someone who is seeing me for the first time or for the last time, and they expect my best."Yes, DiMaggio was a fierce competitor and came to every game to win. And, it was his second reason that added fuel that motivation. Just like Richard Burton, Joe Dimaggio knew people came to see him play. They came to see him do his best. And, he never wanted to let them down.So, what's your reason for wanting to do your best? What inspires you to be the best you that you can be? When you find it, and you live it, you'll come to work to be your best. Your customers will appreciate you. Your colleagues at work will appreciate you. And, you'll appreciate you!

The Shepard Letter - The New End

Shepard Presentations, LLC. ·29 October 2018
I had the wonderful opportunity to interview Sam Stern, a principal analyst at Forrester Researchfor my Amazing Business Radio show. One of the ideas we discussed was Daniel Kahneman's Peak-end rule. The short version of this concept, applied to customer interactions, is that customers judge their experience on how they felt at its peak and at its end.The topic came up as Sam and I were discussing surveys. Specifically, when surveys are sent and how they could potentially negatively impact the customer experience. Just when the customer thinks the experience is over, it's not. They receive a survey. That's the New End.In a typical transaction with your business, think about the last interaction your customer experiences. This can be any type of business. For example, the restaurant owner may thank the guests as they walk out the door. An automotive repair center may bring the customer's car to the front of the store for the customer to inspect before they drive away. An online retailer's customer's end may be when they open the box with their merchandise. These final moments appear to be the end of the customer's experience, but sometimes there's more.Sometimes the car dealership will send a survey to the customer. Or, the online retailer asks for a review of the product. Those become the New End to those customer interactions, and sometimes that New End can taint the experience.I love a certain hotel that I've stayed at several times. The hotel is clean, the rooms are nice, the restaurants are great, and the staff is always friendly and helpful. I couldn't ask for more. Two days after my first stay I received a survey. I was happy to fill it out. What I thought would be a short survey took almost ten minutes. Still, I wanted to give some credit to the staff, so I took the time to complete the survey. After my next visit, I received the same survey. This time, I did not complete it. Nor did I complete it after the third and fourth visit.The point of that short story is to emphasize that when I walked out of the doors of that hotel, that was not the end. The New End appeared 48 hours later, and it wasn't a positive end.What if that survey had been three short questions? How would I have felt about it? Or, with the ability of computers today, why doesn't their system recognize me as a repeat guest and send me a shorter survey, as in two or three questions, to ensure I felt the same way as the first visit?Think about what the last thing your customer experiences in a typical interaction with you and your organization. Is it a long, multi-page survey that causes survey fatigue and anxiety? Or, is it a thank you note expressing appreciation that will remind your customer about their positive experience with you? Whatever it is, that New End becomes what I refer to as the True End. It's your customer's final experience of that interaction that also sets the tone for future business.

Take Your Customers Where They Need to Go, Not Where They Want to Go

Shepard Presentations, LLC. · 3 October 2018
On a recent trip to Africa, I had the pleasure of meeting the Governor of Oyo State, Nigeria, the Honorable Abiola Ajimobi. He had a commanding presence and shared many insightful thoughts. I asked what made him successful, and he quickly responded with the following response: "Good leaders don't take people where they want to go. They take them where they need to go."We continued the conversation about how he was elected to a second term as Governor, which was not that common. He always has his state and country in mind when he makes decisions. He knows what's good for his people and Oyo State. He knows there could be some pain involved in giving them what they need, which often is different than what they want. This was a leader sharing his philosophy, and my mind was racing with ideas about how it applies to customer service and the customer experience.It's really quite simple. When we find out what our customers want if it's not what they need, and we know it, are we willing to tell them? Here are a couple of examples to make the point:Years ago, I was working on a project with an attorney. We were discussing different approaches to the problem, and I had an idea. He said, "If that's what you want, I'll do it." I told him, "I don't know if that is what I want. I'm just sharing an idea." And, he followed up by saying, "As I said, I'll be happy to do it." His mindset was to do what his client asked for, not necessarily what was best for his client. And, that was the end of that relationship.I went to my local Ace Hardware store. I came in with a special hinge for a swinging door. I asked if they had one in stock. The salesman could have simply said, "Yes," and sold me what I asked for. But, that didn't happen. Instead, he asked me about the kind of door I was going to use. He made a suggestion of another type of hinge, which was much less expensive. He said, "This is what you need. If you replace what you have, you'll be back here in a year or so to replace it again." Had he not asked me how I was using the hinge, he would have never known to sell me the other, less expensive hinge. He sold me what I needed versus what I thought I wanted.The lesson is simple. Good customer service isn't always giving a person what they want. It's giving them what they need. It's nice when they are the same, but that's not always the case. Need versus want. And, the best people in customer service know how to do it with tact and diplomacy - in a way that gets the customer to want to come back.Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, keynote speaker, and New York Times bestselling business author. For information, contact 314-692-2200 or For information on The Customer Focus customer service training programs, go to Follow on Twitter: @Hyken

Never Take Your Eyes Off The Customer

Shepard Presentations, LLC. ·14 September 2018
One of my favorite restaurants in St. Louis, where I live, is Tony's. You may be familiar with Tony's if you have been following my articles and videos for a while. They are an outstanding example of a great product - their food - and amazing service. So, good in fact that they are one of the businesses that don't have to exceed expectations. They are so good at what they do, all they have to do is meet expectations to amaze their guests.When Tony's first opened they were a very formal restaurant. Servers were in tuxedos, men wore suits and ties and the women wore fancy dresses. Also, "back then," they were in a different location. It was a multi-level building. I was always impressed when the maitre d' would escort you to the table, and when he walked up the stairs, he walked backward. I thought, how interesting. This must be an extremely formal way of taking a guest to his or her table. Well, decades later, I now have the story.I interviewed Kim Tucci, entrepreneur and restaurateur, for my Amazing Business Radio show, and if you haven't listened to it, you should. There are many excellent customer service tips from a veteran in the hospitality business. Many years ago - as in almost 50 years ago - Kim worked at Tony's, and he's the one who came up with the idea of walking backwards up and down the stairs. It turns out that it wasn't because of a fancy or formal ritual. It was born out of necessity.On any given weekend night, the restaurant was packed. Sometimes the wait for a table was three hours. But, the food and service had the reputation for being stellar, and people were willing to wait. My friend, Kim, was the maitre d', and one busy Saturday night he was escorting his guests to their table. He asked them to follow him, and about halfway up the stairs turned around and they weren't there. Somehow, they had lost sight of Kim and went in the wrong direction. At that moment, Kim decided he would never take his eye off the guest, and the infamous walking backwards up and down the stairs ritual began.The Lesson: Never take your eye off your customers. If you do, they might get lost. You must guide them, but it is more than guiding them to a table in a restaurant. In business, you must guide them to make good decisions - one of which is doing business with you. Don't let them get lost, or they may stray to doing business with the competition. Stay focused on doing the right thing for your customers, and they will stay focused on you.

Sometimes It's Just the Right Thing to Do

Shepard Presentations, LLC. · 6 September 2018
We can train people on how to deliver good customer service. We teach people how to greet customers when they walk in the store, how to properly answer the phone when customers call the company and much more. It's easy to teach the basics. They are part of the operation and the process. They happen every day. But, sometimes there are opportunities to deliver customer service when it's not expected. An employee does something, not because they were taught to do it, not because it's expected, but simply because it's intuitively the right thing to do.This reminds me of a job that I had while I was in college. Sometimes people asked me about my job, and I said, "I'm in the oil business." Then, I would pause two or three seconds to let that comment sink in. I knew what they were thinking, "Wow, a young guy still in college. How did he get into the oil business? Impressive!" Then I continued with, "Which means I pump gas."Of course, they would laugh. And, even the comment about pumping gas wasn't 100% accurate. I worked at a self-service gas station. People pumped their own gas. I just took the money. But, one day I actually did pump gas.On that Saturday morning, it was bitter cold. The temperature was minus three below zero. The chill-factor was even lower than that. An elderly woman drove into the gas station. She had to be in her eighties, and she looked frail. She stepped out of her car and slowly walked around her car to the gas pump when I ran out of the building and asked her to get back inside her warm car. I informed her that I would be happy to fill her car up with gas. She smiled and thanked me.Eventually, I came back into the warm building and my manager asked me what I had just done. I told him I filled that lady's car up with gas. He then said, "Son, we're a self-service gas station. That means our customers pump their own gas. Now that lady is going to expect this the next time she comes back here."I couldn't believe he was criticizing me for helping an elderly woman. I responded, "Well, at least she'll come here instead of going to the gas station across the street."The point of this story is that I didn't fill that customer's car up with gas because I had to. It's because I wanted to. Sometimes that is where the best customer service takes place. In the moments where you don't have to do something for someone out of obligation, but simply because it feels like it's the right thing to do. And, it usually is!

The Convenience Question: How Easy Am I To Do Business With?

Shepard Presentations, LLC. ·15 August 2018
Over the years I've taught a concept I refer to as the One Thing Question. This is a very simple question to use in a survey as a follow-up to the simple survey question, like the Net Promoter Score question (NPS). For those that may not be familiar with the NPS survey question, it is simply this: On a scale of zero to ten, what is the likelihood that you would recommend us to a friend, colleague or family member. This simple question gives you an idea if your organization did well enough for the customer to recommend you. The follow-up question is this:Is there one thing you can think of that would make doing business with us better?The idea is that if you have a number of customers suggesting the same "one thing," you need to pay attention. And, if the ideas are coming from the customers giving you high ratings, then the suggestions are giving you the opportunity to improve on greatness. So, here's a twist on the typical one thing question. Let's assume you are customer focused and your organization is providing a level of customer service that earns consistent high scores. Where can you go from here? In addition to the great service, be easy and convenient to do business with. That's the subject of my new book, The Convenience Revolution: How to Deliver a Customer Service Experience that Disrupts the Competition and Creates Fierce Loyalty. This is the next level of customer service. So, the twist on the one thing question is this:Is there one thing you can suggest that would make doing business with us easier or more convenient?Some companies make convenience part of, if not all of, their value proposition. They know it separates them from their competition. Huntington Bank has extended hours for their customers, so they can bank after normal business hours and on weekends. CLEAR provides a solution to the frequent traveler that hates waiting in security lines in the airport. Walmart has strategically placed their stores so that 90% of people in the US are less than 10 minutes from a Walmart. Restaurants that choose to use the NoWait app lets their guests add their names to the waiting list at a busy restaurant and time their arrival so that when they show up they are near the top of the list.So, what one thing (or more) can you do to be more convenient for your customers? Come up with the answer and you may get more business from your existing customers and steal away customers from your competition.

Don't Blame Me. I Just Work Here

Shepard Presentations, LLC. · 2 August 2018
We were stunned by his response. I broke the silence by stating, "Well, it looks like I have material for my next article."I was hoping that he was joking when he gave his excuse, but unfortunately, he wasn't. So, let's talk about what happened. We all have two jobs: Our server didn't recognize his most important responsibility, which was to take care of his customer. He just viewed himself as the guy who delivers the food. Everyone must recognize that they have two jobs; to do the job that they are hired to do and to take care of the customer.Be an ambassador for your brand: Our server didn't realize one of his very important responsibilities, that he was an ambassador for his restaurant. More than just doing his job as a server and taking care of his customer or guest, he is also part of something bigger. His actions reflect on all the other employees. After the dinner, our friends made comments like, "They really have bad service." The reality is that the restaurant usually has good service. Most of the other employees, if not all of them, are very good at what they do. Yet, one employee ruined the reputation of everyone.Don't blame others: Our server played the blame game. "I don't make them. I just serve them." He was blaming the chef and his staff for the mistake. It may not have been his fault, but that doesn't mean he couldn't accept the responsibility of managing the experience. A simple apology is a good start. And, making it right, in this case, would have been easy. Just bring the guest a new salad.Nobody and no company is perfect. There will always be mistakes and problems. Some are small, and some are large. It's how they are handled that is the true test of excellence. A problem is an opportunity to show how good you are. A complaint is a gift, allowing you to respond in a way that proves to the customer that they made the right decision to do business with you.

Customer Experience And Employee Experience

Shepard Presentations, LLC. ·26 July 2018
Why should someone do business with us?In other words, why us instead of our competition. What do we do differently than our competitor? And, even if it is different, do our customers care? And, more importantly, will that difference make a customer do more business with us versus others that sell a similar product or service? These are great questions that can cause us to have two to three hours of conversation. Today, there is a twist. If you've been following my work, you know that I believe that what's happening on the inside of a company is felt on the outside by the customer. Just as a company wants to keep their best customers, there also needs to be a focus on what you do to keep employees. So, the new question isn't about customers. It's about employees and the employee experience (EX). And, that question is:Why would someone want to work for our company?While this question may seem totally focused on the employee, it really isn't. Yes, it goes to the way employees are treated, but it also directly ties to the customer experience. Because, without happy employees, you aren't going to have engaged employees. And, a lack of engagement has a direct impact on the customer experience.There are plenty of stats and facts that prove to be the best place to buy from, you have to be the best place to work for. Take a look at the list of the top 100 companies who provide the best customer service and you'll see a lot of overlap with the top 100 companies who are considered the best places to work. You can't ignore the obvious.So, is your CX in balance with your EX? Do you have engaged employees who feel a sense of ownership and pride when they are at work? Do they own their customer's experience? In other words, do they take responsibility for their role in creating a good CX? Answer these questions and you'll have an idea of the direction you're headed - or need to head - to create an amazing customer experience.

The More You Give The More You Get

Shepard Presentations, LLC. ·25 July 2018
There is an old saying: It is better to give than to receive. The interpretation of this is that giving is an act of kindness. There is another old saying: The more you give, the more you get. So, is the act of giving truly an act of kindness, even if you know you'll receive something back, and even if you don't know exactly what it is? I think so, especially if the act of giving has no strings attached - even if giving more means you get more, then it truly is an act of kindness.This is true in life, and part of life is business. Giving is part of the customer experience. Customers like to receive, and when they do they return the "favor" by spending their money with you. In modern times, we call this The Law of Reciprocity. Zig Ziglar, the late and great motivational speaker summed it up well when he said, "You will get all you want in life if you help other people get what they want."I recently attended a great presentation from Shashi Seth, the senior vice-president of Oracle Marketing Cloud, who spoke about the concept of reciprocity in business. It's simple. If someone does something for you, you will naturally want to do something for them. He then added that this works for human beings who are classified as "givers," but for people classified as "takers," it has little effect. The good news is that the world has many more givers than takers. Can this be proven? Yes!If you have ever received a fortune cookie or a mint with your bill at dinner, you have, according to Seth, been a "victim of reciprocity." He proved this with research. When the servers at a restaurant bring a check to their guests without a mint, the diners will tip according to their perceptions of how good or bad the service was for that meal. When servers add a mint to the check, the tip jumps up 3.3%. Two mints and the tip jumps to roughly 20%.Seth explained that the Freemium business model is based on the law of reciprocity. Give someone something for free, and the customer reciprocates by spending money. And, it's much bigger than an after-dinner mint. For example, Spotify and Pandora have created streaming music empires by giving away free versions of their product, which is financially supported by advertisers. However, both offer an upgrade to a paid version without advertising. Some of their customers pay, which results in approximately 50% of their revenue.You don't have to be a big company like a Spotify or Pandora to offer up something free. It can be something inexpensive, like a piece of candy with the dinner check. Or it can be something digital like an eBook, special report, or a video. As long as it has some value to the customer - and that there are "no strings attached."So, what can you give away that your customers will appreciate? Remember, the more you give, the more you get.So, here's something "free" from me... a special research article based on my latest book, The Convenience Revolution. This book will help you disrupt your competition - and maybe even an entire industry! Just click here!

How To Create A Very Personalized Customer Experience

Shepard Presentations, LLC. ·12 July 2018
I just stayed at the Crowne Plaza in Lansing, Michigan. I've stayed at many Crowne Plazas in the past, and they are nice hotels, however, the experience at this one was quite unique. It was a personalized experience, and the way they went about it is an excellent lesson we all can learn from.First, the concept of personalization is to make the customer feel like the experience is somewhat unique to them. If I've stayed in a hotel and made a special request, the hotel may note that in my record, and the next time I stay at that hotel, they might remember the request so I don't have to ask. What the Crowne Plaza Lansing did was different. Before I go any further, you need to know a little about me. You probably know I travel around the world delivering keynote speeches on customer service and experience. I log about 150,000 miles a year as a "road warrior." I also have hobbies. I do card tricks and magic. I also play guitar. So, now that you have some background, here's the story.When I walked into my room, I noticed a note with a shoe shine kit. It was handwritten and read: This will work wonders on the shoes of a road warrior. Then I noticed some beer. Not just any beer, but a special brand called Double Magician and Staff Magician. I'd never heard of these brands, but apparently, it was a local brand. I also noticed a guitar. A note next to that read: We heard about your hobby. Thought you might enjoy making a little music during your stay! From your friends at the Crowne Plaza. WOW!And, finally, when I returned to my room that night there was not the customary mint that some hotels leave on the pillow. There was a plastic top hat with a chocolate bunny in it - as in the magician's rabbit in the hat trick! Holy cow! Actually... Holy chocolate bunny!So, I had to find out who was responsible for this and say thanks for this unbelievable experience. That person is Robin Goodenough, and she and the Crowne Plaza team are amazing. What did they do? Simple. They Googled my name and found my profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. It was easy for them to see what my interests were. From there, they wowed me with a personalized experience.Some may find what the Crown Plaza team did to be a little "spooky." I didn't. If anyone posts something on a social channel like Facebook or LinkedIn, they should anticipate that others will see it. And, using the information posted for the purposes of creating an amazing and personalized customer experience, well there's nothing wrong with that.Thank you to my friends at Crowne Plaza Lansing! You created a truly memorable experience. Can't wait to come back and visit you again!

Strike the Balance Between the Digital Experience and the Human Experience

Shepard Presentations, LLC. · 5 July 2018
There needs to be a balance between the digital and human experience. A total digital experienceis not always possible. If a customer needs support, a chatbot may not have all the answers. The best chatbots have been programmed to understand when it doesn't have an answer or the customer is confused. At that point, the chatbot moves the customer from the digital experience to a human experience, as it seamlessly switches you to a human to continue the conversation. That's the way it should work - just at the right point, moving to the human experience. That's balance. There are other forms of digital experiences. Zappos is the online retailer that makes it easy to connect with a customer service rep. They know customers will have questions, and even though they are an online company that sells off their website, they make it super-easy to connect with a human.And, sometimes the experience moves from human to digital. For example, I may call to talk to a support rep. Maybe I have a "how do I do this" type of question. The customer support rep can simply tell me and walk me through the steps, and that may take some time. So, maybe a better option is to send me an email with explicit instructions. Or, maybe send me a link to a video that shows me, step-by-step, how to accomplish what I'm having trouble with.So, how does a company strike a balance between digital and human? The answer is knowing where to cross over between digital and human - or the other way around. And, that point of the crossover is when there is friction. At the point of friction is the right place to switch. In the examples I just provided, there was a point of friction. The chatbot knew when to flip me over to a live agent. The customer support rep knew I would have a better experience watching a video tutorial. Once you know the point of friction, you can strike the balance between the digital experience and the human experience, giving your customers the experience they deserve.

Three C's of Customer Service Success

Shepard Presentations, LLC. ·28 June 2018
Of course, there is much more to delivering an amazing customer experience, but if there is something that is a non-negotiable to creating customer loyalty, it is a consistent and predictable experience - one that customers can count on every time they do business with you. The entire experience must be consistent. You can't be great one day and just okay the next. The moment there is inconsistency, you start to lose the customer's confidence, and ultimately you might lose the customer.So, let's talk about the different ways an organization delivers a consistent experience. The quality of the product or service must be consistent. Whatever the company sells must meet the expectations of the customer, every time. It doesn't matter how good your customer service is, if the product doesn't do what it's supposed to do, the customer will find another company that better meets their needs.The different channels customers interact with you and your organization must be consistent.Today's customers connect with the companies they do business with in multiple ways. The traditional way a customer communicated with a company was in person or on the phone. Then along came emails, then chat, then chatbots. And, then there are social channels and other messaging apps. This is all part of the digital revolution, and the modern customer expects to have a consistent experience regardless of the channel.The attitude of the people who work at the company must be consistent. I'm not suggesting that everyone be a clone of each other. It is the positive attitude and the effort the employees make to take care of their customers that must be consistent. It shouldn't matter if the customer talks to John one day and Jane the next, everyone comes to work with the plan to do their very best, every day. Regardless of who picks up the phone or responds to a message, the customer will always have a good experience.When customers talk about the consistent company, they will say things like, "They are always so helpful." Or, something like, "They are always so friendly and knowledgeable." When they use the word always followed by something positive about the company, you know there is consistency. Delivering a consistent experience creates confidence. Confidence can lead to trust. And, trust leads to potential loyalty.

Five Ways To Disrupt Your Competition With Customer Service

Shepard Presentations, LLC. ·21 June 2018
Walmart disrupted local businesses when they came into a community. Uber disrupted the taxi-cab industry. And, Amazon started out disrupting bookstores and eventually moved on to disrupting the entire retail world.While the companies just mentioned are household names, you don't have to be a big company to disrupt. You can be a tiny company. Disruption is not about disrupting an industry. It's about disrupting your competition. Doing something that is so noticeable that it pulls customers to you. So, here are five ways you can compete - and disrupt - your competition:Stop comparing yourself to your competitors - This is a big one. Start comparing yourself to the best customer service companies you do business with. Today's customers know what great customer service looks like. The companies and individuals who deliver amazing service set the benchmark for everyone.Be amazing on social media - Social media is meant to be social. And, when it comes to customer service, it's not just about responding to complaints. It's an extension of your marketing and allows you to connect with your "community. It's an extension of your marketing. Be appropriately bold and visible.Respond quickly to every customer inquiry or comment - A quick response time can make a customer say, "Wow!" It shows you care, that you're paying attention and that you want to do business. A quick response time creates confidence, which is one of the keys to creating customer loyalty.Embrace technology - There are some awesome technologies out there that allow you to better connect with your customers and provide them a better customer experience. Something as simple as a good CRM (Customer Relationship Management) program can help you keep track of your customers, what they have bought in the past and any issues they have had. Chatbots, when used properly can give your customers quick answers to their most common questions. There are many new technologies coming down the pike, but keep in mind the technology needs to make your customers' lives better - not just yours.Be Convenient - We'll wrap up this list with a powerful concept that may be the biggest disruption strategy today. The concept of convenience is the new wave of customer service. There are many ways to be convenient for your customer. Call your customer. Don't make them call you. Go to your customer. Don't make them come to you. Have business hours that are focused on your customers' schedules, not just yours. Make doing business with you easy. All things being equal, the company that is more convenient to do business with, wins.

Your Brand Is Defined By The Sum Of All Your Customer Interactions

Shepard Presentations, LLC. ·14 June 2018
Many people don't understand the difference between customer experience and customer service, but does it really matter. That said, experience, when it comes to business, is the entire experience. While it includes customer service, which is a big part of the overall experience, it is also how your offerings are packaged, your advertising and marketing messages, and more. As mentioned, it's the entire experience. It's every interaction, human or otherwise, that you have with the brand.Then there is the definition of customer service. Sure, it may be the "department" that customers go to when they have a problem, but it also includes every contact the customer personally has with anyone they encounter in your company. It's focused on people interacting with people. There's more to it than that, but for this conversation, let's stick with these simplistic definitions.As mentioned, knowing the difference between service and experience really doesn't matter. What's important is for everyone to know how they contribute to the customer's experience. Some employees interact directly with the customer. They help drive the customer service, which as mentioned, is also a big part of the customer experience. Then, some employees don't have any interaction, but what they do behind the scenes impacts the customer's experience. It is important for every employee to know the role they play in the customers.All of this is leading to the concept of your brand and its reputation. I recently had a chance to sit down with Brian Chaput, the director of Offering Management at IBM, and he made a statement that summarizes all of this. "Your brand is the sum of all your customer interactions." In just ten words he nailed it! That's experience and service, all rolled up into one. And the outcome is the perception of your brand's reputation - and everyone has a supporting role in that perception. Everyone has some impact, in some way, on the customer's experience.So, does everyone in your organization know how they fit into the customer experience? Are they on the front line, delivering service directly to the customer? Are they behind the scenes, doing something that impacts the customer experience? There is customer service and customer experience. Sometimes they are the same, and sometimes they aren't. But, to the customer, it doesn't matter.

All Customers Are Created Equal - Just Some Are More Equal than Others

Shepard Presentations, LLC. · 7 June 2018
In 1945 George Orwell published the literary classic, Animal Farm, which was required reading in my middle-school English class. I always remembered the line: All animals are created equal, just some animals are more equal than others. Someone recently referenced the book and this famous line, and it made me think about how customers are treated.Are all customers equal? Loyalty programs promote perks, rewards, elite status and more, which might suggest that not all customers are equal. Now, I agree that loyal customers can receive some type of reward or discount for their loyalty. But, what about when it comes to customer service? What about how customers who spend more - or less - are treated? Should a frequent or loyal customer be given better customer service than a casual, once-in-a-while customer, or even a first-time customer?The short answer is no. We're not talking about perks here. Just about the way a customer is treated. Here's what I recently observed. By the way, I'm sure this isn't any different behavior that has been going on for a long time, it's just lately I've been acutely aware of it. I was at a restaurant and noticed a guest was almost being ignored compared to another guest at the next table. I inquired about who that "special" person was getting the extra attention, and my server said, "He's in here all the time."I notice the same type of behavior happens with airlines and hotels. It's easy to spot the frequent traveler by the way they are treated by airline and hotel employees.So, it appears that frequency might warrant a better customer experience. The same might go for how much a customer spends. Here's my take:The way a customer is treated should have nothing to do with how much they spend or how often they buy. All customers should be all be treated with dignity, respect and the attention any human deserves. They should all be treated in a way that is consistent with your brand promise and the reputation you wish to be known for. Now, when it comes to the perks you might offer a loyal customer, you can differentiate. That's different than the way you treat them.But, isn't it human nature to treat the regular and more profitable customers a little better? If that is what you believe, there is a solution. If you haven't already done so, create a minimal standard of customer service. This standard should be so good as to garner high praises regardless of how much - or how little - the customer spends. It's that simple.So, remind everyone of the standards you want to be known for. Remind them that applies to all customers, not just the ones they see more frequently. Do that and you may start to see more casual customers become repeat customers. You see, all customers are equal, just some are more loyal than others.

$75 Billion Dollars Is Lost Due to Poor Customer Service

Shepard Presentations, LLC. ·24 May 2018
Two years ago I reported on NewVoiceMedia's "serial switchers" report that indicated that $62 billion was lost due to poor customer service. That number, in their new reportnow has that number pegged at $75 billion! That's a lot of lost business!Here's my take on this. Customers want and expect more than ever before - because that's what we have we taught them. The customer service rock stars tout the accolades and awards that they have received. And, when our customers visit these businesses, they experience what great service feels like. And, then they come to us.We promise our customers that we will deliver amazing service, and we may. But, whether or not we do is for the customer to judge. And, here is where that judging gets interesting. They are no longer comparing us to our competitors. They are comparing us to the best service they ever received from anyone.And, what happens when a customer doesn't receive the customer service they expect? They switch!The NewVoiceMedia reports that "Brands are failing to create the positive, emotional experiences that drive customer loyalty." That failure results in 67% of customers becoming what they call "serial switchers." Simply put, these customers are willing to switch brands because of poor customer service. And, that's a 37% increase since their last report. Customers are grading the companies and brands they choose to do business with, and it's simply a pass/fail grade, where failure means the customer moves on.The main reasons customers switch are obvious. They feel underappreciated. They are not able to speak to a person who can provide answers. They experience rude employees. And, they are put on hold for unreasonable lengths of time. Personally, I hate holding for a long time while the company's recorded message states, "Your call is very important to us."However, it's not all "gloom and doom." There is some good news in the report. 86% of surveyed customers said that if there was an emotional connection with a customer support agent and the customer felt they were cared for and valued, they would be willing to continue to do business with the company again. And, if the company provides good service, 66% of customers would be more loyal and 65% would be willing to recommend the company, and my favorite stat, 48% would spend more.While the NewVoiceMedia survey focused on customer support centers and B2C, don't think that the B2B customer won't switch. The numbers are different in the B2B world, as the customer may have fewer options. Yet, when the B2B customer is ready to renew a contract or reorder supplies, don't think they aren't comparing you to other companies outside of your industry. They are. And, some of those companies have created higher expectations that you, at a minimum must meet, but even better, exceed.

For A Successful CC You Must Have A Successful Ex

Shepard Presentations, LLC. ·17 May 2018
So, let's look at the inside of the company. Let's look at the EX, which is the Employee Experience. The EX is part of the culture. It starts with how leadership wants their employees to feel about working for their company. One of my favorite concepts to write and talk about is the Employee Golden Rule, which is to treat employees like you want the customer to be treated. The EX is what will make or break the CX. First, let's talk about the customer experience. What department is in charge of CX? Is it marketing? Customer support? It's both - and much more. A good CX is the responsibility of everyone in the company. It's not a department. It's the entire company, and it's important for everyone in the company to know the role they play when it comes to CX.If someone in the accounting department sends out an errant invoice, it impacts (negatively) the CX. If someone in the warehouse doesn't properly pack a product, it may show up broken at the customer's home or office. That's a definite negative CX.Then there is the employee experience, also known as the EX. What do employees experience when they come to work? For example, if you have an employee break room, how do your employees feel about it? Is it a tiny, dirty, rundown part of the building? Or, does it measure up to the experience you would want your customers to have? Years ago I wrote about when the Ritz-Carlton took over a hotel that needed serious renovations. The first area they remodeled was the employee entrance. They made it nice, and the message that sent to their employees was in alignment with their customer service "credo," which is: We're ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen. Simply put, if you want your employees to treat customers like ladies and gentlemen, then treat the employees like ladies and gentlemen. And, the perfect place to start is the first experience they encounter when they come to work; the employee entrance.Another example of creating a good EX is finding the one thing that your employees enjoy doing most, and let that be part of their job. For example, Stephanie in our office loves recording and editing video. It's her favorite thing to do, so we made it one of her main responsibilities. Every week she has "video time." By the way, if you want to see her work, just click here and you'll be taken to This is my YouTube channel, and she has been a part of almost 150 of the videos on that site.So, when you're considering your CX, take a good look at your EX. The EX affects the CX, or worth stating again, what's happening on the inside of the organization is felt on the outside by your customers.


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