Customer Service Articles

Archaeologists live for artifacts. As they unearth these fragments of the past—a shred of fabric, a silver pot, a crumbling wall, an ancient writing—they slowly begin, piece by piece, to build their understanding of a culture long gone. These artifacts are keys to the past. Without them, we know little—or nothing at all—of the people who preceded us. With artifacts, however, we come to understand the beliefs, values, customs, and behaviors of these people. In short, we come to understand their culture. As any archaeologist will tell you, artifacts are essential in understanding culture. [...]


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The term “customer service” evokes different images in people’s minds. One image could be that of friendly, smiling, helpful employees who go out of their way to serve you. Or it could be the opposite – indifferent, unfriendly employees who can’t wait for you to leave or hang up the phone. Most people can recall many examples of poor customer service. Whether it’s the help desk employee that puts you on hold for 20 minutes or the store cashier who engages in a personal conversation instead of ringing up your purchase, poor customer service can make people feel frustrated and vow nev [...]


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I don't like to shop. Clothes shopping, grocery shopping, car shopping; it doesn't matter – I don't like it. I want to get in, get what I want (fast), and get out. That's my strategy when I have to shop. Two recent shopping experiences, however, were pleasant surprises. Both of these experiences showcased customer service at its best, and its most simple. Once again I was reminded that great service isn't about grand acts, it's about common courtesy, artfully delivered.The first story took place while on vacation in Chicago. I needed to buy a pair of casual shoes (I had forgotten mine at home). I found mysel [...]


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"The corporation can never be something we are not" Max Dupree, Leadership is An ArtWe all know that customer service initiatives come and go, usually beginning with a lot of fanfare and ending with a quiet departure. With each occurrence of this pattern, an organization's employees become more and more skeptical about subsequent service initiatives. When employees don't see intense leadership commitment beyond the program's rollout, they quickly understand that the initiative is another program of the month. The general feeling becomes; " [...]


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George Miliotis was the General Manager of the California Grill restaurant from the time it opened until he left in 2002. The California Grill is an upscale restaurant located at Walt Disney World. George is a big believer in training and education. Every new cast member attends the Disney "Traditions" orientation. George recognized, however, that it is was his responsibility to support and supplement the education his cast members received. George spent 15-minutes every day educating all California Grill cast members (front-of-house and back-of-house). If he wasn't there, the Assistant Manager conducted the training session. [...]


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Retaining excellent employees is a strong concern for all organizations in today's workplace. According to a massive study conducted by the Gallup organization, an employee's direct boss has the greatest impact on retention. Connected to this is the abundance of employee exit interviews that indicate a lack of recognition or appreciation as one of the top reasons for quitting a company. Therefore, it makes sense that the most effective recognition comes from the employee's direct manager. Organizations are always on the lookout for the reward/recognition program that will maximize employee p [...]


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There are very few truly cruel managers in the business world, in spite of what we see on television and in the movies. Yes, there are managers who are incompetent, neglectful, and uncaring. But real cruelty is rare. Very few managers yell, scream, fire people at whim, or hang up the phone without saying goodbye (no one on television ever says goodbye before hanging up). On the other hand, we've all seen managers who often act as though their employees are "invisible." This article is about what managers do that make employees feel unimportant and therefore; invisible. How many times have you stepped in to a boss' off [...]


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If you have read some of the earlier articles on this website, you know that I am an advocate of using stories to perpetuate the culture of your organization. The advice to make use of storytelling has been buried in the previous articles and I feel that the subject merits its own discussion. In communicating a point of view, a principle, or a value, there are few techniques more powerful than a well-told story. A story provides a "mind picture" for the listener and gives color to an otherwise abstract concept. As a leader, for example, I could advise new supervisors to "treat employees with respect." No one could arg [...]


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Most customer service improvement initiatives fail to produce sustained results. While such a statement may seem harsh, I think that most would agree with the statement based on their own experiences. After investing significant amounts of time, effort, and money in service improvement initiatives, most organizations do not attain the sustained results they were hoping for. Failure is usually not due to a lack of creativity or resources. Failure is most often the result of a lack of long-term commitment to the hard work that sustainability requires. The "launch" phase of an improvement initiative can be challenging, but it is [...]


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"Every role, performed at excellence, requires talent"Marcus Buckingham, First, Break All the Rules Most managers have had the experience of hiring someone who seemed like a dream during the interview, and turned out to be a nightmare on the job. All managers secretly pray that the people they hire don't turn out to be incompetent (or worse). Every once in awhile we hit gold and hire someone who turns out to be a star performer. How can you increase the odds of success? Learn the unique qualities of your best performers&nb [...]


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Most of us have heard the expression, "The frontline is the bottom line," as it pertains to a company's employees. It means that as far as the customer is concerned, a company's frontline employees are the company. After all, rarely do customers come in contact with the executives of an organization. Those frontline employees are truly the face of the organization. But as leaders, do we perform in a way that is consistent with the frontline equals bottom line philosophy? In many cases, I think the answer is no. I was pondering this issue recently while I sat eating in a TGI Fridays restaurant. As I [...]


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