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An interesting dynamic occurs with certain customer service roles. Those charged with providing service to customers also have responsibilities that require they control the customer.

The customer-facing professional has authority and is expected to exercise it to maintain order, to maintain safety, and, in general, to maintain the smooth execution of operational processes.

Sometimes, however, those who have authority over customers forget that service is still their number one job.

I had an experience recently at a dog training class. I was walking with my dog to return something to one of the other dog owners, part of a muzzle that came off when their Doberman lunged at my dog.

When I approached the dog owners, they were speaking with one of the trainers. The trainer immediately barked at me,  “I need you to move.”

I was trying to show her I had something in my hand. “I need you to move,” she yelled louder.

“I just want—”

“I need you to move,” she yelled, trying to sound even more commanding.

Now, I’m not sure if she wanted me to move...

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In Be Your Customer’s Hero, I laid out the elements of Hero-Class® service:

  1. Meet and, whenever possible, exceed expectations.
  2. Provide a hassle-free, frictionless experience.
  3. Do both of the above consistently.

In the years that have followed, I’ve worked with many organizations and spoken with many more and have found that almost all of these organizations struggle with getting their teams to consistently deliver customer service to the standards they expect.

A foolish consistency may be the hobgoblin of little minds, as Ralph Waldo Emerson once noted, but executional consistency is a fundamental cornerstone of Hero-Class® customer service.

Fortunately, we can greatly in improve consistency in service delivery by focusing on a few key areas of operational execution. Below are three of the most important aspects of making sure your team delivers consistent customer experiences that live up to your service vision.

Systems That Support

You must have the systems in place to enable the customer experience you expect your team to deliver. You need the systems...

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Let’s just say it right here at the start — dealing with difficult customers stinks.

Having provided customer service training to thousands upon thousands of people at all levels of organizations, I’ve learned that there is one thing every person who works with customers wants to know: how to successfully navigate difficult customer service situations and customers.

From the disengaged to the deceptive, from the frustrated to the furious, challenging customers can manifest themselves in an incredible variety of ways.

Even in the simplest cases, challenging customer service situations require that customer-facing professionals have both the mental fortitude and the specific skills needed to be successful.

These situations can become even more problematic when those working with customers make fundamental errors, making challenging situations even more difficult, or, at least, that will make these issues infinitely more difficult to resolve.

What follows are five disastrous mistakes — mistakes that can destroy any chance of resolving a customer’s issue....

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In this installment of our “Expert Interviews” series on YouTube, I interview Denise Lee Yohn.

Denise Lee Yohn is the go-to expert on brand leadership for national media outlets, an in-demand speaker and consultant, and an influential writer.

Fusion: Aligning Brand and Culture

In this...

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This blog post was sponsored by my friends at Customer Contact Week. If you’re a contact center leader, make sure to check out this incredible event happening in Las Vegas on June 18-22, 2018. You can view the brochure or register here

Our customers have psychological triggers, hot buttons...

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In the past decade or so, the term helicopter parent became popular as a description of a parent who constantly hovers over his or her children, overprotecting them and microparenting. Similarly, a helicopter rep is a customer-facing professional who hovers over the customer, creating a sense of...

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As a customer, there are few things more disappointing than having a great customer experience and then having it undone later by a different part of the organization.

As a leader, there are few things more frustrating than creating a team that delivers fantastic customer experiences only to see...

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WHY CUSTOMER SERVICE TRAINING IS ESSENTIAL

Every organizational leader wants their teams to provide great customer experiences.

They put “the customer comes first” on their company posters, they mention the phrase “customer-centric” in their annual reports, and they proudly announce the...

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In 2015, Gartner released its report saying that 89% of organizations planned to compete on customer experience in 2016. But what does it mean to compete on experience?

We know that customer experience matters. Studies have shown that customer experience impacts the bottom line and how customer...

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If you’ve studied customer service at all, you’ve certainly heard of WOW moments, those moments of extraordinary service that make an impression on customers.

While these over-and-above moments are not needed to create great customer experiences, they can still have a positive impact on your...

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