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Preview: Customer Service Reader

Customer Service Reader

Readings on Customer Service, from the best minds in the field

Published: 2006-05-10T19:58:00-07:00


Customer Service and the Pursuit of Happiness


Does happiness at work matter? Most of your life is spent going to work, being at work, going from work, thinking about work, and talking about work after work. If you work in customer service, and are not happy with...

Strategic advantage through customer service


Customer service is not always crucial to the success of an organization. Its importance is determined primarily by supply & demand. If there are few suppliers and many consumers, suppliers can dictate the terms of the relationship, and customers may...

What is strategy?


Excerpts from What is Strategy? Michael E Porter in Harvard Business Review A company can outperform rivals only if it can establish a difference that it can preserve. It must deliver greater value to customers or create comparable value at...

Ultimate notes


Notes on The Ultimate Question, by Fred Reichheld The average Net-Promoter Score (NPS) for U.S. companies is less than 10% Senior managers are delusional. 96% of senior managers said they were “focused” on the customer. 80% believed they delivered a...

Firing up the front line


Notes from Firing up the front line Jon R. Katzenbach and Jason A. Santamaria, in Harvard Business Review For many organizations, achieving competitive advantage means eliciting superior performance from employees on the front line. McKinsey & Company and the Conference...

The Solution


An organization’s success at the consistent delivery of outstanding service is merely the cumulative result of the contribution of each of its members. Outstanding service is just the consequence of each individual’s choice to be great at service. That’s our...

The employee experience


Notes from Customer Experience Management, Bernd Schmitt In most companies, employees do not care about their jobs. A Gallup survey found that only 25% of employees are “actively engaged”. 75% are just muddling through. University of Michigan’s David Ulrich observes...

Zaltman on creativity


Notes from How Customers Think, Gerald Zaltman 80% of all new products or services fail within six months, or fall significantly short of forecasted profits. The reasons boil down to a failure to understand how customers think, and how we...

Good people make good service.
Good service makes good people.


Listed below are competencies extracted from the Emotional Competence Framework of the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations. They are the competencies that matter most to the success of customer service providers. Conversely, when we practice service -...

What Makes Customers Tick?


Excerpts from What Makes Customers Tick? Lewis P. Carbone, in Marketing Management Most businesses have no idea why customers behave as they do There's never been a better time or a more compelling reason to get to know your customers....

What customers want


This summary of factors is a work in progress, derived from various articles in this Category. It is rendered in table form in the Customer Service article in Wikipedia. Good People Friendly, helpful, courteous Empathetic Knowledgeable, accurate, thorough Able to...

Empowerment prerequisite


Notes from Built to Last, Chapter 6, pages 138-139, Jim Collins, Jerry Porras Companies seeking an "empowered" or decentralized work environment should first and foremost impose a tight ideology, screen and indoctrinate people into that ideology, eject the viruses, and...

Remembering World-Class Courtesy


In February 1998, the National Partnership for Reinventing Government released its report on Best Practices in "World-class courtesy". Long since consigned to the dustbins of bureaucracy, the report (prepared with the cooperation of USAA, Nordstrom, and Ritz-Carlton, among others) deserves...

Service self-assessments


The National Performance Review's Best Practices Report on "World-Class Courtesy" includes two surveys that you may adapt to assess your organization's ability to deliver outstanding customer service. EMPLOYEE COURTESY ATTITUDE SURVEY The following short survey tool has been used successfully...

Satisfaction drops again


Customer satisfaction in the retail sector dropped another 0.3% in Q4Y5 vs Q4Y4, and is 4.4% lower than when satisfaction in the sector was first measured, the ACSI survey shows. Claes Fornell, Director of the National Quality Research Center at...



Excerpts from Winning, by Jack & Suzy Welch If there is one of my values that really pushes buttons, it is differentiation. Some people love the idea; they swear by it, run their companies with it, and will tell you...

Because it feels good


Excerpts from Dazzle Me! By the editors at Dartnell. Writer: David Dee “Providing great customer service is a triple win,” says Paul Timm, a professor at the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University. “Your customers feel good, your...

Easy to surprise


Excerpts from Dazzle Me! By the editors at Dartnell. Writer: David Dee Deliver surprisingly superior service “Go the extra mile for customers” is another way of saying, “surprise customers by doing something extra for them.” If you make a personal...

2005 CGTA Retailer of the Year


Elliott & Company, winner of the CGTA's 2005 Retailer of the Year Award, share some tips to help retailers excel in customer service: Greet every customer with a genuine smile when they enter Make it personal. Get to know your...

Core ideologies


Core Ideologies In Visionary Companies Excerpts from Built to Last, Chapter 3, pages 68-73, Jim Collins, Jerry Porras with links to currents statements Core ideologies = Core values + Purpose Core values = The organization's essential and enduring tenets; a...