The Temkin Group has released a free ebook called The 6 Laws of Customer Experience which is an excellent read.

I recently experienced a frustrating interaction with a Customer Service department that was rendered ineffective because it depended on feedback from staff it could not control. My luggage was lost somewhere during a 2 connection flight on 2 different airlines. The worldwide tracking tool was supposed to provide me and the customer service department regular updates on the status of my delayed bag. While the bag did finally show up (damaged) the tracking tool was not updated as it should have been leading to severe anxiety on my part (the customer) and multiple calls to a customer service organization (unproductive use of the call center). There are important lessons to be learned from this failed process.

Customer satisfaction cannot be bottoms up driven. While excellent work can be done by customer facing personnel such as customer service call centers, or customer support personnel, sales teams and business partners, if the senior executive team do not have a commitment to customer satisfaction, the results will be sub optimal. And the front line employees will become increasingly frustrated with the lack of support for customer problems. Many employees are not included in senior executive meetings and strategy sessions so they cannot know for sure how their executives weigh in on customer satisfaction commitment but there are tell tale signs they can read that tell the story.

IBM has made some recent announcements to help its customers with changing consumer demands based on new web and mobile techniques. As a result, IBM has announced the Smarter Commerce consulting practice and new software to measure social interaction to help their clients with these new abilities. As a by product of these rich information being gathered there should be an improvement not only in marketing information but in customer satisfaction data as well.

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