Steve Curtin

Volunteers at Work

For many years, I’ve gone on record saying that the reason you and I, as customers, consistently receive predictably poor customer service is because exceptional customer service is voluntary; employees don’t have to deliver it, and most don’t. It’s tr...

When Values Are Valuable

Earlier today I was the guest on a leadership podcast. Among other topics, we discussed organizational values. Too often the term “values” conjures up images of the corporate orientation video or inspirational break room posters and is otherwise widely...

If you ask a question, then listen to the answer

Back in the Dark Ages of gathering customer feedback, companies distributed hard copy customer satisfaction surveys with prepaid postage to increase response rates and then waited weeks to collect, analyze, and distribute the feedback. And when warrant...

The Hospitality Sweet Spot

Ed and Gayle NovakLast week, our family dined for the last time at The Broker, a Denver restaurant founded 46 years ago by my father-in-law, Ed Novak. Dozens of family members joined us from across the country to honor Ed and the legacy of his restaur...

Every week should be customer service week!

Customer Service Week (Oct. 3-7) is approaching and, since I work in the field, I suppose I should contribute to the conversation. Let me...

The Seacret to Sales Success

Earlier this month, I met Adele. Not the Adele you’re thinking of – I’m not sure how well she sings – but this Adele...

Stop Counting Paperclips!

Last month, I returned to one of my favorite hotels in New York City. It was my first stay since the hotel completed an...

Always prepare the soil before planting seeds

A colleague recently asked for my opinion regarding the skills that customer service representatives (CSRs) need the most help with. I qualified my response...

Customer service is the new selling

The days of the boorish salesman portrayed in the 1992 film Glengarry Glen Ross – where the mantra “Coffee’s for closers” was used to...

More Proof That Perception Matters

I recently developed a learning activity for a client who wanted his team of 60 commercial property managers to recognize the influence that biases,...

The lost art of cosseting

Last month I presented three breakout sessions at a client’s annual leadership meeting near Chicago. The meeting was held at the Loews Chicago O’Hare...

How to win customers in 2016

With the New Year upon us, I was asked by a blogger to comment on trends that will influence customer experience in 2016. My...

Esprit de corps

The French term “esprit de corps” means a feeling of pride, fellowship, and common loyalty shared by members of a particular group. When I...

Celebrate customers more frequently and less formally

It’s Customer Service Week (Oct. 5-9) and, since I work in the field, I suppose I should contribute to the conversation this week. Let...

You’re not entitled to a 10

Earlier this week, I hired a local handyman service to knock out my “honey-do” list so that I was assured a weekend of uninterrupted...

Approachable customer service

I recently completed a consulting project for a network of county libraries. One of our objectives was to identify ways to incorporate exceptional customer...

Excellence doesn’t require permission

Whenever I go on record saying, “Most employees don’t choose to deliver poor customer service; they just don’t choose to deliver exceptional customer service”...

Don’t break your brand promise

Many companies have brand promises that look good in ads, and emblazoned on websites, banners and buttons, but often these promises have little credibility...

Customer experience Q&A

The following post contains a recent interview by Erica Marois of ICMI: 1. In your book you mention that 80% of companies claim to provide...

Serving is selling

I recently struck up a conversation with my insurance agent, Kevin, about the link between customer service and sales. We both agreed that the...

New Posts