Jeff Toister

Is Chat Ready to Grow Up?

My credit card recently expired, which meant updating accounts such as Netflix, cable, etc. where the card was used for automatic payment. It was a strangely inconsistent process from company to company. My cable company's website wasn't working, ...

Goal Setting Mistakes That Will Crush Your Service Culture

The new executive looked with dismay at the list of strategic goals the CEO had shared. They were designed to help the organization create a service culture, yet she knew the list was not very strategic nor did it contain actual goals. One goal wa...

A Hidden Reason to Be Polite to Rude Customers

I distinctly remember the first time I apologized on behalf of America. It was 1995 and I was living in Dublin, Ireland. I wandered into a gift shop near Grafton street to purchase some Waterford crystal to send home to my mom. As I walked around ...

How to Keep Non-Desk Employees in the Loop

Sharing information with non-desk employees is a challenge in customer service.  These are employees who don't sit at a desk in front of a computer to do their job. They may not even have a set work station and often don't have access to comp...

Report: Small Banks Are More Customer-Centric

A few years ago, I was having a conversation with the CEO of a small local credit union. The credit union had hired me to conduct a customer service assessment and I had asked him about his vision for serving credit union members in the future. Th...

Should Survey Rating Scales Be Even or Odd?

There's a long-running debate about customer service survey rating scales. Some people think they should be even, such as a survey that asks customers to rate their satisfaction on a scale of 1-4. Others think survey scales should be odd, making ...

Why Sexual Harassment is a Customer Service Issue

Bryce (not his real name) dreaded coming to work. A regular customer frequently complimented Bryce on his appearance and made sexually suggestive comments. It made Bryce feel so uncomfortable he went to his manager for help. Bryce's manager was unsymp...

Lessons From The Overlook: Give Customers Subtle Nudges

Note: Lessons from The Overlook is a monthly update on lessons learned from owning a vacation rental property in the Southern California mountain town of...

Forget Happiness, This Is the Top Emotion for Customer Support

The webinar software picked the wrong time to get wonky. My online training class started in less than 30 minutes. A client was paying good...

The New Rules of Employee Empowerment

Note: This post was originally published on LinkedIn Pulse. Customer service leaders frequently ask me about employee empowerment. It sounds so good in theory, but...

The Customer Service Bot That Can Save Humanity 

Robots can be scary. They sometimes feels like a barrier to real customer service. Such as when you find yourself yelling "Human! Human! Human!" into...

Your Inventory Problem is Hurting Customers

It was a scene straight out of the movie, Office Space. The Vice President of Customer Service called a meeting of directors, managers, and supervisors....

The Outsized Impact of Invisible Service Providers

I was recently in Watertown, South Dakota for a speaking engagement at the Watertown Convention and Visitors Bureau. Whenever I deliver a keynote presentation, I...

Lessons From The Overlook: Review Your Vision

Note: Lessons from The Overlook is a monthly update on lessons learned from owning a vacation rental property in the Southern California mountain town of...

Why You Need Danger to Be Great at Service

It was a Monday afternoon, and droves of hikers were ascending San Diego's Cowles Mountain.  It's one of the most popular hikes in town. You're...

How to Attract More Customers with Google My Business

Many small business owners hope Google will bring in more customers. Some try to advertise using Google Ads. Others wade into the mysterious world of...

The Amazon Playbook for Speed and Agility

It's no secret Amazon is a customer-obsessed organization. What's fascinating to me is how they achieve this obsession. Former Amazon executive, John Rossman, shared some...

The Best Way to Ask Employees About Training Needs

You may be tempted to survey employees to ask about their training needs. Don't. Asking employees what training they need is like asking young kids...

Report: Companies Have the Tech to Ease Phone Pain

Calling customer service is a pain. Most of us don't want to call customer service. Three things in particular make the call miserable:The first is...

Five Ways to Humanize Customer Service

Humanity in customer service is getting rare. We shop online without ever interacting with a person. Go on a trip and you can check in...

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