Amazing Business Radio: Jeff Nicholson


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Service Utopia with Guest Jeff Nicholson

Crafting a Frictionless Service Experience for Employees and Customers

Shep Hyken interviews Jeff Nicholson. They discuss self-service, points of friction and effort, and Jeff’s newest whitepaper, “Achieving Digital Customer Service Transformation.”

The Interview with Jeff Nicholson:
  • Practically every industry is experiencing a shift to self-service. The result is that previously unknown points of friction are being eliminated, which is good, but it also throws a spotlight on the points of friction that remain.
  • “57 % of consumers dread calling customer service.” Because of self-service, customers now have an expectation that they should be able to find answers on their own via the channels they prefer—social media, texting, websites, etc. Only when they fail to get the information they seek themselves are they finally forced to pick up the phone—and by that time, they’re already frustrated.
  • Friction is a two-sided phenomenon; when a customer experiences friction, employees do too. For example, agents who deal with frustrated customers all day in turn are frustrated themselves. This is one of the reasons why agent turnover is so high. Neither the customer nor the employee wins in this scenario.
  • Companies need to re-think self-service strategies altogether. Ideally, self-service should be integrated and “channel-less”, allowing customers and employees to move seamlessly between channels of communication without the need to repeat information again and again.
  • Customers don’t want self-service; they want proactive service. They want companies to get closer to their moment of need, anticipate problems, and intervene before the need ever arises and they have to reach out. This is also called “predictive maintenance.”
  • Nothing will get solved overnight; friction cannot be eliminated immediately. But you have to start somewhere. Technology is no longer the barrier. You simply need to pick a direction and make changes to move towards results.

“57% of consumers dread calling customer service.” -Jeff Nicholson

“The customer shouldn’t have to go find a resolution. Have your self-service go find the customer.” – Jeff Nicholson

“There are two sides of friction: the business and the customer. The friction is felt on both sides.” – Jeff Nicholson

“Move toward a moment of need before it happens and help resolve that issue before the moment of need occurs.” – Jeff Nicholson


Jeff Nicholson is Vice President of CRM Product Marketing at Pegasystems. He is a recognized customer engagement thought leader who frequently presents at CRM industry events.

Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert, New York Times bestselling author, award-winning keynote speaker, and your host of Amazing Business Radio.

This episode of Amazing Business Radio with Shep Hyken answers the following questions … and more:

  1. What are the dangers of self-service?
  2. How can I reduce friction for my customers?
  3. Where does friction happen for customers?
  4. How can I be proactive in my customer service?
  5. What kind of service do customers want?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Shep Hyken
Shep Hyken, CSP, CPAE is the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations. As a customer service speaker and expert, Shep works with companies who want to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees. He is a hall of fame speaker (National Speakers Association) and a New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling author.


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