David Rance

The Economic Meltdown Will Sort the Wheat From the Chaff

Writing this blog in the middle of the biggest financial catastrophe in living memory is a sobering experience. No one can predict with any certainty what is going to happen in the next week, let alone the next few months or even years....

Great Service Has to Be Institutionalized if It Is to Become the Norm

If you ever have a great customer service experience, what thoughts go through your mind? Given the generally low standard of service these days it was probably "WOW!" The key question is 'Was it a one-off or is this level of service...

Your Contact Center Can Bolster Retention, Drive Value and Lower Your Costs–if You’d Just...

In 1776, Adam Smith published his seminal work, The Wealth of Nations, in which he called "division of labor" a "brilliant, good idea" that fueled the Industrial Revolution and led to today's global economy. Smith was focused on one key outcome: productivity. Pin-making was...

If You Want to Improve Your Bottom Line, Invest in Your Customer Service

The blessing (or curse) of running a customer service operation is that you always seem to see things from a different perspective to the rest of the business. For example whilst marketing, sales, product development and even IT are spending small fortunes on...

Bad Service Can Sabotage a Great Product

So what has customer service got to do with creating a differentiated customer experience? Well, depending on what kind of company you are, the answer nothing or everything. For some companies still operating in the dark ages, customer service is the defense. ...

Customer Service Is in the Best Position To Deliver the Customer Strategy

Opinion on the role of customer service is polarized between two extremes. To some, customer service is a cost center where costs should be minimized by speaking to customers as little as possible or, even better, by moving the operation to a far...

Customer Service Is the Best Brand Ambassador for Any Company

Why do customers call customer service? Usually it's because they have a problem, an issue or a question. In other words, they need help. Jan Carlson called these the 'moments of truth'; when the promise made by the brand and advertising...

Don’t Just Pay Lip Service to Empowering Your Employees; Enable Their Customer Passion

Western countries have now moved from a supply economy, where we made things and sold them to customers, to a demand economy, where the customer is increasingly in control. As a result, companies large and small are struggling to adjust to this radical shift...

The Social Web Is the Perfect Forum for Customer-Empowered Service

So here we are in 2008. All the well-intentioned plans made last year abandoned as we battle with new economic and political conditions. One of the most interesting insights from 2007 was the fact that service and marketing are still separate functions,...

Northern Rock: The Death of Customer Loyalty

There have been traumatic events here in UK over the last 7 days that will ultimately have a profound impact on all B2C companies. It concerned Northern Rock, a medium sized building society (savings and loan) that became a bank. Northern Rock...

Alignment Really Does Make a Difference–to Customers and Employees

Executives are bombarded with ideas from within the company and for external 'experts' on how to improve business performance. It's no wonder they often feel like rabbits dazzled by the headlights. So what is the one thing that will really make a...

Don’t Silo-Out the Customer Service Department

When I ran customer service for a national cellular network in the '90s, customer service was in a different location from sales, marketing and product development. We were only 250 miles away, but we might as well have been on a different planet. It...

You Can Cross the Line of Chaos to Make Your Organization Customer-Focused

As I travel the world presenting and working with clients, I am often asked, "What is the biggest challenge for organizations who want to become customer-centric?" My answer is always the same: "Leaving the comfort of the traditional organization model with its functional silos,...

Answering Calls Is Enough–Isn’t It?

Today I contacted my gas company, who incidentally has won prizes for their customer service. They charged me for listening over and over to IVR messages. After 20 minutes I finally got through to an agent only to be told that their...

IVR Jungles

I am getting sick and tired of complex IVR mazes where several layers of options are presented; especially those that ask for 16 character codes to be entered, followed by date of birth - only to have to repeat the whole thing when you...

Why Aren’t Banks Feeling the Heat From Customers?

As economic conditions 'soften' the customer-centric clothes that banks have worn for the last few years are definitely coming off. So too are the gloves. The customer-centric face of marketing and advertising encouraging you personally to take out loans, add credit cards...

My Advice for CEOs: Consider 2007 the Year of Alignment

In my work with companies around the world, I see CEOs trying to balance the demands of customers and shareholders in an increasingly competitive and global landscape, one that is forcing down costs and margins while increasing the need for customer focus. The result...

Is Customer Service Getting Worse?

Is it just me or is customer service getting worse? I'm a consultant working in the field of customer management, and my wife hates going out with me to a restaurant or shopping. She says I am always "on duty", observing how...

Have a Plan: Customer-Centricity Doesn’t Happen by Osmosis

In business, the words "planning" and "customer-centric" seldom appear in the same paragraph, let alone in the same sentence. It's almost as if being customer-centric is something that happens by osmosis. However, any organization that leaves the customer experience to chance is taking a...

Let Go of the Dock: You Really Can Cross the “Line of Chaos”

As a kid, I was enthralled by my father's description of the "Crossing the Line" ceremony that is performed by sailors when they cross the equator. The photographs he showed me of the crew dressed as King Neptune, Queen Amphitrite and their court of...

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