Marc Sokol

Will ‘big data’ become your worst nightmare?

Image by shvmoz via Flickr Could this happen to your company…. When the executive convened a group of senior leaders to dig into the competitor's practices, they found that the challenge ran deeper than they had imagined. The competitor had made massive investments in its…

Tribute to Steve Jobs and all inspired by him

Image via Wikipedia You probably know by now that Steve Jobs died today, October 5th. His life story can be read here. Below I invite you to pause to consider one of the many comments in response to his passing. This one is a...

How will your company rate on the ‘Customer Worry Index’?

Admit it: You worry. You worry that the new teller who just said "oops" when they mistakenly transferred your money from the wrong account will still get it wrong despite reassuring you it is now correctly transacted. You quietly shake your head as you walk...

Good and great: Choices that shape customer experience

Perhaps you know the phrase, "Good is the enemy of great". Popularized in recent years by Jim Collins, the phrase suggests that satisfaction with just being good keeps us from achieving really great things. And taken as a touchstone for guiding customer experience, this can…

The new rules of marketing still include the old rules!

Jason Fell shares a thoughtful post, "The new, new rules of business marketing", building off the recent revised edition of The new rules of marketing & PR. Let's take it one step further and note practical ways to apply these in support of...

Customer service leadership among big banks: The time is now!

In addition to the overall 2011 Customer Experience Ratings, Bruce Temkin recently published a summary of ratings for Customer Service across multiple industries. I have worked with a variety of financial institutions over the years, so I am naturally curious how they score. I...

Wanted: customer experience leadership to fill a vacuum. First one to do so, wins!

The 2011 Temkin Customer Experience Ratings are out. I look forward to most anything Bruce Temkin has to report about the state of customer experience, and this report is worth a look. This is the graphic that always grabs my attention. What do you...

The enduring emotional connection of going beyond your own imagination

Image via Wikipedia Recently I've been focused on a phrase a client of mine has begun to use, "beyond imagination". My vision is to create a Global Research & Development Center that isn't just great; I want others to experience it as beyond imagination! He…

Networking for hungry marketing professionals

For the marketing and business development professionals who read this blog…. Two guys are walking down the same street at separate times. Each is hungry, each is looking into the windows of stores where there is hot food, and each has a pocketful of money.…

Four lessons your customer service function can learn from “The Royal Wedding”

If you were among the billion or so people who watched The Royal Wedding today, the word that should come to mind is 'Brilliant'! And your customer service function can learn valuable lessons from the ceremony and it's design: 1. Inclusive. Planning a wedding always…

The pain of misalignment: Your body doesn’t like it, why should your customers?

Recently I published a post describing on how marketing and customer service functions are impacting each other. More than 1,900 people have read the post so far, so I conclude that I'm not the only one who cares about this issue. Now consider...

How smartphones will read customer attitudes

Image via Wikipedia Will QR codes become the mood ring of the new millennium? Remember mood rings? Put them on and supposedly they would reflect whatever mood you were feeling by the heat you generated. While QR codes (or Quick Response two-dimensional bar codes that…

Good business unit strategy; poor customer experience. What would you do?

Recently I've been talking with executives about customer experience and the alignment of marketing, sales and operations functions. Some report success they have seen driving improvement in this area, while others are clearly frustrated. Consider the comments from this executive, who leads a large...

Making change happen: magic words vs. words-in-action

Organizational change is fraught with buzzwords. We treat many of them as if they were magic words. They are not. Try this exercise: Out loud state the name of any popular change initiative (six sigma, customer centricity, etc) and then state the following word…"abracadabra!" Did…

Fishing for what customers really value

Originally written about employee engagement, and how some companies respond to economic challenge, the following is also about fishing for customers: On the frozen lakes of Minnesota,Winter fishing requires patience,And timing when you must move to the shore Those who don't read the signs,Of a…

Pagan business owner sacrifices female employees to appease customer

What happens when you pursue being customer-centric, but don't balance that goal with also being employee-centric? This is your chance to coach the business owner back to the right path. First the story… Ariel Kaminer, The Ethicist, in the Sunday New York Times,...

Five secrets from a dance instructor that will sweep your customers off their feet.

Image via Wikipedia Our last post began with a story about Tim who trains surgeons to use new medical devices. He shared five keys to training surgeons; each based on the skills of training couples the art of ballroom dancing, his former career. What could…

Dance instructor operates on surgeon

Image via Wikipedia If you want to be more customer-centric in the way you train, draw from your own personal experience. The gentleman sitting next to me trains surgeons to use new medical devices. As we chat, 'Tim' reveals that his secret for successfully training…

How much does your marketing department really show the love?

Valentine's Day may have come and gone, but not for marketers. We are about love all year long, right? Maybe but maybe not: your company strategy sets the stage for how much your customers want to feel your love…. Michael Tracy and Fred Wiersema wrote…

Is marketing the new customer service or is customer service the new marketing?

That's the question posed to Marsha Collier by Guy Kawasaki in an American Express Open Forum interview. Marsha is author of The Ultimate Online Customer Service Guide: How to Connect with Your Customers to Sell More, and responded: Marketing and customer service go arm...

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