Jeff Toister

Five Characteristics of a Powerful Customer Survey

Customer are constantly getting pummeled with survey requests. We get them via email. They pop up when we visit a website. The auto mechanic pulls us aside after an oil change and begs us for a 10. A 2016 study from Interaction Metrics found that…

Lessons From The Overlook: Experience Your Customers’ Experience

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 Idyllwild. It's a hands-on opportunity to apply some of the techniques I advise my clients to use. You can...

How Shake Shack Stands for Something Good

It was 10:55am and there was already a line. I was standing outside Shake Shack's Theatre District location in New York City with my friend, Jenny Dempsey. She was working nearby at the time and I was in town for a conference, so this was...

How to Empathize With Customers 

The airline passenger was angry about missing her flight. It was her fault. She had been sitting at the bar a short distance from the gate and lost track of time. Those things happen in Las Vegas. Our emotions often rise up to protect our…

Why Internal Competition is a Bad Idea

A Vice President for a large financial services company recently asked me about the merits of creating internal competition. He was thinking about creating a kind of scoreboard that would show branch managers how their particular location stacked up against other branches. The scoreboard would...

Study: Surveys On Store Receipts Are “Total Garbage”

We've all gotten a survey invitation on a store receipt. A 2016 study from Interaction Metrics found that 41 of the 51 largest U.S. retailers included a survey invitation on the standard receipt. The surveys were evaluated to see how useful and engaging they were.…

United’s Oscar Munoz Refuses to Acknowledge This Massive Problem

We all know about the United Airlines dragging incident. Passenger buys a ticket and boards a plane. The passenger is later told to leave the plane, refuses, and gets dragged off by security. The world can't stop watching the horrifying video for at least a...

How To Get Coworkers to Step-up Their Service

A question I often receive from customer service professionals is "How do I get my coworkers to improve their service? It can be frustrating to feel like you are giving it your all while colleague settle for mediocrity (or worse). Getting your peers to change…

An Inside Look at Amazon’s Fulfillment Center Operations

Do you ever wonder how Amazon orders arrive so fast with near-perfect accuracy? The company's operational excellent is the backbone of Amazon's reputation for outstanding customer service. I recently toured Amazon's ONT2 fulfillment center in San Bernardino, CA to get an inside look at exactly how...

What Maslow’s Hierarchy Says About Customer Service Employees

We've all felt beaten up by a customer. It's part of the job. A customer is angry, maybe even unfair. Intellectually, we know they're complaining about the product, the problem, or the situation. The attack still feels personal. Years of pithy advice tells us to…

Three Social Media Trends in Customer Care

A story about United Airlines and leggings recently went viral. The gist was the airline was accused of denying boarding to two teenage girls because they were wearing leggings. There's more to the story, but in the rush to share the news, many reporters wrote...

Inside Gallup’s New Employee Engagement Report

Employee engagement efforts are stuck in a rut. That's the verdict from Gallup's 2017 State of the American Workplace Report. The latest study pegs employee engagement at just 33 percent among American workers.  That's not much of a bump compared to Gallup's 2013 report: Gallup's…

Lessons from the Overlook: How Standardization Drives Service

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 Idyllwild. It's a hands-on opportunity to apply some of the techniques I advise my clients to use. You can...

A Powerful and Simple Way to Retain Customers

Customer loyalty is a huge business driver. Selling to existing customers is typically cheaper, faster, and more effective than selling to new customers. They buy more and buy more often. Best of all, they encourage other people to do business with you too. Unlocking the…

Insider Perspectives: Ideal’s Don Teemsma on Field Service

Don Teemsma, President of Ideal Plumbing, Heating, Air, & Electrical Every home owner needs a few go-to service providers. One of mine is Ideal Plumbing, Heating, Air, & Electrical. This company is my first and only phone call anytime I need a plumber, HVAC technician,…

Three Big Trends from LiveChat’s Customer Service Report

Chat software provider LiveChat recently released its 2017 Customer Service Report. The latest report is a treasure trove of data on chat. Here is a snapshot of what was included: 13,500 companies that use chat 22 different industries 24 billion website visits 235.7 million chats 11.1…

The Best Time to Manage Customer Expectations

We've all seen a customer blow up at an unpleasant surprise. Many of those situations come down to expectations. The customer expected one thing to happen and something far worse happened instead. You might know that you can often prevent the customer's anger by effectively…

Insider Perspectives: Fonolo’s Shai Berger on Skipping the Queue

Shai Berger, CEO, Fonolo Waiting on hold is a terrible customer experience. You dial a customer service phone number, slog through an endless menu of options, and then wait for what seems like forever. All the while listening to hyperactive marketing messages or sleep-inducing music.…

A Master Class in Expectation Management

Things can go wrong in a hurry if you don't manage customer expectations. My wife, Sally, and I recently stayed at The Albion River Inn. It's perched on a cliff overlooking the mouth of the Albion River, about 150 miles North of San Francisco. There...

Insider Perspectives: SocialPath’s Al Hopper on Social Media

Al Hopper, COO & Founder of SocialPath Solutions. A recent experience highlighted the evolution of social media customer service. I was traveling from San Diego to Milwaukee, connecting through Dallas. My American Airlines flight from San Diego to Dallas was cancelled due to weather.  A…

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