Forbes: Top CEOs Share Best Practices for Customer Service


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A recent Forbes article by Robert Reiss, host of the CEO Show, highlights what Top CEOs are doing to bolster customer service. While the entire article is worth reading, I found the comments of Dan Hesse of Sprint Nextel most interesting.

He identified these three items as most important truths of a successful customer service strategy:

  1. Great customer service actually costs less because you can save expenses if you don’t have to fix problems or correct wrongs.
  2. The key to great service is employees. They have focused on empowering all employees to serve customers.
  3. Every person has their compensation linked to customer satisfaction and simplifying the customer experience (Hesse notes that In the past four years, they have intentionally eliminated 85% of their rate plan combinations or choices. They have found that customers like simplicity and will pay a premium for simplicity.)

When asked what was on his customer service dashboard, Hesse mentioned three items:

  1. Churn, meaning customers who leave
  2. The number of calls to customer care
  3. Customer satisfaction surveys

When asked if there was anything ‘special’ they do for customers, Hesse mentioned hand-written thank you letters. It is worthy of note that Hesse indicated this began with an initiative by one employee and is now company wide ‘Thank You Thursdays.

Probably the most significant point of all is that the CEOs consider customer service a top priority worthy of their personal attention. Any CEO who not only identifies such, but also mentors by example will have a team more motivated to serve the customer in a way that builds business.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Teresa Allen
Teresa Allen is a nationally recognized customer service speaker and customer service author. Allen is owner of Common Sense Solutions, a national training and consulting firm focused on bringing common sense to business and life. Allen is author of Common Sense Service: Close Encounters on the Front Lines and is co-author of The Service Path: Your Roadmap for Building Strong Customer Loyalty.


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