If you don’t ignore your customers and create a service culture then you won’t have to worry about the competition – Interview with Micah Solomon

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Today’s interview is with Micah Solomon, a best-selling author, hands-on customer service consultant, keynote speaker, trainer, and one of the world’s leading experts on customer service, company culture, and the customer experience. He is also considered to be “the customer service turnaround expert”. Micah joins me today to talk about his new book: Ignore Your Customers (and They’ll Go Away), what it’s all about, what we can learn from it and what are the main things that we should be doing to improve the customer’s experience.

This interview follows on from my recent interview – Insights from 100 of the world’s most progressive organisations on how to make work more fun – Interview with Pim de Morree of Corporate Rebels – and is number 332 in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that are doing great things, providing valuable insights, helping businesses innovate and delivering great service and experience to both their customers and their employees.

Here’s the highlights of my chat with Micah:

  • Customer service has become the new marketing. Old marketing still works but only if it matches reality. If not then it quickly becomes ironic.
  • Word of thumb marketing is really powerful.
  • There is a ‘cheat sheet’ and a Reading Group guide at the end of every chapter.
  • If you read the book and underline it and get your colleagues on the same page, you don’t have to worry about the competition.
  • To create a customer service culture or a customer focused culture, you need to start with a statement of purpose.Here’s some examples:
    • The Mayo Clinic: ‘The needs of the patient come first.’
    • Ritz Carlton: ‘We are ladies and gentlemen, serving ladies and gentlemen.’
    • Hawksmoor: ‘Work hard and be nice to people.’
  • You have to build your systems to support your purpose. Systems can be anything from soft and behavioural systems to hard, technical systems.
  • We’re all pretty good troubleshooters. At least, we think we are. We know what went wrong. We know how to solve it. But, a lot of times, the solution the customer wants is different.
  • Service is a lot like being part of a relay team and the best relay teams in the world are not necessarily made up of the fastest runners. They are made up of people that can work together and get the baton around the quickest. The race is won or lost at the hand overs.
  • 80% of all service problems generally happen in the gaps between departments.
  • Micah interviewed Sir Richard Branson for the book and tells a story in the interview of when he met him for breakfast.
  • The title of the book is a little tongue in cheek but the subtitle is more serious: The simple playbook for delivering the ultimate customer service experience.
  • Check out the book’s website: ignorethisbook.com where you can get three free chapters of the book or you can find out where you can order the book.
  • The Jetsons test: If it can be done more efficiently by technology then, at least,  offer that as an option. If it benefits, however, from a human touch (i.e. it’s warmer, it’s done better and so forth) then have your people deliver that part of the service experience or, at least, provide the option for humans to be able deliver service at that point.
  • Micah’s Punk CX word: straightforward.
  • Micah’s brand that epitomises a punk CX ethos: Mod Pizza.

About Micah

Final Micah Solomon Headshot per DS 0819 Micah finalMicah Solomon is one of the world’s leading authorities on customer service, the customer experience, consumer trends, hospitality, and company culture. He is consultant, keynote speaker, trainer, and training designer in these subjects, and the author of many books including, Ignore Your Customers (And They’ll Go Away) The Simple Playbook for Delivering the Ultimate Customer Service Experience. Companies in every industry call on him to mystery shop and transform their company’s customer service, and bottom- line results—and he is known as “the customer service turnaround expert.” Solomon is a senior contributor to Forbes.com and his expertise has been featured in The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Inc., Bloomberg Businessweek, ABC, CBS, and NBC.

Check out and find out where you can grab a copy of the book here: ignorethisbook.com, find out more about Micah at www.micahsolomon.com, say Hi to him on Twitter @micahsolomon and feel free to connect with him on LinkedIn here.

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