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Friday, August 20, 2010

HBR - Post #5

Stop Trying to Delight Your Customers, by Matthew Dixon (Corporate Executive Board); Karen Freeman (Sales Executive Council); and, Nicholas Toman (Customer Contact Council) tell us to forget all the hype around delighting customers—rather they suggest just solve their problems. The basis for their recommendations (five of them) come following a comprehensive survey of 75,000 people who interacted with customer service personnel (web, phone, email and chats). They suggest that the kind of “Have a Happy Day” approach, that service focus on solutions. Five ways: 1) Don’t just resolve the current issues—head off the next one (some great examples here); 2) Arm your service reps to address the emotional side of customer interaction (I loved the idea of listening for personality cues); 3) Minimize channel switching by increasing self-service channel stickiness (I just experienced this at Symantec); 4. Use feedback from disgruntled struggling customers to reduce customer effort (detractors can help you build better systems if you listen); 5) Empower the front line to deliver a low-effort experience (don’t go for speed in customer care, but effectiveness).

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