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I’m very optimistic about the future. But the word very doesn’t mean I’m overly optimistic. There’s a difference. Put another way, when I’m asked if the glass is half empty or half full, my response is, “Yes.” Maybe that seems like a bit of a rude answer, but here is the point. It is half full, and even though I’m very optimistic, it doesn’t mean I’m unrealistically optimistic. No, I’m realistically optimistic.

Since March, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S., I hoped it would be over in a few months. That life would be back to normal by the fall. I was wrong, but that’s not the point. Not knowing if I would be right, I planned my business in case it didn’t work out the way I wanted it to. As we moved into summer, my projection for normalcy moved to early 2021. Now, I’m thinking it will be late 2021. …


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Most people think it’s the first words that come out of the actors’ mouths, but it’s more than that. It’s the moment the audience sees the actors walking onto the stage. It’s how they are dressed, how they make eye contact with the audience, the anticipation they create, and more. So, when the actors speak their opening lines, it is actually the end of the opening.

It’s the same in business. You call the customer service hotline. A pleasant customer support agent picks up the phone and enthusiastically greets you, ready to help resolve your problem or answer your question. This is who you want taking care of you. …


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The answer is to not compare yourself to the competition, but to the best companies from other industries.

In my customer service speeches, I’ll sometimes ask the audience to share who their favorite and easiest companies are to do business with. The typical answers are Amazon, Zappos, Walmart and other recognizable brands. Once in a while, an audience member will mention a local business. Sometimes it’s a restaurant or a car dealership. It really doesn’t matter whether you know the company well or not. …


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Reviews are where they start. High ratings can turn into high interest. Customer commentary in the review-as in how much they are enjoying the product and how they are using the product-can push a potential customer to make the purchase.

There is a similar benefit to employees reading reviews. While they may not be buying the product, the reviews help them buy into the company they work for. It provides validation, credibility and even a sense of pride.

One of our clients asked whether they should share survey results with their team. …


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If you’ve been following my work, you know I’m a customer service expert. I help my clients create amazing customer experiences for their customers (or clients, guests, members, etc.). In addition to training and consulting, a big part of what I do is delivering motivational speeches about service and CX at conferences and meetings all over the world. Well, that’s not happening again any time soon. We’re now eight months into a new way of doing business, not just for me, but for almost every business on the planet.

Yes, it’s bad. Companies are laying off employees and even shutting down. Industries like travel, hospitality and restaurants are getting hit hard. I think that I’ve fared quite well through the turmoil. Several people have asked me to share how I’ve done this. I thought about how I adapted and realized that it’s not just about the speaking business. It applies to every type of business-big and small, B2B and B2C-and any industry. Getting through the Covid-19 pandemic (which is still going on) took everything I knew about business, a tremendous amount of mental energy and a realistically optimistic outlook on the situation. …


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It may have been Tim Sanders in his revolutionary book, Love Is the Killer App, who helped bring the word love to the forefront for leaders trying to build a stronger culture and create a better experience for their customers. People were scared to use the L-word in business. Some still are. Some people say it’s “too soft,” but my take is that it just makes you real. If you truly love your people, love your customers and love what you do, it shows. It’s obvious. Love becomes part of the culture.

My buddy and professional gifting genius, John Ruhlin, talks about “loving on your customers.” It’s his expression for sending customers meaningful and memorable gifts. …


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getty

I hope I captured your attention with that stat. Netomi just released its Customer Service Benchmark Report for the telecom industry. What caught my eye were the findings about the telecom industry, which includes telephone companies (including mobile phones) and internet service providers. Even though the focus is on a specific industry, the concepts behind these numbers can cross over into just about any industry.

Before we look at the numbers, let me say I’m a pretty optimistic guy. If you’ve been following my work you already know that. But as I read through these reports, I was shocked at the information. Even if there is a margin of error that would make these companies look better by 10 or even 20 percent, these numbers make me wonder if customer service is truly the priority that so many brands say it is. I’m still optimistic, but at the same time, concerned. …


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SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Who would have ever thought that we would be in a world-not just a country-where wearing a mask to protect against disease would be normal, everyday behavior? Whether you’re a fan of the mask or not, it’s recommended, if not mandatory, in most places where there are people. Even if you do support wearing a mask, as many do, it’s for medical reasons. It’s not a fashion statement. When the COVID-19 pandemic is over, I doubt many people will say, “That was fun. …


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The delivery person never knocked or rang the doorbell to inform him his delivery was there. He was waiting for the package, which contained medicine that was temperature-sensitive. Sitting outside in the heat, baking between the two doors, was not customer service… it was customer disservice. This phrase has no definition. It is not merely the opposite of customer service -that would be bad customer service. This scenario was more like “no customer service.”

In the absence of a formal definition, here’s my interpretation of customer disservice. Put simply, it is the missed opportunity to deliver an expected level of service. …


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getty

The opposite of confidence is uncertainty. Uncertainty creates hesitation, concern and stress.

The world we live in today has more stress than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic has created uncertainty in so many different places. In the business world, customers (consumers, clients, patients, guests, members, etc.) are concerned about who they are doing business with. No industry is immune. It’s impacting all types of businesses-B2B and B2C.

So, what’s a company to do? Here’s a short two-word answer: Create confidence.

I’ve been thinking and writing about this quite a bit during the past few months. A recent Forrester report, Design For Confidence by Andrew Hogan and Senem Guler Biyikli, addressed this topic. The best way to describe the result of creating confidence is this. Your customers don’t want to worry about using whatever it is you sell-or even your website or app. They just want it to work the way they expect it to work and do what it is supposed to do. …

About

Shep Hyken

Shep Hyken, customer service expert, business speaker and New York Times bestselling author, helps companies deliver AMAZING customer service and experiences!

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