Amazing Business Radio
ShepHyken&C-SuiteRadio
Amazing Business Radio features customer service expert and New York Times bestselling author Shep Hyken who interviews leading business professionals and other customer experience experts. Each guest shares tips and insights on how to succeed in business. The bright business minds featured on Amazing Business Radio come from all over the world and include viral video stars, corporate CEOs, bestselling authors, thought leaders, and many other inspiring personalities. The show covers a variety of topics related to customer service and customer experience and will provide answers that listeners need to know in order to take their success to the next level. Amazing Business Radio airs every week on, itunes, Soundcloud, and other platforms and channels.
Top Takeaways:-      An omnichannel customer service experience is about being able to meet customers at any channel they choose and create a seamless experience for the customer between different channels. -      The difference between omnichannel and multichannel is having all channels work together rather than simply having more than one channel available. -      The transition between a chatbot or any AI technology should be seamless and invisible—the customer should not be able to tell when they’re talking to a bot versus an employee. -      Many call centers focus on antiquated metrics that don’t ultimately best serve the customer. Focusing on resolving the customer’s issue the first time they call in (“first call resolution”) rather than reducing the average handle time can prove more cost-effective down the line. -      More than anything, support center agents must be empathetic to the needs of the customer. Work from a place of wanting to solve the customer’s problem instead of meeting a financial metric. -      Diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI) play a huge role both in support centers and in the overall customer experience. Not being able to connect with customers is a pain point. Call centers must be as diverse and inclusive as the customer base they serve. -      Companies should create more self-service options for their customers, especially for common problems. Simply put, customers want this! -      AI will never fully replace the human support agent. A bot will only get you so far before a human has to interject. A better solution is to integrate tech with your human employees to provide a better customer experience. Quote:“How do you make something simple? You start with your process. If you don’t have your processes in place, it doesn’t matter how much technology you get. Tech without process just creates an automated mess.” About:Jerry Campbell is the Head of Customer Experience (CX) and Social Engagement at 7-Eleven, where he leads a team that delivers “world class” customer service and experience through an omni-channel approach. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Top Takeaways:-      There must be a balance between artificial intelligence (AI) and human connection. As with any new technology, there always needs to be a human fallback. -      The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a massive shift in both business and consumer buying preferences and habits. Many companies were unprepared to make the shift to e-commerce, self-service and other digital channels. -      Think of AI instead as IA, or intelligent assistant. Have it support an employee (versus a customer) so they have faster access to the right information. This helps them work more efficiently to support the customer, which results in a better customer experience. -      The role of the salesperson is shifting to that of an expert. Consumers (in both B2B and B2C) expect to be able to turn to sales reps for information and answers. -      When a consumer knows they can rely on a sales rep or vendor for the fastest, most accurate information, it can drive customer loyalty. Customers will continue to come back because they know they can rely on that company to give them what they need. -      In B2B buying, the stakes are incredibly high. Any friction or errors within this sales process could have long-lasting repercussions, costing you not only millions of dollars but even the customer. -      Omnichannel solutions can help eliminate friction for both customers and employees. The channels must be easy to use and seamless to switch between. -      Companies need to talk to their customers on a much deeper level to understand their new wants, needs and values in reaction to a rapidly changing world. They must also find new ways to create that personalized experience. Quote:“Bringing together the analytic power of AI and the context and empathy power of a human being can deliver an incredibly personalized, really effective, fast selling process.” About:Geoff Webb is the Vice President of Products at PROS, where he works with technology, marketing and go-to-market teams. He has over 25 years of experience in the technology industry in addition to sales and marketing management. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Top Takeaways:-      Good customer service and experience principles can be applied in any relationship—professional or personal. -      Successful companies known for their innovation all share common cultural values of curiosity, grounding, discovery, trust and passion. Add these five elements into your relationship with your customers. -      Secret #1: Curiosity helps you learn about and understand your customers better. This makes customers feel not just heard, but valued, and makes them more likely to collaborate with you to find new solutions. -      Secret #2: Grounding is about focus. Focus on not just your customers’ needs and expectations, but also their hopes and aspirations. This will turn your business relationship into a partnership. -      Before you can focus on the customer, you must first understand who you are, what your company is about and what your collective values are. This will help you understand your role in the customer’s journey. -      Secret #3: Discovery is about risk-taking, which can be scary, so reframe this around learning. Every risk and every mistake are opportunities to learn something new and improve. You must create a safe environment for your employees and customers so they’ll want to take risks. -      Secret #4: Trust is about authenticity, transparency and above all, truth. Companies must emphasize the truth—the whole and complete truth—in their culture and values. -      Secret #5: Passion is the energy, enthusiasm and excitement about what you do. Find out how to create that passion and identify what holds you back. -      Bring the best of who you are not only to your interactions with your customers and colleagues, but to everyone you encounter. Quote:“Curiosity, where someone is intensely interested in who we are and what we’re about, is something we don’t experience a great deal. When customers experience it, they feel valued, not just heard.” About:Chip Bell is a senior partner of the Chip Bell Group, a top customer service keynote speaker and a bestselling author of 24 books. His latest book is Inside Your Customer’s Imagination: 5 Secrets for Creating Breakthrough Products, Services, and Solutions. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Top Takeaways:-      In order to build a company’s culture, you must lead with consistent values and reward the behaviors you want to see. -      When your employees are in alignment with your company culture, you can trust that they will make decisions based on those values without the need for an over-abundance of rules. -      A great company culture happens when what you believe, what you say and what your employees do are all in alignment. -      When hiring, you must try to attract employees who are in alignment with your organization’s culture and values. -      There is great value in the seemingly little things. Everyone has the choice to do something well or poorly, and doing those little things excellently really adds up for customers and colleagues. -      Perfection is impossible, but pursuing perfection leads to excellence. -      The “overnight success” is a myth. It’s about hard work. Many people have talent, but not everyone has the perseverance and the will to make it work. -      There’s an old saying that goes, “How we do anything is how we do everything.” This applies to business as well. Strive for excellence in everything you do. Quote:“The quintessential example of culture is the organization that has people with consistent values who make decisions based on those values. You don’t need a lot of other rules when you have those values.” About:Robert Glazer is the founder and CEO of Acceleration Partners, a global partner marketing agency. He is the author of the inspirational newsletter Friday Forward, which inspired his recent book of the same name. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Top Takeaways:-      Using video can be a great way to connect with your customers and collect their feedback. -      In order to build a good customer experience, you must get close to the customer by speaking with them more frequently and understanding the path they’re on. Good CX is about connection and relationships. -      It is possible to use technology such as video to build customer connections globally from the comfort of your own home, which can even prompt customers to be more truthful and go deeper in the feedback they provide. -      When connecting with customers to gather feedback and insights, make sure to have purposeful conversations with a set agenda. This will help you glean the most useful information. -      The best insights come from talking directly with your customers, either one-on-one or in a group setting. -      Brands must be prepared to pivot and adapt to rapidly changing customer demands, desires and priorities. Collecting feedback more rapidly can help position companies to meet new consumer expectations. -      A good customer service and experience program is more important than ever for all companies in today’s environment. Without one, a company will not succeed. -      It’s important to collect qualitative data in addition to quantitative data. This will give you insights on top of numbers. Quantitative data gives you the “what” while qualitative data gives you the “why” behind what your customers tell you. -      You must integrate the voice of the customer into your business. This will drive your company into the future and beyond. -      Discuss.io’s moderator guides for driving purposeful conversations can be found on their website. Quote:“Building a good customer experience is about getting closer to the customer, speaking more frequently to the customer and having a finger on the pulse of where the customer is going.” About:Simon Glass is the Chief Executive Officer of Discuss.io, an enterprise-level smart video platform. He is responsible for overseeing all facets of the business and driving the company’s global development strategy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Top Takeaways:-      Creating a good customer experience requires doing research. Learn about your customers and their expectations, then build your CX to meet those expectations. -      To find out what your customers want, ask them! Incorporate conversations with customers into your business and CX model. Ask people who may not usually get asked. There are many untapped sources of valuable information that will help you succeed. -      Know who your customers are, and once you do, you will be able to better market to them personally. Personalization will help your product sell. -      Don’t confine yourself to your industry alone. Mine information from other industries. This will help you come up with more creative solutions to problems. -      When you support your community, they will support you. The more you give, the more you get. This is the law of reciprocity. -      Everybody is in customer service whether they realize it or not. Even if an employee doesn’t have direct contact with a customer, they support someone who does. Customer service must be part of the company’s culture. -      Employees who do come into direct contact with customers are best positioned to collect customer feedback. This feedback must be communicated throughout the rest of the organization. -      A great product or service alone is not enough to get and keep customers. You must support your great product/service with amazing customer service. -      Don’t just be a vendor; be a partner. This means helping your clients and customers succeed with the product or service you offer. This goes beyond customer service and into customer support and customer success. Quote:“Make friends in low places. Ask questions and gather information from everyone. It’s amazing what you’ll learn about your customers and their expectations.” About:Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey are the founders of Barefoot Wine and Business Audio Theatre. They are the New York Times bestselling authors of The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Top Takeaways:-      Companies can find success by identifying a specific problem and then solving it for their customers forever, turning it into a “forever transaction.” -      Everyone is in the subscription/membership business whether they know it or not. Even if there is no traditional subscription involved, customers “renew” by returning to do business companies they like and trust. -      A subscription is a tactical decision about pricing, whereas membership is the mindset that a customer is going to be with you for a long time through a formalized relationship. -      Thinking of your customers as members opens up new opportunities to deepen and extend new and existing relationships with your best customers. This can happen even without incorporating subscription pricing. -      Offering a subscription model can create a more convenient experience for your customers. -      To move from a one-time transaction to a subscription, you must first step back and figure out your product or service’s goal as it pertains to customers. Build your subscription around meeting that goal or solving a problem for your customers. -      After someone subscribes or becomes a member, you must teach them to make your product or service a habit. If the customer is not engaged or getting value, they will not renew. -      Shift your focus from customer support to customer success. This means not only solving customer issues, but helping them use, value and succeed with your product or service. -      Focus on your customers’ long-term well-being and success. This will help you build a formal relationship with recurring revenue in any company and any industry. Quote:“A subscription is a pricing decision. It’s a tactic. Membership is the mindset that the customer is going to be with you for a long time. It makes the entire organization think differently about marketing, products and services. Pricing is just a small part of this very powerful business model.” About:Robbie Kellman Baxter is the founder of Peninsula Strategies, LLC, a management consulting firm. She is also the author of the bestselling book The Membership Economy. Her new book is called The Forever Transaction. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Top Takeaways:-      Many companies will do “functional testing” to make sure their products work, but leave out “user testing” to ensure that their customers are having a good experience with their product. -      Brands must remember that they not only sell products and services, but experiences. As much time and effort should be put into making sure the experience is a good one. -      Companies build brand loyalty, not technology loyalty. Whether your touchpoints are digital or in person, there must be a personal element of the brand at each one. -      Though technologies have changed and improved, customer service and experience have remained the same. Nothing has really changed. Customers still want a quick and easy resolution to their problem—and companies want to make their customers happy and get them to come back. -      You can’t have a customer-centric culture without putting actual customers at the center of your business. Do not replace customers with data or technology, or your company will suffer in the long run. -      Listen to what your customers are telling you about their experiences with you, your products and your services. They will tell you where friction is and what they want. -      Every employee at every level of the organization should come into contact with the customer and listen to their feedback. This will foster empathy and create a more customer-focused culture. Leadership must model this. Quote:“If you want to have a customer-centric business model, you have to have a customer at the center of that business model. Technology does not replace that. Data is great, but it is in no way a way to replace actually building empathy with your customer.” About:Andy MacMillan is the CEO of UserTesting and a former product executive at Oracle and Salesforce with 20 years of enterprise SaaS experience. He helps companies become more customer-centric. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Top Takeaways:-      Good customer service and experience is a competitive advantage; it sets your company apart from competitors. -      Empower your employees to do whatever it takes to take care of the customer, not just for today or one transaction, but forever. -      When you focus on taking care of the customer, the rest of your business has a way of working itself out. Besides, taking care of the customer is simply the right thing to do. -      Start creating an exceptional customer experience and company culture by hiring the right talent from the beginning. Look for people the with education and experience necessary, but more importantly, look for people who have “fire in the belly” for taking care of customers. -      Once you’ve hired the right people, you must train them to the products, processes, values and culture of your organization. This training should not be a one-time event; it must be ongoing for the rest of their career! -      Don’t punish the majority of your customers or employees for the mistakes or wrongdoings of a few. -      Empower your employees and then TRUST that they will do the right thing. If you do this right, they will never have to say, “Let me check with my manager.” -      Do the right thing for the customer, even if the issue isn’t your fault. Treat the customer how you would want to be treated—as a fellow human being. -      When dealing with customers, remember that you don’t know what’s going on in their lives, either. Always look for the good in everyone. Quote:“I empower all my employees to do whatever they need to do to take care of the customer, not just for this transaction, but forever.” About:Chuck Surack is the Founder and CEO of Sweetwater in addition to owning ten other businesses. He is a frequent speaker and mentor and mentor on issues such as entrepreneurship, quality customer service and the pursuit of excellence. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Top Takeaways:-      Many people assume (wrongly) that diversity is about equal employment opportunity and affirmative action, which are actually government regulations. Diversity is about who’s on your team. -      All metrics prove that if diversity and inclusion are part of your company, you will outperform your competitors. -      Diversity of thought on your team helps you become more innovative, make more money and ultimately succeed. -      You must ensure that your corporate culture is both diverse and inclusive. -      It’s important to remember that for many questions and issues related to diversity and inclusion, there is no one absolute right answer. -      It’s one thing to have good intention. However, people cannot read each other’s minds to determine intention; we can only measure the impact our words and actions have. -      Racism shows up in the workplace and has a huge impact on both the employee and customer experiences. It is five times harder for Black people to get their foot in the door as it is for white people. It comes down to unconscious bias and microaggressions. -      There is a difference between an ally and an advocate. Allies will speak up in the moment if they see something happen. Advocates do this and more; they intentionally disrupt bias and seek multiple ways of breaking down barriers. -      In order to enact change within an organization, leaders must become advocates for diversity and inclusion. They must do their personal work to overcome bias (conscious and unconscious) first, then actively advocate for the people in their organizations. -      Don’t remain silent. Speak up and take action, even (especially) if you make mistakes along the way. If you want to help, become an advocate. Quote:“We’re all imperfect and we’re going to make mistakes. The point is to not wait until you’re perfect, because that’s not going to happen. Lean into the discomfort. If you’re coming from a place of good intention, people will understand even when you mess up.” About:Lenora Billings-Harris is an award-winning author, thought leader and international speaker in the areas of inclusion, diversity and unconscious bias. She is a Certified Professional Speaker (CSP) and a Council of Peers Award of Excellence (CPAE) Speaker Hall of Fame inductee. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Top Takeaways:-      Big companies often have more resources and can implement disciplined strategies, whereas small companies are nimbler and are often able to react and make necessary changes more quickly. -      The difference between customer service and customer experience: Customer service is more immediate, often involves a human-to-human interaction and usually is a response to a problem or question. Customer experience is more overarching and can include product packaging. -      A good customer experience can help you better market your business and build your personal brand. -      Don’t underestimate the small, seemingly simple tools like business cards and email. Small details mean everything and can make or break your business. -      Be aware of how the customer service and experience of your business looks from the outside. It can prevent customers from wanting to do business with you in the first place. In other words, it could be the bad customer experience you never hear about! -      When sending an email, there are three things you must get right: a great signature line, a great subject line and a timely response. This is part of your customer experience. -      Self-service options are great to have in place. This can range from a FAQ page to video tutorials on YouTube. -      Don’t be afraid to invest financially in your business. Pay for the tools you need. This will create a better experience for everyone. -      Above all, be genuine when interacting with people. That’s the key to an amazing customer service and experience. Quote:“Be genuine. You have to really love people. It starts with that. It’s hard to fake a smile. If you enjoy people, you’ll be fine.” About:Ramon Ray is a best-selling author, global speaker, event producer and entrepreneur. He is the founder and producer of Smart Hustle Media, and has started four companies and sold two companies. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Top Takeaways: -      Money should not be your main career goal. You will achieve more success if you instead focus on becoming someone that people want to do business with. In other words, focus on building your soft skills and delivering great customer service. The money will follow. -      A good customer experience has the potential to be your most powerful marketing tool. The better service you deliver, the more likely your customers are to recommend you to others. -      Try to make each and every one of your customers feel like they’re the most important person in the room. -      Recognize the importance of publicity; become a shameless self-promoter. Being good at what you do is one thing, but the world has to know. It’s not so much what you say, but to whom you say it. -      Customer service and the customer experience is all about how you make the customer feel. The goal should be for them to leave feeling better than they did when they arrived. -      Figure out the one, simple question you can ask your customers to gauge whether you achieved your goal. It could be something like, “was your problem resolved?” or “would you recommend us?” -      Your business is only as good as your worst employee. Make sure everyone is in alignment with your company’s culture and customer experience mission. -      When delivering a message to your staff, speak as an audience advocate. Be specific—specificity builds credibility. Quote: “Don’t concentrate on making a lot of money; rather, concentrate on becoming the type of person people want to do business with.” About: Patricia Fripp, CSP, CPAE is an award-winning, Hall of Fame keynote speaker and speech coach. She is a former president (and the first female president) of the National Speakers Association and is a member of Speakers Roundtable. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Top Takeaways:-      The product or service you sell isn’t actually your product—the experience you provide your customers and clients is your product! In short, the experience is your product. -      Your goal should be to create a beautiful product, and then elevate that product to another level through the amazing experience you provide. -      Salespeople must consider the tactics they’re using on their customers and ask themselves if those tactics would work on themselves. If you wouldn’t respond well to a certain tactic, odds are your customer won’t either. -      Customers often make purchasing decisions based on subconscious factors rather than specific, tangible metrics. Often, it comes down to the customer’s experience and how a business made them feel. -      Experience beats virtually everything else. When everything else is equal, the experience is what will set your business apart. -      Think about not only what contributes to a great experience, but also about what detracts from that experience. Work to eliminate those factors for your customers. -      Traditional sales “closing tactics” can actually become a detractor to the overall experience. Studies have shown that customers will resist when they feel their freedom to choose is restricted. -      Remember that a good experience is one without friction! -      Oftentimes, the products and apps that consumers love most (because of the way they’re designed) are designed by companies with an amazing culture and amazing employees. An amazing experience is pervasive. Quote:“The experience is the product, and everything is about that experience. We are all in sales and therefore we all have a role to play in terms of creating that amazing experience for our customers.” About:David Priemer is the founder of Cerebral Selling and the author of Sell the Way You Buy: A Modern Approach to Sales That Actually Works (Even on You!). He is the former VP of Salesforce, where he created the Sales Leadership Academy program. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Top Takeaways:-      In unprecedented, chaotic and uncertain times, customer interactions are more valuable. Treat your customers with respect and dignity and make sure they feel the value in interacting with you. -      Beware of survey fatigue! This happens when customers receive too many surveys, become frustrated and start ignoring them. -      There are generally four good reasons and ways to use surveys to collect customer feedback: 1.   Tracking studies utilize data from surveys to help both parties manage their relationship. These are typically used in B2B settings and should operate as a two-way street so both the business and the client receive value. 2.   Surveys after tech support or other customer service interactions are important so companies can learn how to improve. Ideally, these should also operate as a two-way street so that customers feel their voices are being heard. 3.   The “get it off your chest” survey collects data on one specific aspect (or “touchpoint”) of an experience. This typically consists of a single question that asks customers to rate their experience on a scale, followed by a more open-ended question about how to improve. 4.   Surveys can be an opportunity for companies to show appreciation to the customer by compensating them or reimbursing them for their time to complete the survey. This could involve anything from a free gift card to a charitable donation or priority service in exchange for the customer’s feedback. -      Consider a customer interview as an alternative to a survey. Customers will speak more freely and may tell you things you never would have thought to ask about. This can be invaluable for improving your CX. -      Above all, make sure you do something with customer feedback once you receive it. Quote:“Customer feedback is always relevant. If you’re not listening to your customers, it’s hard to guide the ship.” About:Martha Brooke is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP) and holds a black belt in Six Sigma. In 2004, Martha founded Interaction Metrics to help clients get more value out of the customer experience they provide. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Top Takeaways:-      Facial coding is not facial recognition, but rather how emotions are displayed on the face. -      Facial coding is universal, spontaneous and abundant. In other words, it is a plentiful resource of information that, when properly utilized, can help companies understand their customers and ultimately create a better customer service experience. -      Collecting and interpreting data from facial coding can help companies understand whether or not customers are having a good experience and if they will return in future. -      The seven different emotions you can get from facial coding are happiness, anger, sadness, surprise, disgust and contempt. The first three are “approach” emotions. Surprise and disgust are reactive emotions. Adverse emotions are disgust and contempt—in other words, customer service killers! -      Every point of the customer journey creates an emotional reaction. Make sure each step inspires the right emotions (such as surprise and happiness) to facilitate moving your customers in the direction you want, rather than driving them away. -      Customers may not remember all the details of their experience with you, but they will remember the high points—the beginning, the ending and above all, how the interaction made them feel. Quote:“There are two currencies in business: dollars and emotions.” About:Dan Hill, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized expert on the role of emotions in business, politics, sports and popular culture. He is also the founder of Sensory Logic, a political pundit and the author of multiple bestselling books. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Top Takeaways:-      Culture and culture design are management systems. You must embed the right cultural norms into your organization in order to influence and drive the behaviors you want to see in your employees. -      Think of your organization as a community of people who are tasked with certain outcomes. Help employees understand their purpose and the outcomes they are responsible for; in short, it’s about the employee mindset. -      Shift the focus away from making money to taking better care of your employees and customers. That will drive better products and success for your company. -      Customer service is affected by the mindset and psychology of the people who show up to work each and every day. This includes CEOs, managers and leaders, who must model the beliefs and behaviors they want to see across the organization. -      Culture design is about programming the right mindset that will drive the best customer-focused behavior. -      Leaders are hugely influential over a company’s culture, as people naturally emulate the behavior of those they perceive successful. Unfortunately, negative behavior spreads faster than positive behavior. -      Zappos, for instance, uses their company culture as their brand. This is the biggest differentiator in their experience and what sets them apart from other companies. -      Let customers’ high expectations for service directly inform and drive the experience you deliver. -      Don’t only focus on core values—core values are the destination. You must map out the journey for your employees, which includes the right behaviors and beliefs that will get you to the destination. Quote:“Culture actually is a management system. When you embed the right kinds of cultural norms into your organization, you influence the behaviors, mindsets and beliefs people have as they do the work.” About:Jason Korman is the co-founder and CEO of Gapingvoid Culture Design Group. He is a serial entrepreneur who has spent much of his life in the wine business. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Top Takeaways:-      Influence is not what most people think it is. It’s not something you can turn on and off, but is instead about consistent messaging (both verbal and nonverbal) that drives people to action. -      Customer service is all about relationships. Those relationships are built over time through consistent communication and interactions. Predictability and consistency are the foundation for a good customer experience. -      Remember that communication happens both through language and through nonverbal cues such as body language and facial expression. All of this has an effect on the experience as a whole. -      What does it mean to be yourself? It’s about bringing your best self to every interaction and every single day. Remember that your name is on every single thing you do. -      The 3-step process to redefining and expanding your influence is as follows: -      Make sure you get feedback instead of fluff. Get the truth from people you trust. Find out what works to enhance your influence, and what is getting in your way of influencing your customers. -      Deliberate practice is crucial. Once you know what is working and what isn’t, you must practice to make the changes you want to see. -      Be accountable. If you don’t ask for feedback, you will go through life based on feelings instead of facts. Find people you trust to help keep you accountable. -      Start small. Identify ONE thing that you could have done better, and work to improve that in your next interaction. That’s how you make progress and ultimately, big changes. -      Deliver feedback in a supportive, kind and helpful way. This does not mean you should be dishonest. It doesn’t cost anything to be nice. -      Above all, be kind to each other. You never know what someone may be going through or dealing with. And you never know when you may need that kindness from others. Quote:“Influence is so much about how we show up and present ourselves every single day. How we communicate Monday to Monday, both verbally and nonverbally, determines the level of influence we really have.” About:Stacey Hanke is the founder of Stacey Hanke, Inc. and the author of Influence Redefined…Be the Leader You Were Meant to Be, Monday to Monday®. She has trained and presented to thousands on word choice and body language. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Top Takeaways:-      Many customers believe that companies don’t about customer service. If this were true, the customer support center or department would not exist. However, companies don’t often have the technological tools to provide a great experience. -      The customer support department and contact centers have undergone a change over the past decade. They are no longer viewed as a cost, but a source of profit. -      Frontline customer service agents have valuable information and data about the customer. Ideally, this information will trickle up to management and leadership to further improve CX. -      The life of a customer service representative can be difficult and there is often a high turnover rate in these positions. Sources of difficulty and stress include upset customers, a lack of resources and frustration with technology they are using (the need to switch between too many programs). -      Companies need to examine what they ask of their CX agents and work to eliminate points of difficulty and stress. If agents are treated better, they will treat customers better. -      It is crucial for companies to adopt an omnichannel system for customer communication. This allows for customers to have a single conversation with a company that spans over multiple channels, rather than a separate conversation on each channel. -      Machine learning and similar technology is now a requirement to deliver a good customer experience. -      Technology can assist companies in proactive service—reaching out to customers before a problem arises. -      Before deploying machine learning, AI and other tech to your customers, utilize it internally first. Use new technology to create a better employee experience, and it will result in a better customer experience down the line. Quote:“Machine learning is not an option in customer service anymore. It is a requirement.” About:Cameron Weeks is co-founder and CEO of Edify Labs. He guides the team to think and act differently when it comes to changing the way companies connect with their customers and employees interact with each other. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Top Takeaways:-      Even before the world was disrupted by a pandemic, customer service was hard. Customers already thought customer service took too long in terms of hold times and time to resolution. Customers’ expectations have now increased, driving the need for better customer service up even higher. -      There is a higher volume of customer service calls since the pandemic began. Companies and agents need to improve their customer service strategies to effectively handle the volume. -      According to Pega’s recent report, 4 Steps to Exceptional Service Strategy During Disruption, there are four areas of major concern among businesses right now. They are as follows: 1.   How do we show empathy for customers during this time? You must have good self-service strategies available for your customers. You must also be present with them on the channels they want to communicate on. Implement proactive service strategies and act with empathy. 2.   How do we show support for agents during this time? Everything changed for employees and agents, too. Strategies include guided workflows, coaching, augmenting tools that support remote collaboration and applying analytics to improve areas of unproductivity. 3.   How do we keep an eye on our costs? Conveniently, many strategies for improving the customer and employee experiences are also effective at reducing costs. Beware of cutting costs in areas that will negatively affect the customer experience—that will harm your business in the long run. 4.   How do we protect our profits? You must look through an empathetic lens. Work with your customers (and employees) to find solutions that work for both the customer and the business. Protect your profits, but also do right by your customer. -      Make your employees’ jobs easier by providing them a “channel-less” experience—allowing them to interact with and assist customers on any channel from a single program or application. -      Put the right strategies in place from the beginning so you don’t have to re-do temporary fixes later. -      Pegasystems’ annual event, PegaWorld, will be held virtually this year on June 2. For more information and to register, go to the Pega website. Quote:“Your agents aren’t available 24/7, but your customers are.” About:Jeff Nicholson is the Vice President of CRM Product Marketing for Pegasystems, where he leads the company’s CRM market vision and strategy. He is a recognized customer engagement thought leader who has been featu

Top Takeaways:-      Optimism is a great trait in a leader—and a sense of humor doesn’t hurt, either! -      In order to have a great customer experience, you must have a great employee experiences that incorporates and is empowered by digital technology. Neither technology nor the human element should be sacrificed. -      Prioritize adding proactive service to your CX strategy. This means incorporating strategies to fix problems before they occur. -      Technology can help make agents more productive, efficient and effective by providing them the tools and capability to provide proactive service. -      As a leader, you must find a way to get the two sides of your business (the employee side and the customer side) to meet and work in tandem. Technology can help create a better experience on both sides. -      Take an outbound approach to customer service rather than an inbound one—that is, waiting for the customer to call you with a problem. Instead, take the opportunity to reach out to your customers first to provide support. -      Times of hardship and crisis, while tragic, are also a great driver of change. We must embrace the changes and innovations that come during these times if we hope to keep moving forward. -      The support world has operated primarily with voice technology. Moving forward, video could become the new voice in terms of customer support as customers and companies rely more on video technology. -      When an issue occurs, it’s crucial to not only address it in the moment, but also create strategies for the future. Customers want solutions quickly, but you must also make a plan for if and when a similar problem arises down the line. -      Focus on building resilience within your team and your organization. This will ensure you thrive today and can weather any changes to come. -      The C-Suite must be open and accepting of the ideas of others—at the very least, they must be willing to listen. They also have to look at the people side and the numbers side of every issue. When pitching ideas to the C-Suite, make sure you present them with an ROI attached. Quote:“Have a mindset of change. If you build resilience into your models and encourage that in your people, then you’re building the right fiber into your organization.” About:Jonathan Lerner is the president of TTEC Digital. Prior to joining TTEC in 2019, he was senior vice president and general manager for Customer Engagement Solutions at Verint. Learn more about your ad ch