Coffee Hangout with Micah on Oct 19 at 11:00 AM EST: Building a customer service culture 

  • 15 October 2021
  • 73 replies
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Our next Coffee Chat session is happening on Tuesday, 19th of October at 11 AM EST.

@Micah Solomon will be our host and the topic of discussion: Building a customer service culture

Please block your calendars for about 45 minutes to answer five questions. To keep this session as engaging as possible, I’ve chosen a topic that all of us can relate to, and here are the
key-segments:

1. What do you think about the concept of hiring for culture fit? 

2. What are some of the key elements of creating a customer service-oriented culture? 
 

3. What are some of the pitfalls you see that we should avoid falling into as we strive to achieve this? 
 
4. How do you go about inspiring a team to offer personalized customer service/"wow" customer service to make your customer feel special?

5. Give us examples of your favorite organizations that have built a great CS culture


Before we close out, we’ll open the floor and everyone can questions about all things CX to Micah!  

73 replies

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Couldn’t agree more - the more you personalize and HOW you make a customer feel is what always brings them back!

 

@alyssia.correa

I think this is a really tricky one.  SO MANY OTHER factors affect the bottom line (and the top line as well) that saying customer-centricity boosted our revenue is a hard correlation to make in, say, any particular quarter. 

I think the key here is to remember that customer service truly is the new marketing, and it is so much more powerful among today’s customers than the old Mad Men-style marketing. 

Customers make their decisions now based on their experience with you, their colleagues in their industry’s experience, their offline friends, and the people they listen to online.  THAT is powerful. 

 

 

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Fourth question for today is here below. To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering this question Q4, start your answer with A4 and use the quote the option.

 

Q4: How do you go about inspiring a team to offer personalized customer service/"wow" customer service to make your customer feel special?

A4: Rewards, rewards, and rewards! Recognizing and rewarding customer service teams to make their customers feel special is a must. Because customer delight is when you exceed customer expectations. You’re going out of the way to create a positive experience by placing a priority on customer happiness. And to do so, agents must be incentivized. 

Hopefully balancing quality with quantity too :)

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Thanks so much, @akshara.sruthi and @rhea.desouza and @annapoorna.venketaraman  / @annapoorna.v and @SanaSiddiqui for organizing this, and thanks to everyone who participated!! 

 

Thank you @Micah Solomon for sharing your expertise and hanging out with us today!

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@alyssia.correa

I think this is a really tricky one.  SO MANY OTHER factors affect the bottom line (and the top line as well) that saying customer-centricity boosted our revenue is a hard correlation to make in, say, any particular quarter. 

I think the key here is to remember that customer service truly is the new marketing, and it is so much more powerful among today’s customers than the old Mad Men-style marketing. 

Customers make their decisions now based on their experience with you, their colleagues in their industry’s experience, their offline friends, and the people they listen to online.  THAT is powerful. 

 

 

@Micah Solomon  - I have another question for you - In your opinion, what are some ways we can measure the impact of customer centricity on revenue and the business?

 

 
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Third question for today is here below. To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering this question Q3, start your answer with A3 and use the quote the option

Q3: What are some of the pitfalls you see that we should avoid falling into as we strive to achieve this? 

A3: Customer service thrives on certain innate qualities. As teams grow and there is a demand for more hands on the team while you’re pressed for time, it becomes a challenge to test the following.

  1. Ability to communicate and talk to others

  2. Empathy

  3. Should be a natural helper

  4. Be a team player and enthusiastic in nature

  5. Be willing to learn even if initially clueless

If any of these qualities are not met enough, then the team would struggle in my opinion. So, hiring mistakes are something that become difficult to deal with. 

 

 

 

I like the phrase “hiring mistakes” and it reminds me of when people don’t feel able to admit to their mistakes (or can’t see them because they don’t make mistakes). I bet @Micah Solomon has some interesting insight into how and how quickly hiring mistakes should be identified and addressed.

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Third question for today is here below. To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering this question Q3, start your answer with A3 and use the quote the option

Q3: What are some of the pitfalls you see that we should avoid falling into as we strive to achieve this? 

I believe these two are the biggest -

  1. Weak communication channels 
  2. Lack of information and customer insights across teams and employees

Great point on communication. It just reminded me of something I wrote earlier today - that a message isn’t communicated unless it’s received and understood. How often do we miss the latter of these?

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Alright folks, this was amazing as always! Thank you so much for joining us @Micah Solomon

To all our participants @Arvind Ramamurti@SanaSiddiqui@foxcubmama@rashmi.nag@manns@alyssia.correa@Sonali18@Nandita@Kyra Hennessey, and @sebastian_brett - Thank you so much for all your insights, we now have a wealth of knowledge in our very own community about how to building a customer service culture. 
      
If you have any specific questions about this topic, feel free to tag @Micah Solomon here and ask your question! For now, have a good day/night ahead ☕️ 

 

Thank you for organizing this session @akshara.sruthi !

 

@Micah Solomon & Community members- I have another question - In your opinion, what are some ways we can measure the impact of customer centricity on revenue and the business?

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Thanks so much, @akshara.sruthi and @rhea.desouza and @annapoorna.venketaraman  / @annapoorna.v and @SanaSiddiqui for organizing this, and thanks to everyone who participated!! 

 
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Second question for today is here below. To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering this question Q2, start your answer with A2 and use the quote the option

Q2. What are some of the key elements of creating a customer service-oriented culture?

A2: When a team comes together and participates in conversations like one unit, that’s the key to great CS culture. To achieve that, team should be constantly be:
- Rewarded for delighting customers
-  Building an attitude to deliver what right for the company AND the customer
- To be more inclusive and welcoming at all times, change mentors once in two weeks so they get a chance to talk to others on the team and 
- Share feedback instantly with the right team members

Reading this reminded me of the need to ensure that performance metrics recognize/reward people for working together and on the most important things - the win or lose together approach rather than everyone looking after #1

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Alright folks, this was amazing as always! Thank you so much for joining us @Micah Solomon

To all our participants @Arvind Ramamurti, @SanaSiddiqui, @foxcubmama, @rashmi.nag, @manns, @alyssia.correa, @Sonali18, @Nandita, @Kyra Hennessey, and @sebastian_brett - Thank you so much for all your insights, we now have a wealth of knowledge in our very own community about how to building a customer service culture. 
      
If you have any specific questions about this topic, feel free to tag @Micah Solomon here and ask your question! For now, have a good day/night ahead ☕ 

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Second question for today is here below. To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering this question Q2, start your answer with A2 and use the quote the option

Q2. What are some of the key elements of creating a customer service-oriented culture?

I’d love to hear @Micah Solomon and @manns have to say about this, but here are my two cents:

  • The culture has to permeate across the org- and for this, all of goals, mission, vision, training programs, management philosophy have to be on the same page. The customer service oriented culture would have to reflect in every single thing the Company does.
  • The intangible but often overlooked element of employee welfare is another significant factor. Happier employees ensure happy customers.
  • Incentivising curiosity would also go a long way in ensuring a successful customer service orientation.
     

The permeate point is interesting. I often wonder how many subcultures exist in an organization despite there being a strong corporate culture. Often when line management/leadership isn’t in line with the company direction. Or when different business functions struggle to see the rest of the organization and how what they do adds or kills business/customer value.

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Great list. Thanks for reminding me I need to “test” Emirates ;-) 

 


Q5: Give us examples of your favorite organizations that have built a great CS culture
 

A.5

McDonalds

Apple 

Starbucks

Nike

Emirates Airlines

Amazon (for their customer service only!)

 

 

 

 
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Hey everyone! Welcome to our coffee chat.

Today we have @Micah Solomon joining us to talk about  Building a customer service culture

Micah Solomon is a customer service consultant, keynote speaker, and a senior contributor to Forbes.com. He is termed the “New Guru of Customer Service Excellence” by The Financial Post.Hisi techniques and achievements have been featured everywhere from Fast Company and Seth Godin's worldwide bestseller Purple Cow to Wall Street Journal Radio and Inc. Magazine's "Customer Service Makeover" feature. Micah Solomon  also co-authored Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit: The Secrets of Building a Five-Star Customer Service Organization which has been recognized as one of the groundbreaking customer service books of recent years. 

We’re super pumped to have Micah join us today to give his expertise. 

First question for today is here below. To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering this question Q1, start your answer with A1 and use the quote the option

Q1: What do you think about the concept of hiring for culture fit? 

A1: 

We can agree on one thing: Culture matters!

Culture fit on the other hand? Not so much.

We all know how much important it is to hire. But in the day and age of asking people to bring their whole self to work, and working without any biases, it seems to a challenge to accommodate everything. 
 
I’m quoting from a blog that my friend at work penned. 

“Just hire someone on the strength of their skills and monitor for culture strength later. People are curious beings that change every day and the person you interviewed won’t be the person who joins or the person you promote six months from now. Internal and external forces can change people so it’s best to not bank on the impressions you draw from a general conversation. Instead of investing time in looking for a culture fit (your impressions may or may not be accurate), you could just monitor for culture strength and take action if they’re detrimental to other people’s morale”

But if you insist on searching for something aspirational during a short job interview…I suppose you could look for a value fit. 

Source: https://www.freshworks.com/hrms/culture-fit-outdated-blog/ 

I wonder how many hiring managers use the new starter “trial period” concept to effectively monitor cultural fit and not just skill demonstration and target hitting?

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Q5: Give us examples of your favorite organizations that have built a great CS culture
 

A.5

McDonalds

Apple 

Starbucks

Nike

Emirates Airlines

Amazon (for their customer service only!)

 

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

Hey everyone! Welcome to our coffee chat.

Today we have @Micah Solomon joining us to talk about  Building a customer service culture

Micah Solomon is a customer service consultant, keynote speaker, and a senior contributor to Forbes.com. He is termed the “New Guru of Customer Service Excellence” by The Financial Post.Hisi techniques and achievements have been featured everywhere from Fast Company and Seth Godin's worldwide bestseller Purple Cow to Wall Street Journal Radio and Inc. Magazine's "Customer Service Makeover" feature. Micah Solomon  also co-authored Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit: The Secrets of Building a Five-Star Customer Service Organization which has been recognized as one of the groundbreaking customer service books of recent years. 

We’re super pumped to have Micah join us today to give his expertise. 

First question for today is here below. To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering this question Q1, start your answer with A1 and use the quote the option

Q1: What do you think about the concept of hiring for culture fit? 

A1 I honestly beleive that hiring for a culture fit is more important than hiring for skills itself. Not to say that skills aren’t important, but an employee with a poor culture fit can have repurcusions that are deeply damaging. It’s extremely imperative that hiring managers have ways of identifying who fits culturally.

Definitely a +1 on people with a poor cultural fit. They can be the proverbial “bad apple” while still trying their hardest to do a great job.

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A5:  [reposting because I edited this so much]: I think I want to start by acknowledging that there are great B2B organizations that have built great CS cultures but that most of us will never know about because they’re outside of our own niche industry-wise. 

That’s why my list is going to be B2C companies that everyone at least potentially knows about. 

Nordstrom (department stores) 

Apple 

Starbucks

Amazon (But this is a WEIRD one because they lag so far behind in EMPLOYEE treatment)

MANY of the hospitality organizations: Marriott, Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company (now part of Marriott but still distinct), Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Makeready, and more 

Delta Airlines (I know this is a controversial pick) 

Southwest Airlines

Virgin Brands (many of them)

And let’s not forget:  FRESHWORKS!

 


Q5: Give us examples of your favorite organizations that have built a great CS culture

 
 
 
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A5:  I think I want to start by acknowledging that there are great B2B organizations that have built great CS cultures but that most of us will never know about because they’re outside of our own niche industry-wise. 

That’s why my list is going to be B2C companies that everyone at least potentially knows about. 

Nordstrom (department stores) 

Apple 

Starbucks

Amazon (But this is a WEIRD one because they lag so far behind in EMPLOYEE treatment)

MANY of the hospitality organizations: Marriott, Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company (now part of Marriott but still distinct), Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Makeready, and more 

Delta Airlines (I know this is a controversial pick) 

Southwest Airlines

Virgin Brands (many of them)

And let’s not forget:  FRESHWORKS!

 


Q5: Give us examples of your favorite organizations that have built a great CS culture

 
 
 
 

Thank you so much for thinking about us <3

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Last question for today is here below. To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering this question Q5, start your answer with A5 and use the quote the option. 


Q5: Give us examples of your favorite organizations that have built a great CS culture
 

A5. (part 2) I’d also add John Lewis (UK again) - it’s definitely a cultural thing - and Richer Sounds (UK). I’ve not been for a while, but Disney theme parks in the US too.

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A5:  I think I want to start by acknowledging that there are great B2B organizations that have built great CS cultures but that most of us will never know about because they’re outside of our own niche industry-wise. 

That’s why my list is going to be B2C companies that everyone at least potentially knows about. 

Nordstrom (department stores) 

Apple 

Amazon (But this is a WEIRD one because they’re so anti-employee) 

MANY of the hospitality organizations: Marriott, Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company (now part of Marriott but still distinct), Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Makeready, and more 

 

Delta Airlines (I know this is a controversial pick) 

Southwest Airlines

 


Q5: Give us examples of your favorite organizations that have built a great CS culture

 

Yeah! Adding a bunch of B2B organizations that I’ve personally used Trello, Zapier, Smallpdf, and Northpass. They’re really great with what they do and love the way they prioritize customers (in-trial, free, or paid). I’ve seen them treat everyone equally and offer timely support. 

 

 

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Last question for today is here below. To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering this question Q5, start your answer with A5 and use the quote the option. 


Q5: Give us examples of your favorite organizations that have built a great CS culture
 

Slack!

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Last question for today is here below. To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering this question Q5, start your answer with A5 and use the quote the option. 


Q5: Give us examples of your favorite organizations that have built a great CS culture
 

A5. Despite me being unhappy with the delivery side of operations (doorstep dumping), I’d have to say Amazon (UK). They are usually great in solving my customer issues and even though I might think that they’ve realized that it’s simply easier and cheaper to make my issue go away I’m usually super happy with their CS. There’s the occasional script follower but mostly I get problem solvers :)

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A5:  I think I want to start by acknowledging that there are great B2B organizations that have built great CS cultures but that most of us will never know about because they’re outside of our own niche industry-wise. 

That’s why my list is going to be B2C companies that everyone at least potentially knows about. 

Nordstrom (department stores) 

Apple 

Starbucks

Amazon (But this is a WEIRD one because they lag so far behind in EMPLOYEE treatment)

MANY of the hospitality organizations: Marriott, Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company (now part of Marriott but still distinct), Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Makeready, and more 

Delta Airlines (I know this is a controversial pick) 

Southwest Airlines

Virgin Brands (many of them)

And let’s not forget:  FRESHWORKS!

 


Q5: Give us examples of your favorite organizations that have built a great CS culture

 
 
 
 
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Fourth question for today is here below. To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering this question Q4, start your answer with A4 and use the quote the option.

 

Q4: How do you go about inspiring a team to offer personalized customer service/"wow" customer service to make your customer feel special?

A4. (part 4) Doh! I keep think of extra things. Another obvious point here that shouldn’t be overlooked is that suitable funding is in place to deliver “wow” CS. That if resources only allows for OK CS, then it will be difficult to lift both operations and personnel to consistently offer “wow” CS.

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Q4: How do you go about inspiring a team to offer personalized customer service/"wow" customer service to make your customer feel special?

 

  1. 4 I think offering superior customer service is by really paying attention to your customer, understanding them better and treating each customer as a different individual. This can only happen if we build relationships. E.g.One of the things most customer-service professionals are always taught is to be happy and positive when dealing with a customer but maybe they had a bad-day. So personalizing your experience to them in situations will help feel a customer special. Also remembering small things like their birthdays, etc - little things go a long way!

Adding to this, connecting with them on something they mention or a topic of interest always helps in improving the experience!

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Last question for today is here below. To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering this question Q5, start your answer with A5 and use the quote the option. 


Q5: Give us examples of your favorite organizations that have built a great CS culture
 

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