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The 7 Things B2B Customers Demand From Suppliers Many CX experts predict that by 2020, the customer experience will overtake price and product quality as the key brand differentiator. Much has been written about Business To Consumer (B2C) customer experiences, but I want to share some love for Business To Business (B2B). If 40 is the new 30, then B2B CX is the new black. I am in the process of writing a book on B2B customer experience opportunities and have spent many hours absorbing research from industry experts and best in class companies. Also, the majority of my career has included leading B2B customerRead More →

It’s become very clear that there is a big difference between activity and action. When you are involved in “activity” you or your team members are moving, chatting, planning and/or meeting about business impacting actions you plan to take in the future. You are catching up on your emails and reading your text messages. Activity has to happen and can be productive as long as it leads somewhere. I was chatting with a colleague recently and he said that he sometimes feels like he is spending his time “moving around air” but not actually getting results. His air moving is definitely an activity, and IRead More →

Earlier this week I attended a CXPA Customer Experience networking event and the discussion topic was customer experience technology- how it can help or harm the customer experience. 12 CX leaders across industries and verticals shared some of their current technology pain points and opportunities. We then honed in on the major takeaways and go forward actions from the discussion. As I reflect back on CX technology discussions over the past 10-15 years, the focus has often been about cost reduction. Specifically, how we can minimize the cost of human resources by getting customers to self service, go online and/or use IVR functionality. There wasRead More →

Recently I was driving to work and my mobile phone rang. The call was from a salesperson who works for the Atlanta Braves Baseball Team and he was trying to get me to buy tickets for employees or customers. “Thanks, but I am not interested”, I said, ready to hang up. He replied, “Oh, then is there someone else I should be talking to instead of you? I was transferred here?”. I replied, “No, I am the local Site Leader. We recently surveyed our employees and there was not a lot of interest in Braves Tickets”. “Really? I am surprised to hear that. It reallyRead More →

As we wrap up 2016, I have a special end of year gift for you! Five tips to catapult employee engagement and satisfaction during the holiday season. As John F. Kennedy said “One person can make a difference and everyone should try”. Why not try at least one of these tips before December 31, 2016? Reflect on and recognize full year achievements: Take the time to ponder all of the contributions of your team and cross-functional colleagues and surface those that deserve special recognition. This could take many forms including phone calls, emails, hand written notes or formal awards. The most important thing is toRead More →

I was recently asked what my personal, key tenants or beliefs are about providing a great customer experience. After pondering this for a few moments, I came up with 4 primary themes which evolved into this week’s blog post on 4 Key Tenants That Drive Positive Customer Experiences: 1) Employees first: We won’t make any progress if we focus on the customer experience without first ensuring that we have a team of satisfied and engaged employees with the right training, tools, leadership and information to succeed. Employees deliver the customer experience. Therefore, employees are the customer experience. 2) Communicate, communicate, communicate: Any customer facing situation, noRead More →

I believe that top notch communication skills are THE most important set of skills that any leader, at any level needs to possess and consistently hone. This includes verbal, written and virtual communication, across multiple mediums. I recently pulled together 10 of the better leadership communication articles from the first half of 2016. Please add any that I may have missed to the comments section. I hope that you find them helpful and thought provoking. Communication is the glue by Tim McMahon, A Lean Journey blog 5 tips for improving leadership communication by Brent Gleeson, Forbes.com Communication, the most important key to leadership success byRead More →

I am currently involved in an initiative to help motivate and inspire our telecommuter population. This is just over 10% of our entire employee base. Since these telecommuting team members are spread across the globe, across departments and functions, and have varied years of experience, this is a challenging task. Recently, I previewed a number of “how to telecommute” books from Amazon.com, to see if any of them would be worthy as giveaways or job tools for this group. Sadly, many of them are geared to business owners working from home or have outdated information. I did find one book, “101 Tips for Telecommuters, SuccessfullyRead More →

How we think about and talk about what we “do” significantly impacts the satisfaction we get from the activity and the value others feel from the activity. Ponder these 5 phrases: I have to do. I could do. I will do. I want to do. I get to do. I would refer to these as the “evolution of doing”. If we think about our activities as have to or could do, the perception is that the activities are chores, and not something we want to do. Once we “get to do” something, it sounds like we received a gift or something that we are veryRead More →

Do any of these budget related phrases sound familiar? There is no budget for any more travel this year. There is no budget to give your employee a market pay increase. There is no budget to provide lunch for the employees. There is no budget to replace your laptop at this time. We hear all the time in Corporate America that there is no budget to do this or do that, but I want to let you in on a little secret. There is almost always budget available. The reality is that the senior leader who is in charge of the budget, which is usually millionsRead More →