What Executives Need to Know About Prospects in the Digital Age

By Lee Frederiksen

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It’s no secret that the digital age is here. Nearly all of life’s daily tasks can be achieved online, from paying bills, scheduling appointments and making phone calls to applying for jobs, taking classes, making dinner reservations and even setting your television to record shows. And that’s just a small sampling.

With as much time as we spend plugged in each day, it’s no wonder marketing techniques have also moved largely online. This transformation in the marketplace has led the way for a shift in how buyers look for professional services providers. As prospects are faced with more options and information than ever before, having a strong online presence has never been so important. 

The digital age isn’t just revolutionizing restaurant reservations — it’s also eliminating the previous challenge of geography. Buyers can now find professional services providers virtually anywhere. With more options at their fingertips, buyers’ needs have changed.

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Core Values are the Key to Customer Service

by Shep Hyken

Photo by Malone & Company Photography

Photo by Malone & Company Photography

What are your company’s core values? If you can’t answer that, it’s worth taking some time to figure it out. One of my clients recently asked how core values should come into play when hiring and firing, and it got me thinking about the importance of the overall concept. Core values affect the customer service experience for external customers, as well as internal customers (employees). They can attract customers to do business with you and be a motivating factor for employees to enjoy their work and do it well.

If you are at the stage of determining your company’s core values, begin by thinking of words and phrases that you would use to describe yourself. What words would customers use to describe you? Hopefully they are the same, and you’re in alignment with the customer. These words and phrases can be the basis of the values that you want to be known by.

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Is Customer Service the New Marketing?

by Willis Turner

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This question of whether customer service is the new marketing isn’t just about the increasing importance of social media and customer reviews, or rising consumer disenchantment with traditional marketing. For some, it’s about making the decision between long-term reputation and short-term profit.

This topic was at the center of a Google+ Debate research firm Software Advice hosted titled “Is Customer Service the New Marketing?” A panel of experts discussed what kinds of companies should embrace a customer-centric strategy as a form of marketing, and how they should go about implementing this approach.

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How to Create a Customer-Centric Culture

by Shep Hyken

Photo by Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin

Creating a Customer Centric-Culture — That’s a lot of words that begin in C. Well, this article is about D’s. Growing up, a D in school wasn’t a very good grade. Where I went to school, sometimes a D was slang terminology for a demerit, which meant I spent a Saturday morning at school in study hall — Not a great way for a kid to spend a Saturday. However, you and your company will want the following D’s, especially if customer service and building a customer-centric culture are important to you. And I know they are!

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What Are The 7 Great Things About Loyal Customers?

by Rik Walters

via Getty Images

Your marketing organization works hard to increase customers, and keeping those customers loyal can drive top-line revenue growth. In today’s Age of The Customer, existing customers cost less to reach, to continue to sell and are less vulnerable to marketing initiatives from the competition while buying more over the longterm.
According to Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company, and author of The Loyalty Effect, the economics of customer retention is clear. Longterm customer spending tends to accelerate over time, as they become more efficient users of the products and services they purchase. Also, longterm customers have lower operational costs; longterm satisfied customers provide more referrals, and longer-term customers are less price-sensitive than newer customers.

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Customer Service from the C-Suite to the Mail Room

by Shep Hyken

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In a recent interview, I was asked why the leaders of a company in the C-Suite should focus on customer service. The questions seemed to be well thought out and appropriate, but as I reviewed the questions and my answers, it occurred to me that they could be applied to everyone in the organization — not just the management. In other words, while the customer service vision may start in the C-Suite, everyone must own the responsibility.
Here are the questions I was asked and my thoughts on expanding the focus to include everyone in the organization:

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Do Your Frontlines Own the Customer Experience?

by Emily Capito LCSW, MBA

via Getty Images

If the complaints in your organization tend to burn up the ladder until you finally take the initiative to resolve the problem, you’re not alone. In fact, upset customers are communicating directly to the C-Suite these days, bypassing the ladder altogether.
Once relegated to the limits of family and friends, a bad experience can now circle the globe in a matter of minutes, thanks to social media. In the Economist Intelligence Unit report, Getting Closer to the Customer, Frank Eliason, senior vice president of social media for Citi, puts it bluntly, “Consumers now own the brand.”  It’s become imperative for leaders to nurture customer loyalty.

The C-Suite is fairly removed from the day-to-day customer interactions. Yet, many of us have a tendency to own the process. The very idea that a busy executive — removed from the customer experience by three to five layers of management — has the time to resolve every hiccup or even has the best idea of what will work is absurd.

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Why Customer Service Is The Life Or Death Of Your Company

by Steve Olenski

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From time to time I will try and use non-marketing metaphors/real life examples to help make a point. From What Schoolhouse Rock And Integration Have In Common to Baby, We Were Born to Market: Springsteen on Social Media Marketing, I love juxtaposing things that otherwise have nothing to do with marketing, advertising and branding onto that world, all to help make a point and get a message across.

Such is the case today with the subject of customer service – a topic that is very near and dear to my heart, having worked for 10 years in the retail world. I know full well the value of customer service and the effect it can have, both positively and negatively, on a given brand.

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