The Best Service is No Service: How to Liberate Your Customers from Customer Service, Keep Them Happy, and Control Costs

Bill Price, David Jaffe

Language: English

Pages: 255

ISBN: 2:00270889

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Retail quality. Courtesy of user rooktook from whatcd.

In this groundbreaking book, Bill Price and David Jaffe offer a new, game-changing approach, showing how managers are taking the wrong path and are using the wrong metrics to measure customer service. Customer service, they assert, is only needed when a company does something wrong-eliminating the need for service is the best way to satisfy customers. To be successful, companies need to treat service as a data point of dysfunction and figure what they need to do to eliminate the demand. The Best Service Is No Service outlines these seven principles to deliver the best service that ultimately leads to "no service":

  • Eliminate dumb contacts
  • Create engaging self-service
  • Be proactive
  • Make it easy to contact your company
  • Own the actions across the company
  • Listen and act
  • Deliver great service experiences

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speed metrics, which put customer support in the position of whipping boy or neglected department starved of attention and funding. Companies that will succeed in Best Service will use CPX and tailored metrics and embrace customer support’s central role as the company’s heartbeat. They will find customer service areas to be the best source of great new ideas from customers and from staff. By practicing the seven core Principles we have set out in Chapters Two through Eight that we collectively

and MCI did in the 1990s, calling customers to inform them that they are on the wrong calling plan based on recent usage, with recommendations (the most advanced version being moving the customer without them even asking) for better-suited plans. USAA Insurance also practices down-selling as part of its customer-centric strategy: “‘We try to understand individuals’ needs and offer appropriate solutions rather than trying to sell them products and services that aren’t in their best interest,’ said

customers to reach them. Let’s review four classic examples, which we refer to as overwhelming options; policy shields; missing at the moment of need; and not your hours, ours. Overwhelming Options One major IT company tried hard to give the customers many ways to call it for support; however, it had “unconsciously” taken this idea to extremes by offering over thirty thousand phone numbers worldwide. On the surface, that seemed like giving the customer choice, but in reality it was almost

there is little point in inviting customers to send you e-mails if you don’t have the staff or technology in place to respond in a reasonable amount of time—where the customer defines “reasonable.” (A company we once saw had one person processing e-mails with an average response rate of over twenty days. Recall too the graph earlier in this chapter illustrating the decline in e-mail responsiveness.) Laying the foundations is about making sure that the contact mechanisms available to customers

Volume—can capture significantly more data that are easier to act on than by placing calls. • Qualitative as well as quantitative capture—many of the feedback tools allow customers to record messages or write text; using these mechanisms, companies can also capture a large volume of comments that can be analyzed using the text and speech analysis tools mentioned earlier. • Triggers and closed loops—they enable fast one-on-one customer actions; some of the tools allow a company to set “alerts”

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