Delivering operational transformation without budget or headcount

In my last post, we discussed why headcount increase should be your last resort, because extra headcount costs money, and instead you can almost always improve on efficiency, automation and cross-skilling / up-skilling.  A lean operation is a well run operation, and in normal times, everything runs smoothly and your customers and people are happy. … Continue reading Delivering operational transformation without budget or headcount

Why headcount increase should always be your last resort

In a recent conversation with a well-respected local CEO, I was asked for my honest input into his company staffing model.  The question focused on whether he needed to increase headcount in the customer-facing teams in order to drive up the quality and calibre of his customer experience.  My provisional response was no, and he… Continue reading Why headcount increase should always be your last resort

Learnings from Virgin: brilliant basics matter

In my years heading up customer service within the Virgin Group, I was inspired in so many ways and by so many of the amazing people who delivered ideas, experiences, services and products across the global customer base.  Being a creative set of companies, it was no real surprise that there were some fantastic concepts… Continue reading Learnings from Virgin: brilliant basics matter

A different way to start your data strategy

Given the value of data to any organisation, you’d think we’d no longer need to prove how important it is, especially in the world of SaaS businesses.  But getting data, linking it together then using it effectively is still a really, really hard thing to do.  When a head of engineering asks me what data… Continue reading A different way to start your data strategy

Expectation Management – 6 simple reasons why it fails

You’re stood waiting at the supermarket checkout – you thought you were winning when you found a queue with only a couple of people in it, but it seems like the cashier is on go slow.  Just as you start to unload the shopping from the trolley, the cashier plonks down a big “Sorry, we’re… Continue reading Expectation Management – 6 simple reasons why it fails

Part 3/3: Core elements you need for your customer communication quadrant

In my previous two posts, I introduced the concept of the customer communication quadrant, representing the four most significant reasons for your to interact with your customers, and integrating with the four most significant business levers.  Having considered the four by four factors, hopefully now you understand the diagram – the arrow indicates the level… Continue reading Part 3/3: Core elements you need for your customer communication quadrant

Part 2/3: Core elements you need for your customer communication quadrant

In my previous post, I introduced the concept of the customer communication quadrant, representing the four core reasons for a customer to interact with a business, and the four business levers this impacts.  I walked through the level of importance for the business levers on the first two factors, Connect and Resolve, so this post… Continue reading Part 2/3: Core elements you need for your customer communication quadrant

Part 1/3: Core elements you need for your customer communication quadrant

As someone who has worked with and managed most customer-facing functions in my career, I’ve developed a reasonable understanding of each department’s needs to communicate with customers, and the outcomes that they would define as successful from this communication.  Marketing, sales, success, support, retention and account management all “need” to interact with customers.  What starts… Continue reading Part 1/3: Core elements you need for your customer communication quadrant

Is your AI chatbot just a dumb IVR call tree?

Most businesses are struggling to cope with the pressures of Covid-19 – few if any had planned for scenariuos such as Covid-19 in their operating model.  Long wait times for customers, poor or incomplete responses or simply shutting off customer access to support are a few of the worst ways businesses are responding.  But a… Continue reading Is your AI chatbot just a dumb IVR call tree?

4 tips on managing the “reality gap”

Anyone who has ever worked in a customer or client facing role will have faced many, many challenges.  Dealing with customers is a calling, not a career choice made by most.  For the most part, people who chose to be in a customer facing role want to help, and are adept at using their soft… Continue reading 4 tips on managing the “reality gap”