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Stepping Up Service

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Hickory, NC


Customer service is the cornerstone of most successful organizations. This program features Ed Gagnon of Customer Service Solutions, a leading expert in the area of customer service and process improvement, talking about how organizations can keep "stepping up" the service they provide.






219 1st Avenue SW Hickory, NC 28602 (828) 619-0048


Stepping Up Service: "Be Good When Things Go Bad"

There are some industries where customer perceptions are more based on how you handle the tough situations than on whether or not you deliver the “WOW” experience. In this episode, Ed Gagnon of Customer Service Solutions explains to Alan some of these examples, and then the key things the customer wants us to do when "things go bad". This discussion is based on one of Ed's "Tip of the Week" postings on the Customer Service Solutions web site: ...

Duration: 01:02:02

Stepping Up Service: Customer Service is the New Marketing

This month's episode addresses how many market professionals are claiming that customer service is really just a form of marketing... and how that’s a good thing. Alan and Ed talk through examples of how marketers are co-opting customer service and using as a core element of their marketing strategy. Ed explains how this is overall good for the customer service culture of an organization and how it can be good for customer service professionals. Plus, Alan and Ed share their "Customer...

Duration: 00:59:19

Stepping Up Service: Connecting the Dots

Ed Gagnon (Customer Service Solutions) shares a personal story about his experience with a telecommunications company and how their poor internal communications resulted in a unsatisfactory customer experience. Ed and Alan Jackson (Bivarus) discuss the various failure points of the experience and how this it could have been improved through stronger communications - both internally and externally. Alan and Ed also share their Customer Service Story of the Month at the end of the...

Duration: 01:04:48

Stepping Up Service: The 10 Contradictory Values of a Great Customer Service Team

There are many great values that come to mind when thinking about what makes a great customer service team. But Ed Gagnon of Customer Service Solutions (www.cssamerica.com) talks with Alan about how some of these terms - while seemingly contradictory - actually mesh very well to showcase different aspects of a high-performing team. Alan and Ed also share their "Customer Service Story of the Month" at the end of the episode. Ed Gagnon is the President of Customer Service Solutions, helping...

Duration: 00:55:00

Stepping Up Service: Alan's Epic Customer Service Story (Rant)

This month’s episode is different than previous installments; in this episode, Alan Jackson (Bivarus/The Jackson Group) takes over the microphone to relay a recent customer service experience that has him a bit frazzled. Along the way, Ed Gagnon (Customer Service Solutions) offers insight as to the various “pain points” Alan experienced and what the vendor should have done to make things right. It’s an “Epic Rant” episode, but some valuable customer service tips and reminders emerge from...

Stepping Up Service: Designing the Future Employee

As customer service needs continue to change and evolve with time, it is important to make sure the employees we have in the future exhibit the qualities that are going to meet those needs. Like the example of the "Six Million Dollar Man", Alan and Ed discuss how to design the ideal future employee to meet your customer service needs. Ed explains the six traits that we need to look for in these future employees, and how those skills address emerging customer service requirements. Plus,...

Stepping Up Service: Defining Disrespect

Many customers nowadays note that “respect” is very important to them and they get angry when they feel “disrespected.” Alan Jackson (The Jackson Group) and Ed Gagnon (Customer Service Solutions) discuss what customers see as “respect" and what the idea of “disrespect" looks like to them. Ed gives several examples of what employees may be doing that could make the customer feel disrespected…and how to avoid those anger-inducing actions. And to close out the episode, Alan and Ed share their...

Stepping Up Service: Creating Emotional Engagement with Employees

Alan Jackson (The Jackson Group, www.thejacksongroup.com) and Ed Gagnon (Customer Service Solutions, www.cssamerica.com) discuss how employee engagement requires an emotional connection between the organization and its employees…and how emotional engagement with employees is so important providing better customer service to your clients. Ed explains the importance of the emotional engagement with employees and several steps to take to make it happen within your organization. About the...

Stepping Up Service: 20 great Customer Service Quotes for 2016

Sometimes all we need are simple, everyday reminders about the importance of customer service in our organization. Quotes by famous– and sometimes not-so-famous– people can provide us with those reminders in a very memorable way. In this episode, Ed Gagnon of Customer Service Solutions shares twenty “Customer Service Quotes” with his co-host, Alan Jackson of The Jackson Group, quizzing him along the way as to the author of each quote. These quotes are great for sharing with co-workers or...

Stepping Up Service: Predicting the Exit

In many organizations, losing a customer could come as a shock or surprise…. but there may have been pieces of information that could have helped you predict which customers are planning to leave. Gathering and using this information is critical to helping “predict the exit” of a customer or client. Ed Gagnon of Customer Service Solutions shares with Alan Jackson (of The Jackson Group) specific examples of how to predict which customers may leave your business and what to do about those...

Stepping Up Service: Instilling the 4 S's of the Customer Experience

In this episode, Ed explains to Alan the four “Must Do’s” to have the foundation your organization needs for a successful customer experience. Some of these aren’t what you’d think – there are surprises galore! This topic is based on one of Customer Service Solution's "Tip of the Week” which can be found at this address:http://cssamerica.com/the-4-ss-of-the-customer-experience-101315-customer-service-tip/ About the hosts:Ed Gagnon is the President of Customer Service Solutions, helping...

Stepping Up Service: Making the Most of the Millennial Moment

The generation known as “Millennials" are a large and growing segment of the customer base of many businesses. They are a unique – and in some ways – very demanding group. When it comes to providing them with the customer service they are expecting, there are a few tips we all need to keep in mind. Ed discusses this unique group, their needs and expectations, and how we can match those needs in this month’s episode of “Stepping Up Service”. And, as always, Alan and Ed share their “Customer...

Stepping Up Service: Avoid Being Called "Rude"

If there is one phrase that is heard commonly when describing poor customer service experiences, it is “that person was RUDE.” The term “rudeness” is used to describe a variety of ways customers may feel neglected, talked to in a condescending way, or treated with harshness. But what is the cost to an organization of someone saying they were “rude”? What causes people to perceive things as rude? And, most importantly, what can we do to avoid being given this label?Alan and Ed discuss the...

Stepping Up Service: Know the Customer's Story

Alan and Ed talk about the concept of having “empathy” for your customers and why it is so important to delivering outstanding customer service. Empathy is explained through the idea of “knowing the customer’s story”… understanding where they are coming from and what is driving their needs or requests can help to better serve the customer.Alan and Ed also talk about “Customer Service Story of the Month” where they share an experience they each had since the last episode and use it as an...

Stepping Up Service: A Customer Service Approach to E-mail Marketing

E-mail has become one of the most useful tools for marketing your organization… but many people forget that there is also a customer service element to using email to communicate with current or potential customers. Alan Jackson of The Jackson Group talks with Ed Gagnon of Customer Service Solutions about some tips for applying a customer service approach to your organization’s e-mail marketing strategy. Plus, Alan and Ed share their Customer Service Stories of the Month at the end of the...

Stepping Up Service: Listening to the Employee’s Voice

We talk a lot on “Stepping Up Service” about listening to the “voice” of the customer to see how we can improve the customer service they receive. But few realize that asking our employees is the second best way of learning about our customers! Alan Jackson of The Jackson Group (www.thejacksongroup.com) speaks with his co-host, Ed Gagnon of Customer Service Solutions (www.cssamerica.com), about how to gather and use the voice of our employees in order to better serve our customers. Ed...

Duration: 00:21:31

Stepping Up Service: First Time Customer Experience


Stepping Up Service: When Customer Service Defines Your Brand

There are several examples of how a company’s actual customer service experience impacted their brand (positively and negatively). Alan and Ed talk through some of these real-life examples and how the company’s reputation for customer service - or lack thereof - has helped create a brand image even stronger than the service it actually provides.Alan and Ed also share their “Customer Service Story of the Month”, talking through a recent experience they each had and how the service they...

Stepping Up Service: Cuban and Branson and Bezos - Oh My!

What makes a Customer-Centric Leader? Ed shares three examples of high-profile leaders that spend a great deal of their time and energy focusing on the customer experience and why it helps their companies be successful. Mark Cubans fan-focused activities, Richard Bransons 2nd Impression philosophy and Jeff Bezos customer service tips are all covered during this episode. Plus, Alan and Ed share their Customer Service Story of the Month! Ed Gagnon is the President of Customer Service...

Stepping Up Service: Key Customer Service Trends for 2015

Its the start of a new year, so Alan and Ed bring out their crystal ball as they predict Customer Service Trends for 2015! What will customers be wanting more of in the coming year? And what should companies be paying more attention to with regards to their customer service approach? Ed has some predictions to share in this months episode of Stepping Up Service.

Duration: 00:38:58

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