The God of Carnage meets customer service

“Come down late again and I’ll wrap this round your head - nah, only kidding mate!”Recently I spent an evening at the theatre seeing Yazmina Reza’s new play God of Carnage. It’s got an excellent cast (perhaps the only time you can see DI Rebus, Voldemort and Debbie Archer in the same bill) and only detains you for about 95 minutes. Its central, rather bleak premise sparked thoughts about the conditions under which superior service flourishes.

Continue reading “The God of Carnage meets customer service”

Open Chord in the media

No music but the podcast is available on iTunesThere’s a new post in the business innovation series coming soon but in the meantime here’s a link to an interview I gave to NLP consultant Michael Beale on his website – available as a transcript or podcast. I don’t practice NLP myself for anyone who’s interested in the subject Michael is well worth contacting.

I also wrote an editorial on the relevance of the CharterMark for The Guardian‘s Guardian Public magazine. The magazine isn’t available online but I’m happy to share the article with anyone who’s interested – drop me an e-mail at

Improve service: get ideas from anywhere?

A crowd - not necessarily a wise oneAsking your customers for suggestions seems like a great way to improve your services or products. Two recent items I came across suggest it’s not something you should do without clearly thinking through what you are trying to achieve.

Report 103 is an excellent newsletter from Jeffrey Baumgartner on applied creativity and ideas in business and this week’s edition follows on nicely from my previous post about feedback. If you buy the idea that customer feedback is a rich source of service improvement ideas then proactively soliciting ideas from your customers (and non-customers) seems like an even better idea. Continue reading “Improve service: get ideas from anywhere?”

Getting a grip on emotions: 3) Putting customers second

j0179009.jpgPutting customers second is possibly a counter-intuitive response to superior customer service but it’s at the heart of creating an emotional connection. The point is not to disregard customers in favour of e.g. shareholder value, profit or some other measure but to put the needs of employees before those of customers. Continue reading “Getting a grip on emotions: 3) Putting customers second”

Getting a grip on emotions: 2) Who cares what you think?

Oh no! You want my opinion!Customer surveys are a brilliant idea, no? No, not always. When you try to measure superior service and the emotional connection a customer has with you or your product, it can be difficult to get data that really helps pinpoint where and how to improve. In this article I will highlight some pitfalls in satisfaction surveys and measures and suggest some simpler approaches to measurement that will help drive the right kind of change. Continue reading “Getting a grip on emotions: 2) Who cares what you think?”

Getting a grip on emotions: 1) Customer loyalty

This week I will be putting up three posts on the emotional element of superior service. I will be covering:Dogs may be loyal, customers less so
1) How creating an emotional connection can build customer loyalty
2) Where customer surveys can let you down
3) Why, paradoxically, customers don’t always come first

First, let’s look at how a positive emotional connection can build loyalty better than loyalty schemes. Continue reading “Getting a grip on emotions: 1) Customer loyalty”