The National Learning Institute

Customer Service Category

Customer meeting

Can a “face” make a difference?

June 2, 2014 No Comments


Andrew O’Keeffe ©2014

To lift motivation and performance of a team, put a face to their task – have them meet someone who benefits from their work.

Humans are a face-reading species and as the truism tells us, there’s nothing like putting a face to a name. Once we have met someone we have greater empathy.

It’s not surprising that the science confirms significant impact on job motivation and performance if people who don’t usually meet their clients do so.

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Who is your customer? Why customers are different to consumers

January 16, 2014 1 Comment

To any savvy business manager, that may seem a simple or even silly question.  “Of course I know who my customers are, I wouldn’t be in business otherwise” might be the natural response.  However, one organisation who got this drastically (and what could have been tragically) wrong, and which almost crippled an entire country (well at least for a couple of weeks), was the US Federal Aviation Administration.

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Customer Relationship Management – System or Attitude?

October 2, 2009 No Comments

Customer Relationship Management

Why Customer Relationship Management is so important…

A colleague recently lamented to me “I was so annoyed that the XYZ coffee shop in the ABC Centre took sooooo long to give me a second coffee one morning, even though I was close to the machine and kept looking expectantly, I decided to ‘punish’ them by going elsewhere for a year.

This is poor customer relationship management.

At an average of three coffees a day @ $3.20 each = $9.60 a day for about 220 working days a year, that could cost them $2,112 a year.  (That’s why my new office now has a cappuccino machine!!)  Given that I was traveling a fair bit, I figured their poor service cost them at least $800 to $900 for the year that I gave them a miss.” Consider how poor, or excellent customer relationship management could cost, or earn your business each year.

Improving your customer relationship management. Do you know how much business each individual customer brings you?  More importantly, do your front line staff know?  I wonder what impact it would have on the staff at this coffee shop if they knew that every regular customer had the potential to bring them at least $2,000 gross revenue each year.  Do the staff know how many “regular” customers they have per day?  And, what does it take to turn a “drop in” or “first timer” into a regular customer?

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Service with a smile!

August 1, 2009 No Comments


There have been a couple of interesting service stories in the press over the last week.  Getting front line staff to provide excellent, even good customer service seems to be the perennial management challenge.  This appears even more challenging when times are tough and businesses are scrambling for that extra sale.

What are the latest attempts at meeting this challenge?

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Service is the key to survival in today’s climate

December 12, 2008 No Comments


It’s been said that your first time customer, even your first time visitor (say to your website) is always the highest cost to you.  But it’s the repeat customers and visitors that really provide the best returns.

I had an email from a colleague recently telling me about his latest service experience.

*I was so annoyed that the XYZ coffee shop in the ABC Centre took sooooo long to give me a second coffee one morning, even though I was close to the machine and kept looking expectantly, I decided to ‘punish’ them by going elsewhere for a year.


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Can emails improve your customer service and relationships?

December 2, 2008 No Comments



Excellent customer service means that buying is an experience, not merely a purchase.

How do mostly provide customer service to customers through your business? Through the front door? By phone? Via the web? By email? Chances are some of your business comes to you by email. Or if it doesn’t initially, it’s a fair bet that you will have email contact with many of your customers during their relationship with you. Providing excellent customer service via email is critical.

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Customer service v’s customer satisfaction – what’s the difference?

December 2, 2008 No Comments


Providing good customer service does not always ensure customer satisfaction.

I recently travelled on a regional train in Australia.   When booking my ticket I asked “What’s the difference between first and second class?”  The booking clerk’s response was “Oh, there’s a bit more leg room in first class”.

This experience reminded me of a presentation I once attended that was given by the General Manager of a major five star hotel.  He often asks his new employees, “What’s the difference between our $300 dollar a night rooms and a $100 per night room at another local hotel?”  He knew he was in trouble if the employee responded “$200″.

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