Saturday, June 28, 2008

Customer satisfaction - moving the needle

I wanted you, my friendly blog-readers, to be the first to know about a very special workshop coming this October in Las Vegas for anyone who manages a customer service or support team.

My friends at the Service and Support Professionals Association (SSPA) have invited me to teach a preconference workshop entitled Moving the Needle on Customer Sat Ratings for their 2008 Services Leadership conference. This workshop will explore training, coaching, measurement, and team leadership methodologies that create real, substantial changes in customer satisfaction levels, morale, and turnover for any customer contact operation.

I am particularly excited about this workshop because it gives me a chance to open my entire playbook from a career of dramatically "turning around" the performance of customer contact operations - including helping one firm grow from a startup to a major NASDAQ firm as its director of customer services, and later leading another 24/7 call center operation to near-perfect customer sat levels and near-zero turnover.

Above all, you will learn that high customer sat levels are not just a lofty goal on a mission statement, but a real, achievable process that you can learn and execute with your own team. And today, with higher-than-ever performance and productivity pressures on customer contact centers, these lessons are more timely than ever.

It is also great to be partnering again with my friends at SSPA, the leading professional society for customer service and support managers. Two years ago at their 2006 Services Leadership conference, my presentation Creating Leadership in Every Cubicle was one of its most highly attended and highly-rated sessions, and I fondly remember speaking to a standing-room crowd that cleaned me out of every single book and business card I had.

Finally, if you work with customer contact professionals, this is the networking event of a lifetime. The last time I spoke there, it was a highly senior crowd that read like a "who's who" of support leaders from major organizations. This time, SSPA is joining forces with its sister organizations Technology Professional Services Association (TPSA) and Association For Services Management International (AFSMI), the world's leading field service organization, to create a single blockbuster event for anyone who works with the public.

Best of all, if you attend my workshop (currently scheduled from 8 AM to 2 PM on Monday, October 20), you don't even need to book any extra travel days: the opening session of the conference starts an hour later the same day at 3 PM.

This will be a real-world, high-content workshop that delivers what the title promises: you will come away from this workshop with a practical game plan for making real, substantial changes in your customer satisfaction levels, and leading a customer support team that looks forward to coming to work every morning.

SSPA is still finalizing the speaking program, but I know from past experience that this conference will equip you with the latest best practices in our field, straight from the minds of industry thought leaders. For early bird registration, visit the conference home page online at Hope to see you this fall in Las Vegas!