Execs In The Know- A Global Network of Customer Experience Professionals


Customer Service Secrets: Go Behind the Scenes with the Salesforce Customer Success Center

The following is a guest post by Jennifer Hersom, Sr. Product Marketing Manager at Salesforce. To learn more about Salesforce, visit their website. 


We sell Service Cloud to our customers, but we also use it ourselves. When people learn that Salesforce is a Service Cloud customer too, they often ask about the way we run our own contact center. And we are happy to share.

One of the ways we answer these questions is by inviting customers to visit our Customer Success Center — that’s what we call our contact center — in Portland, Oregon where they are treated to a master class by senior agents and managers.

This behind-the-scenes look at the way Salesforce does customer service has been so popular, we’re now making the sessions available online so anyone can access them.

Why mastering customer service is important now

Customer service has entered a new era: the “Age of the Customer.” Today’s customer is much more empowered than ever before. They don’t have to argue their point on the telephone in one-to-one conversations. If they’re not happy, they can post about it on social media or leave damaging negative reviews.

In the Age of the Customer, people look for solutions on their own terms, using their preferred channel to find answers and connect with businesses. While all these changes have been going on, a shift has also occurred in the expectations of people within business organizations. The call center is moving from a “cost center” to a “profit center,” where agents now need to upsell products and services, or flag opportunities for the sales team.

Businesses rush to keep up with these new expectations, often inadvertently creating an agent and manager knowledge gap, where new products and the soft skills needed to run them have to be learned. This trend affects customer service professionals at Salesforce and across the industry.

Any user of Salesforce is our customer, so in the same way that they must respond to their customers, we must respond to ours. We have to react to changes in expectations and create a customer service experience with Service Cloud that meets customers where they are, on any channel.

Welcome to the Service Cloud Master Class

The new, online Service Cloud Master Class will show customer service professionals how to adapt their service to the needs of today’s customers. In a series of seven on-demand videos — cut down to easily digestible 20-40 minute sessions — we lift the curtain to give an inside look at the way Salesforce handles our own customer support.

Participants in the course will hear from Salesforce’s  Tier 2 and Tier 3 Success Agents; Tier 2 Success Agents provide in-depth technical support and Tier 3 Agents offer technical expertise. Viewers of the new videos will also hear from Customer Success Managers on some of our Salesforce-tested best practices for working in an omnichannel contact center.

After watching our Service Cloud Master Class videos, you’ll be well-prepared to start:

  • Transforming your contact center for a multichannel world
  • Empowering managers and customers with connected self-service
  • Defining a next-generation agent experience
  • Resolving cases quickly for increased productivity

The evolution of customer service presents challenges for even the savviest and seasoned professionals. The need for more expert advice has never been more critical and we’re here to help.
To get started with Salesforce’s Service Cloud Master Class, watch the kick-off video “Welcome to the Salesforce Success Center.” (Note: it’s less than 15-minute long!)

Execs In The Know CX Leadership Event – Customer Response Summit – Coming to Marina del Rey

Leading CX Leaders From Microsoft, Upwork, LinkedIn, and Chick-fil-A to Keynote Execs In The Know – Customer Response Summit Marina del Rey

PHOENIXJuly 12, 2018 — Execs In The Know, a community of Customer Experience Professionals, has announced the details of their national event – Customer Response Summit (CRS) Marina del Rey. CRS Marina del Rey will be held September 10th-12th, 2018, at The Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey, in Marina del Rey, CA. Culture, customer engagement, AI, the millennial workforce, mindfulness, digital transformation, and more will be featured topics of discussion. The customer experience conference will include keynotes from Chick-fil-A, LinkedIn, Upwork, and Microsoft.
Continue reading

Meet the Board – Sue Morris – Creating Fans

Get to Know: Sue Morris, Worldwide Customer Service Leader for Microsoft’s Customer Service & Support business

It sounds cliché but my role at Microsoft is the same as everyone’s role at Microsoft – to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. As the global leader for Customer Service, my team thinks about how we design end-to-end experiences for our customers and deliver the unifying services like accounts and billing, licensing and subscription management across all our customer segments. Our #1 job is to reduce customer effort by providing a quick and easy experience – a Wow experience – and my not-so-secret aim is that we also create fans in the process.

Microsoft has over 125,000 employees located in 124 countries worldwide. Known for products like Windows, Surface, Office and Xbox gaming consoles, Microsoft is the leading platform and productivity company and the world’s largest software maker. Within Microsoft’s Customer Service & Support (CSS) function, we are on a holistic journey to transform the customer experience. We think a lot about not only helping customers in their time of need, but also how we avoid issues by predicting and preventing them before they even happen. In short, it means partnering with our engineering teams to develop better products, gaining our customers’ trust by protecting their data and privacy, and empowering them to get the most out of their investments in technology.  Continue reading

Execs In The Know & COPC Inc. Publish 2017 Corporate Edition in Customer Experience Management Benchmark Series

Findings Show That Only About One-Third of Respondents Felt Their Company Offered Support in All The Channels Their Customers Want to Use — A Slight Increase Over 2016 Results.

PHOENIX, ARIZONA – April 3, 2018 – Advocates for customer experience professionals, Execs In The Know and COPC Inc., have announced the release of the 2017 Corporate Edition of the Customer Experience Management Benchmark (CXMB) Series. The 11th volume in the series, titled The CX Journey: Strategic and Operational Insights, provides an understanding of the current CX landscape. Specific areas of expanded exploration include channel consistency, quality programs, and CX priorities for corporate professionals. Traditional Care (phone, email, and in-person), Interactive Care (online/video chat, FAQ, and self-help), Social Media Care (Twitter, Facebook, forums, etc.), and Mobile Care (apps, text/SMS, and mobile chat) are all explored.

Key Insights from the 2017 Corporate Survey:

– Only 50% of respondents answered “Yes” when asked, “Is your company’s leadership fully committed to a customer-first strategy?”

– Thirty-four percent of respondents didn’t believe their company had a good understanding of which channels their customers preferred, nor how these preferences differed from current channel offerings.

– Interest and investment in chatbots and artificial intelligence (AI) exploded in 2017, with more than a threefold increase in the percentage of brands naming chatbots and AI as the technology of most interest and/or investment.

– Only 14% of respondents felt their brands were doing a good job of providing a consistent customer experience across channels and solutions, while only half of brands (51%) had any initiatives to create greater consistency.

The CXMB Series is a resource for customer care professionals, looking to enhance their customer care program, improve brand opinion, and drive customer satisfaction. Brands such as Marriott, Blue Rock Energy, The Mine, The Home Depot, LinkedIn, Hyatt, Desjardins, CIBC, Williams-Sonoma, Inc., and more participated in this year’s survey. Continue reading

Execs In The Know Announces the Formation of CX Partner Advisory Board

Leaders from seven trusted organizations that provide a product or service to customer care organizations form new CX Partner Advisory Board for 2017.

PHOENIX, AZ. – (July 26, 2017) – Execs In The Know, advocates for the Customer Experience Executive and hosts of leading customer experience conference – Customer Response Summit, have announced the formation of a CX Partner Advisory Board. The 2017 Board includes seven member organizations committed to improving the customer service experience and advancing the care industry as a whole. The organizations represented include Interactions LLC, Teleperformance, Genesys, Gladly, COPC, Retailpivot Consulting LLC., and Modern Contact Consulting, Inc.

The Execs In The Know CX Partner Advisory Board will provide industry knowledge, advice, guidance, and recommendations to the EITK community. The Board representatives will use their knowledge of innovations, developments, and customer behaviors to deliver thought leadership, educational content, and direction.

“We are lucky to have the opportunity to work with so many talented, reputable, and knowledgeable subject matter experts in our community,” said Chad McDaniel, President of Execs In The Know. “The creation of our CX Partner Advisory Board brings together seven individuals excelling in the customer experience industry and delivering customer success for their brands and their customers. They are a vital piece of the Execs In The Know community and will strengthen it further through their involvement in our events, webinars, content pieces, philanthropic activities, and meetings.”

Board Members:

Jay Wolcott, VP Social Product, Interactions LLC
Amit Shankardass, Executive Vice President, Teleperformance
Ted Hunting, Vice President, North America Marketing, Genesys
Joseph Ansanelli, CEO & Co-Founder, Gladly
Judi Brenstein, Vice President, COPC
Kathryn McGavick, President, Modern Contact Consulting, Inc.
Razia Richter, CEO, Retailpivot Consulting LLC.

To learn more about the Execs In The Know CX Partner Advisory Board, visit https://www.execsintheknow.com/about-us/advisory-board/ Continue reading

Execs In The Know & COPC Inc. Release 2015 Consumer Edition in Customer Experience Management Benchmark Series

Findings Show That While Alternative Channels are Growing in Usage, Customers Still Rely on the Call Center for Issue Resolution

PHOENIX, ARIZONA and WINTER PARK, FL – November 6, 2015 – Global leaders in the customer experience industry, Execs In The Know and COPC Inc., have announced the release of the 2015 Consumer Edition in their Customer Experience Management Benchmark Series (CXMB). This year’s survey titled “Exploring Multi-Channel Customer Care” provides compelling insights into key areas of consumer expectations, opinions and experiences in using multiple channels for customer care. The full 64-page report is available here.

Key Insights from the 2015 Consumer Survey:

– The call center remains the most used channel for issue resolution, with a 13% increase in usage as compared to 2014

– Interactive Care, defined as online chat, video chat, online FAQs, and self-help tools came in as the leading alternative channel used most by consumers

– Similar to Traditional Care, Interactive Care is commonly used for issue resolution, with a 22% increase in usage from 2014

The Consumer Edition of the CXMB series is a resource for customer care professionals, looking to enhance their customer care program, improve brand opinion, and drive customer satisfaction. The 2015 version is the third consecutive year of reporting on findings of North American consumers, in all age groups and geographic regions. The survey findings provide both an overview of the entire customer care experience, as well as insights regarding specific channels, including traditional, interactive, social media and mobile.

The complete survey findings will be presented by Execs In The Know and COPC Inc. at two CXMB Workshops in Chicago and Tempe, AZ.

– Tuesday, November 17, 2015 from 10 AM – 3 PM in Chicago, hosted by Groupon

– Thursday, November 19, 2015, from 10 AM – 2 PM in Tempe, hosted by Target

For more information or to register, visit https://www.execsintheknow.com/events/cxmb-workshop/.

“The goal of every report in the CXMB Series is to inform our readers about current trends and insights in the customer care space, but more importantly to inspire compelling conversations, and exciting transformations, in their own organizations and the customer experience industry as a whole,” said Chad McDaniel, President and CEO of Execs In The Know. “By partnering with COPC Inc., the CXMB 2015 Consumer Report is more robust than ever and a valuable resource for our corporate brand partners, hoping to anticipate the needs and wants of their customers.”

“Understanding consumer experiences and evolving expectations, opinions and preferences is more important than ever. This research provides valuable perspectives into the consumer’s multi-channel journey and what brands should consider when developing their ongoing customer experience management strategies,” said Cliff Moore, chairman and co-founder of COPC Inc.

The full 2015 Consumer report is available for purchase at https://www.execsintheknow.com/cxmbseries/2015-consumer-edition/. Continue reading

Execs In The Know Updated Advisory Board Announcement

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA. April 22, 2015 – Execs In The Know, advocates for the Customer Service Professional, have announced two new additions to their 2015 Advisory Board. LeAnne Crocker, Director – Global Reservation Operations Design and Learning Communications at Hyatt, and Scott Shute, Vice President of Global Customer Operations at LinkedIn, will join the 11 Customer Service Leaders that currently sit on the Advisory Board.


“Joining the Advisory Board of Execs In The Know was a conscious decision to be involved with likeminded senior executives, who have the same drive, determination and motivation that we have, in delivering authentic customer engagement through hospitality,” said LeAnne Crocker. “Both internal and external customer social communication connections help us do what is right, at the right time, in the right place.” Continue reading

Youth Villages CEO to speak at Customer Response Summit in Memphis

Connie Mills, public relations manager
901-233-1254 connie.mills@youthvillages.org
Kimberly Rossie, senior public relations coordinator
901-870-7757 kimberly.rossie@youthvillages.org

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Sept. 5, 2014) – Patrick Lawler, CEO of Youth Villages, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping children and their families live successfully, will speak at the Customer Response Summit in Memphis at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 23.

The summit, presented by Execs In The Know, will take place at the Peabody Hotel from Sept. 22-24. The Customer Response Summit is a thought leadership forum that connects the best minds in customer care and customer experience.

“We purposely brought the national forum to Memphis to showcase the innovation of leading companies in the region and how they are reinventing customer success,” Chad McDaniel, president and founder of the forum, said. “There will be a significant number converging on Memphis to be part of the forum. We could not be more pleased with the level of corporate support shown from well-known Fortune 100 companies”

McDaniel said he wanted to include Youth Villages in the summit because of the connection he felt to Youth Villages’ mission of helping children and families.

“Having Patrick Lawler on stage with our executive community could not come at a better time,” McDaniel said. “Our corporate community is 100 percent committed to the social responsibility of how we can impact and make lives better. This gives us a real opportunity to take action to words, and Youth Villages has been a leader within the charitable organizations.”

“I’m honored that Execs in the Know chose to partner with Youth Villages for the Customer Response Summit,” Lawler said. “I’m excited about the opportunity to share the story of Youth Villages’ ground breaking work with youth aging out of foster care with leaders of some of the top companies in the country.”

Lawler founded Youth Villages in 1986 as a merger between two Memphis-area residential treatment facilities for youth, Memphis Boys Town and Dogwood Village. The organization now serves more than 22,000 children and families annually across 11 states and Washington, D.C., through a variety of programs including intensive in-home services, residential treatment, foster care, adoption, transitional living services for youth aging out of foster care, mentoring and specialized crisis services. For more information about Youth Villages, visit www.youthvillages.org.

For more information about the Customer Response Summit and the cost to attend the Summit in Memphis, please visit www.customerresponsesummit.com.

For over a decade, Execs In The Know has built a reputation of excellence in the customer experience industry and a worldwide community of over 40,000 customer experience professionals. They are recognized as a catalyst for driving critical thinking, knowledge sharing, training and networking for customer experience professionals and customer centric brands. The Customer Response Summit, Blog Talk Radio, Industry Benchmarking and blogs are a few of the ways that customer experience leaders take advantage of the knowledge and power in the Execs In The Know Community.

A Customer Service Serenade in the City of Blues

The post below was written by Ann Ruckstuhl and was originally posted on the LiveOps blog.

Customer Response Summit 2014

LiveOps has certainly been on the move lately! Last week, I had the opportunity to travel to the 10th annual Customer Response Summit in the heart of the “Blues City” – Memphis, Tennessee. While there, I found myself mingling with some of the most remarkable thought leaders in this industry, sharing experiences and advice on how to ensure a positive customer experience for the connected consumer – a topic that is very near and dear to my heart.

It is well known that our customers are and should be at the center of everything we do. During my time at the Customer Response Summit I was fortunate to moderate a session with Martin Hand, Chief Customer Officer at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Alistair Firmin, Vice President of Customer Service at The Standard and John Jordan, Chief Customer Officer at Total Wine & More where we share our collective experiences and insights. Here are the 3 key takeaways from our session that are universally applicable to any brand looking to create exceptional customer experiences.

(1) Move from Reactive to Proactive Customer Experience Management

Instead of “driving by looking through the rear view mirror” and using historic metrics such as NPS, CSAT and DSAT to measure customer experience, brands are increasingly using real-time customer interaction patterns to prevent bad experiences from happening in the first place. Just like real-time fraud detection, we now have the right technology to aggregate customer experience data such as web visit, contact center interaction, transactional and social media activity data so that brand can detect negative customer experience patterns such as shopping cart abandonment, unsuccessful self-service journey and sub-SLA customer service in real time. Coupled with real-time contextual routing, brands can now react immediately to these negative CX patterns by triggering the next-best-action, utilizing concierge live service agents to “save” the customer journey before it escalates into complaints or worse yet, customer churn.

(2) Customer Experience Management Is Everybody’s Job

This was one of the hot topics during our panel discussion. In order to deliver exceptional customer experiences, it is critical for the entire organization to have equal participation, transparent reporting, common performance measurements and shared incentives. According to McKinsey, the customer journey has evolved from linear to circular. Brands no longer win customers just once; rather, they need to win their loyalty at every single touch point across the entire customer journey. This includes sales, marketing, services and back office interactions.

(3) Apply the “Curly Rule” and Prioritize Your Customer Journey Bottlenecks

There will always be many customer journey bottlenecks to fix. Find that “one thing” that has the biggest impact to your business and start there. For example, Bolt Insurance conducts research to determine a buyer’s purchase journey online, in-office and over the phone. With this information, they are able to find out where shoppers start their information gathering process, where they seek help and where they eventually make their final purchase. This provides invaluable insight into key journey bottlenecks that cause drop-offs and dissatisfaction so that Bolt can fix them accordingly to increase sales conversion.

The one thing that we all agreed on is that agents are not appropriately armed to service today’s multichannel, mobile, social customers. In order to deliver exceptional customer experiences, brands should look within and start with their own contact center agents for BAX=BCX=BCTLV.

Are you ready to listen, detect and engage with your customers in real time?