Inside Access

Customer Service
Customer Service

Service on Call

"All we have is service as a differentiator." So says Nancy Tichbon, head of customer experience at Virgin Mobile
Canada. And since that is the case, she said during a presentation at Call Center Week, the company puts
customer experience at the center of its business -- and measures success based in part on customer expectations.
"When was the last time you asked the customer how they want their call handled and put that on the quality scorecard?" she asked attendees. "The industry is measuring things that are too easy, like greetings, using the customer's name, using the company name."

Tichbon suggested that companies start treating customers the way they want to be treated. But, she cautions, before
organizations can do that well, they need to create employee engagement. She offered six musts for developing an engaged workforce:

Recruit the right people -- Ask more than the usual questions; ask questions that show how well a candidate
will fit into the culture and adopt its values.

Provide job understanding -- Set worthwhile goals that support company objectives and make employees feel valued.

Use values as guideposts -- Values should guide all plans, decisions, and actions.

Be inspirational -- Leaders who walk the walk make a far bigger impact that those who only talk the talk.

Offer praise -- Catch employees doing things right and cheer their progress, not just their

Build the culture -- A "fantastic" internal culture will help attract and retain top talent.

-- Ginger Conlon


Challenges Rise With Emerging Communication Channels

A recent survey of 47 European marketing executives shows a growing focus on relevance and timeliness of customer
communications. The study, sponsored by Unica, found that 70 percent of respondents want to improve message relevance, and 68 percent want to improve timelines. Cross-channel communication, which was seen by 65 percent of respondents as a significant challenge in terms of synchronization, also is expected to experience dramatic growth in the next two years.

These challenges will only become more complex as channels expand. Respondents now run marketing campaigns across an
average of five channels, including direct mail, email, telemarketing call centers, the Internet, and local sales
operations. All of those surveyed plan to adopt SMS (short messaging service) or MMS (multimedia messaging service)
text messaging as part of their marketing strategy within next two years. They also plan to make email, Internet,
and inbound call centers the priorities in the near future.

-- Elizabeth Glagowski



Re: Peppers and Rogers Predict Trends for 2008

Issue Date: January 7, 2008

We asked, "What trends will influence your customer strategy in 2008?"

1. This year, relationship marketing will travel en masse into the strategic business suite, the place it
truly deserves.

2. It'll be a year of organic growth. It will freely build on the existing level of customer relationships and offer
businesses a technology and performance management vector.

3. Marketing measurement will get along the P&L pack, with the focus on loyalty, organic growth rate and
incremental revenue.

4. The Internet factor will keep leveling the set. The online voice of customer will be louder and more influential than ever as well as their Web involvement. It'll call for another reshuffle in the media set with Internet attracting more advertising money and channel appeal.

Andy Lorin

Sr. Marketing Analyst


Toronto, Canada

*Letters may be edited for space or clarity.