Micah Solomon
Solomon is a customer service, hospitality and marketing speaker, strategist and acclaimed author of the new book, "High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service." wwwView Micah Solomon's profile on LinkedIn

The one word you need to know when it comes to holiday returns

The one word you need to know when it comes to holiday returns

What’s the right way to handle holiday returns? Cheerfully. Also (if you want a few more key words): Frictionlessly. Optimistically. With an eye on the future and on the big picture. Look, there’s no bigger buzzkill for a retailer than holiday returns. I’m not dumb.

Transforming your customers' necessary errands into something they want to do

Transforming your customers' necessary errands into something they want to do

In anticipation of a recent overseas retail banking event where I was keynote speaker, I had the pleasure of interviewing Umpqua Bank Regional VP Michele Livingston here in Seattle. Umpqua Bank is obsessed with turning branch banking from a necessary...

The one sentence you should never, ever speak in customer service

The one sentence you should never, ever speak in customer service

When a customer contacts you to complain about your service or product, or needs your help in addressing a service-related breakdown — what I refer to as “service recovery” — there’s almost nothing that matters more to your ultimate success...

Why Jerry Seinfeld is a customer service consultant

Why Jerry Seinfeld is a customer service consultant

"We're craving the nondigital even more these days, the authentically human interaction," says Jerry Seinfeld, explaining (I would argue) not just live standup comedy's appeal but the appeal of almost any great customer experience. "We need to see some schmuck...

Customer loyalty: Woody Allen vs. your local ATM

Customer loyalty: Woody Allen vs. your local ATM

In my years as a customer service consultant, I've yet to hear a customer blurt out anything that sounds like this: “I just love that gorgeous blue Citibank ATM at Prospect and 8th. I'd follow it anywhere–if that machine ever pulls up roots and moves across town, I'm going with it.” Of course not.

The retail customer experience: In banking, pharmacies and other locked-in-customer situations

The retail customer experience: In banking, pharmacies and other locked-in-customer situations

To discuss why the retail customer experience matters, even when your customers are locked into buying from you, we need to back up a step or two: When you’re a retailer, there are two possible commercial relationships you can have...

How to build an expert customer service problem resolution approach

How to build an expert customer service problem resolution approach

An expert approach to customer service requires a well-defined process for problem resolution. Let’s look at how to start setting up such a process. 1.

This is the most popular customer service question ever

This is the most popular customer service question ever

“How should I compensate a customer for a service or product failure?” This is one of the most common, popular, and emotionally fraught questions I encounter. The answer is: It depends.

How to apologize to customers without alienating employees

How to apologize to customers without alienating employees

In customer service, the key to an effective apology is to convey to the customer at the outset that you’re willing to take his side and share his viewpoint. And yet, when employees overhear a manager taking the customer’s side,...

Customer service will transform your business ... starting today

Customer service will transform your business ... starting today

Customer service–exceptional, consistent, customer-centered service–can transform your business more quickly than nearly any other advantage. Here's why. The primary threat to a business today is the perception by customers that all you offer is a replaceable, interchangeable commodity. This hazard...

Did you just spell your customer's name wrong?

Did you just spell your customer's name wrong?

"They spelled my name wrong again!" sings Loudon Wainwright III, the incomparable (if hard-to-spell) singer-songwriter. In business, many of our customers with hard-to-spell names can relate to Loudon’s frustration of seeing "my name up there in lights"… and then noticing...

Autonomy vs. standards: in business, customer service and the customer experience

Autonomy vs. standards: in business, customer service and the customer experience

As a business keynote speaker, I spend a lot of time speaking about the need for employee autonomy in customer service and business operations in general. And a lot of time talking about the need to set and maintain service...

Why build a great customer experience if you have no competition?

Why build a great customer experience if you have no competition?

What if you didn’t have any competition? Would the customer experience you create even matter–if, for example, you ran a government agency or were otherwise lucky enough to have an inherent monopoly? Would you–should you?–trouble yourself to maintain and improve...

The waiting is the hardest part (for your customers)

The waiting is the hardest part (for your customers)

Timeliness is a critical part of creating a successful customer experience. As a business keynote speaker, I'm often heard calling on company and conference audiences to remember the key principle of timeliness: A perfect product, delivered late, is a defective...

Like ketchup, but sweeter! The customer experience and customer taste

Like ketchup, but sweeter! The customer experience and customer taste

My son and I were eating barbecue together recently. The restaurant in question is one of those excruciatingly cheerful, homogenized theme restaurants.

A customer service solution (soul-ution, actually)

A customer service solution (soul-ution, actually)

When I boarded the commuter ferry on Saturday, it seemed unusually crowded. A crew member explained: "We have a capacity crowd — about 2,500 souls — aboard on this crossing." Think about that: Not passengers.

Retail 'channel surfing' and its implications for sales, customer service and team morale

Retail 'channel surfing' and its implications for sales, customer service and team morale

Never forget: Your customers are likely to use the different sales channels you offer in different ways. Some of your customers may buy exclusively over the web but visit your brick and mortar stores to see, feel, even sniff your products (or, I suppose, your personnel) before they go home to order.

Why Costco discounts postage stamps ... and why it matters

Why Costco discounts postage stamps ... and why it matters

A good equation for value is as follows: Value = Personal Benefit minus Cost and Inconvenience. But the "personal benefit" variable can easily override the cost factor for a significant sector of the market, at least up to a certain point.

You don't need to be a jerk to give bad customer service

You don't need to be a jerk to give bad customer service

Great customer service — what I call anticipatory customer service — requires more these days than simply not being a jerk and not hiring jerks. It means building your non-jerk attitude into systems, facilities, and processes. Traditionally, great customer service...

Why don't the old customer service ways work anymore?

Why don't the old customer service ways work anymore?

"Why don't the old ways work with customers anymore?" I hear this question frequently when I'm speaking at a business event or starting a new customer service consulting engagement. First off: In certain, important ways, the old ways do still work. Let me explain.

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