3

The Five Levers of Customer Experience

Serving customers is hard and, in many cases, thankless work. As an account manager or customer service professional, you are placed in a position to solve customer problems and fix issues caused by flaws in your company’s product or service that are beyond your control. You are often tasked with cleaning up the mess left by the salesperson who closed the account while that same salesperson is getting pats on the back or even bigger rewards for the sale. You receive little glory for your efforts. No one seems to notice when your customers are happy and your accounts stable, but when customers are upset or defect to competitors, you are the first one to catch hell.

As account managers and customer service professionals, you must deal with emotional, and often irrational, customers on a daily basis—customers who demand attention. You are called upon to deal with irate customers who yell, scream, and threaten. If this isn’t hard enough, you must protect your accounts from competitive encroachment; renew contracts; negotiate rates; and deal with policy wonks, Peter Principle executives, clueless engineers, and bureaucrats who have no idea what it is like to serve customers on the front line.

Today’s account managers are placed under unyielding pressure to perform. In the twenty-first-century business environment, there is little patience for account managers who lose customers and fail to grow their business base. It is no longer about what ...

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