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Permission to Speak – Leadership Blog – Kelly Vandever Interviews Steve Cohn about the Link between Customer Experience and Employee Engagement


Permission to Speak

Leadership Video Blog & Podcast

Hosted by Leadership Communications Expert Kelly Vandever

Permission to Speak is the video blog and podcast that loiters at the intersections of leaders who want their people to speak up, technology that facilitates connections, and results that serve an organization’s higher purpose.

Our guest for this episode:  Steve Cohn

About Steve Cohn:

Steve Cohn has helped thousands of companies, seminar participants and audience members create better and more successful relationships with customers, employees and each other during the past 18 years. He has shared his passion for great customer experiences as a seminar leader, speaker and consultant in 35 states, 12 countries, and Puerto Rico.  He’s worked with clients such as Mercedes-Benz, Mastercard, Kia, IBM, FedEx International, Key Bank, Mazda, Delta Air Lines, and many, many more.

Steve is the Director of Learning for Strativity, a global experience design and transformation firm and he is the author of the book, It’s Not Rocket Service.

Topics Discussed:

– It’s always about the other person… meaning… In sales, it’s all about the customer.  In customer experience, it’s all about the customer.  In management, it’s all about the employee.  In writing, it’s all about the reader.  In speaking, it’s all about the audience.  It’s always about the other person.

– Everything is about the other person and thinking outside yourself

– Strativity’s research on 29 different customer experience factors revealed that the top loyalty driver of customers is “employee’s pride and passion”

– Start asking people in the interview process to tell me about a time when you were serving a customer and you made them ecstatically happy.  Then watch their eyes to see how they talk about the experience.  Look for the passion.  You can’t teach that kind of passion.

– Find out your employee’s story first.  Then tell them your story.

– Re-interview your employees and get to know what they’re passionate about.  See if what they’re doing stimulates them.  If they’re in the wrong job, help them to find the job they would be happy in.

– You can’t pay someone to smile sincerely.

– If money is your driving factor, your customer knows that.  It comes through every pore in your body.

– Ask your employees why they do this job.  There are other jobs out there that pay the same money.  Why this job?

– Address the cynical voices in yourself and your staff

– Ask your people “What gets in the way?”

– If you don’t have a good relationship with your employees, use a consultant or a trusted member of the organization like HR or another manager, and have them ask your employees the question, “What gets in the way?”

– One of the mistakes managers make is not really listening when asking an employee “What gets in the way?”

– Employees don’t want excuses for why things are that way.  The want the obstacle removed.

– Managers think they’re coaching when they’re not coaching.  They just tell the employee what they think.  Versus, asking the employee what she does well and what her challenges are.  Coaching the focus should be on the employee, not you & your opinions.

– Leader’s biggest “ah-ha” is understanding that your team doesn’t need you.  If you leave for 2 weeks and everything runs smoothly without you, you’re doing a great job because you’re empowering your people to make decisions and they know enough about how you think that they’re able to decide for themselves and know where you stand on the issue.  You’ve shown them you respect them as people first, then as employees.

– It’s tough to do, but be willing to let people make mistakes.

– We spend a lot of time at work, you better love what you do

– Do the right thing for employees, do the right thing for customers, do the right thing for the  bottom line, do the right thing for society – and remember those things aren’t mutually exclusive.

– Employees and customers want to be good.

Questions Answered:

How can I improve customer service in my organization?

How can I get my employees to provide better customer service?

How can I improve the experience my customers have when they do business with me?

How can engaging employees improve customer service?

What are the best ways to improve customer service?

What questions should I ask to improve customer service?

What should I do to improve the customer experience?

What can I do as a leader to make things better for my clients?

How can we make our customers happier?

How do we get repeat customers?

How do we get loyal customers?

How do we create customer loyalty?

Books Recommended:

It’s Not Rocket Service  by Steve Cohn

Exceptionalize It! by Lior Arussy