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McKinsey’s John DeVine, Shyam Lal, and Michael Zea write that businesses ought to focus on the human side of customer service to make it psychologically savvy, economically sound, and easier to scale.

“Some organizations are making strides in the design and delivery of services. By focusing more thoughtfully on the human side of customer service, these companies are lowering costs by 10 percent or more while improving customer satisfaction scores by up to 30 percent. In this article, we’ll look at three such companies—a provider of cable-TV and Internet services, a technology company serving small and midsize businesses, and a car rental company. From their experiences, we’ve distilled three interrelated questions that CEOs and other senior executives should ask themselves before they introduce new services or conduct a reality check on the health of existing ones. Taken together, the questions can help spur productive conversations among top-team members, raising the odds that a company’s services will be both efficient and effective.”

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