5 Top Customer Service Articles For the Week of February 3, 2014

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Each week I read a number of customer service articles from various online resources. Here are my top five picks from last week. I have added my comment about each article and would like to hear what you think too.

 3 Tips for Employee Engagement and Passion by Chuck Reynolds

(The Growing Coach) The challenge of any organization today, and for the foreseeable future ‘talent crunch’ time, will be identifying, hiring, and keeping engaged talent who contribute to superior innovation, customer engagement and profit growth. In short, these three factors must be embedded in the culture to ensure success: 1) Hire Right, 2) Coach Well, and 3) Fire the Wrong Fit.

My Comment: People don’t do business with a company. They do business with the people who work in the company. (Even an online company’s website is designed for the customer by people.) Having the right people in the job, engaged and fulfilled, is the key to creating a customer focused company. Engaged employees are more motivated to take care of the customer. The three tips in this article can only help create a more engaged organization.

Social Media 101: Be nice to customers by Popcorn & Ice Cream

(Popcorn & Ice Cream Kernels) Small businesses are often quick to write off big businesses as out of touch and too big to avoid occasional poor judgment or bad behavior on social media.  We completely disagree.  Businesses large and small can do better.  While we adore Erin Condren Designs, we can sadly use its recent incident as a good reminder of some key benefits and drawbacks of social media.

My Comment: A great reminder that the customer’s voice is louder than ever before.  Used to be unhappy customers told an average of 8-12 people about the problem.  13% told more than 20.  How many more than 20?  Thanks to social media, they can tell hundreds, if not hundreds of thousands.  Take a look at the David Carroll video on YouTube, “United Breaks Guitars.”  He told millions.  The message to business: Take care of the customer.  They talk (loudly)!

Marketing 101: Make the Customer the Hero by Geoffrey James

(Inc) The most consistent mistake companies make in sales and marketing is to position their company or product as the hero of the story. If you want customers to buy, you must tell a story where the customer is the hero–not you.

My Comment: You can call this marketing. You can call it sales. I think it crosses over wonderfully into the customer experience world. More than making a customer like your product and want to buy more, make them feel as if using your product made a difference in their business, or even their life.

3 Ways to Solve Your Customers’ Problem the First Time by Laura Bassett

(Business2Community) If you don’t know what it’s like to be a customer of your own business, how can you really relate to customers when they have an issue? How can you create a truly differentiated customer experience? It’s a blind spot I see in businesses all the time.

My Comment: Whenever a customer contacts a business with a problem, the goal should be to get it taken care of quickly, which means “first call resolution.” Sometimes it’s more than a customer support representative managing the complaint. Sometimes it takes a system or proactive strategy for preventing a multiple call problem.

Teach staff the ABCs of customer service by BMD Editors

(Business Management Daily) Here is a primer to help your employees understand what it takes to not only hang on to customers, but leave them with a positive impression of your business.

My Comment: So many times customer service is common sense that unfortunately is not always so common. This list is full of common sense ideas that are not just good for customer service, but good for all business (and many personal) interactions.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Shep Hyken
Shep Hyken, CSP, CPAE is the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations. As a customer service speaker and expert, Shep works with companies who want to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees. He is a hall of fame speaker (National Speakers Association) and a New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling author.

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