5 Top Customer Service Articles For the Week of January 13, 2014

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TOP CUSTOMER SERVICE AND BUSINESS ARTICLES

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.

Creating An Intentional Culture That Engages Employees by Barbara Porter

(Forbes) As the empowered consumer comes of age, companies are focusing more effort on improving the customer experience. Yet despite this, recent studies show that customers remain unhappy with the majority of services provided.

My Comment: Before you can expect to have a customer-focused culture, you must first focus on your employees. As Barbara Porter from Ernst & Young points out, the development of the employee-focused culture must be intentional. Beyond defining it, it must be measured, just as you might measure customer satisfaction and other important metrics to your business.

Let Customers Have it Their Way by Sonny Singh

(Bank Systems & Technology) Following the lead of successful retailers should be the goal for financial services customer experience.

My Comment: Any customer of any business (retail, banks, B-2-B and B-2-C) has the right to “have it their way.” I remember the Burger King commercial from years ago. “Hold the pickles. Hold the lettuce. Special orders don’t upset us…” It was their “Have It Your Way” campaign. Every company should have a similar campaign.

Retail trends in customer experience for 2014 by Dr. Gary Edwards

(Retail Customer Experience) The feedback of individual customers is important. But for today’s retail brands, successful customer experiences aren’t limited to reacting to the comments and complaints of individual shoppers — they are about the aggregation of feedback from many different sources into actionable insights that target multiple dimensions of the customer experience. With that in mind, there are at least four trends that will help shape the retail customer experience in 2014.

My Comment: Even though this article focuses on retail, the trends cross over into the B-2-B world. Using Big Data, omni-channel feedback and more can be used by any business in any industry. It seems that customer experience is becoming an initiative for many companies. The key is that they don’t just talk about it. They do something about it.

7 Steps to Map and Drive the Customer Experience by David Clark

(Target Marketing) In this new world, where the customer is in control, brands must continuously enhance, optimize, enable and support the customer journey through an effective CXM strategy. The reality is the customer experience cannot be managed; it can only be enabled and enhanced because the “C” in CXM is now in control. That being said, there are sound CXM practices that brands can utilize to acquire, serve, retain and drive commitment from their customers. The following seven steps offer a framework for marketers before, during and after activities.

My Comment: This great article has several ideas worth considering. First and foremost, every company, if they haven’t done so, should do a customer journey map. I also like the idea of looking at what other companies (even competitors) are doing as “best practices.” If it is a competitor from your own industry, don’t copy. Adopt and give it a different spin to make it your own. Copying is just keeping up. That said, bringing in best practices from other industries (that your customers might appreciate) can give you a competitive advantage.

3 Key Benefits of Live Chat for Customer Service by Gianluca Ferranti

(Vivocha) Now, more than ever, businesses need to fully support the online customer experience and provide them with quality online support. In addition to phone, email, self-service, and video customer support channels, live chat is a great tool for online customer support that can lead to happier customers, increased conversions, and a reduction in service costs. But should your business use live chat for support? Here are three benefits to consider.

My Comment: While not all of us need “Live Chat” to support our customers, this article has some interesting stats and facts that every business needs to know regarding how customers are using online communication channels.

Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, professional speaker and New York Times bestselling business author. For information contact (314)692-2200 or www.hyken.com. For information on The Customer Focus™ customer service training programs go to http://www.thecustomerfocus.com. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken
(Copyright ©MMXIV, Shep Hyken)

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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