5 Top Customer Service Articles

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For the Week of April 30, 2012

Each day I read a number of articles from various online resources. Someone suggested I compile a list of my favorites for the week. Great idea. So, here you are. And, I’ve included a short description and a comment about each article.

8 Things Great Bosses Demand from Employees by Geoffrey James

(Inc.) An extraordinary boss communicates his expectations clearly to his team. That way, everyone understands what it will take to make your company succeed. Here are the rules for keeping your boss happy.

My Comment: First thing I thought about after reading this article is how the boss is an internal customer. I’ll take this a step further and suggest that you practice these with all of the people you work with. They don’t have to be a boss. Just substitute the word “co-worker” or “team member” and they all work just as well. Finally, the last line of the article spot-on: These eight strategies may be about how you treat the boss, but they also work in reverse.

Over One in Two Consumers “Ditched” Purchase Due to Customer Service Issues by Brian O’Connell

(MainStreet) Businesses might want to tape the term “current economic conditions” to their wall, if not their foreheads. That’s because consumers, given their sagging financial conditions, aren’t inclined to buy unless they feel it’s necessary. And when they do, the buying experience better be good.

My Comment: Look at the new stats. This is a wake-up call for businesses to step up their service. Buck the trend by delivering an outstanding customer experience and you will set yourself apart from the competition and reap the benefits of customer loyalty.

Social Media Begs for Better Customer Service. Don’t Ignore It. by Amy McIlwain

(Financial Social Media) Social media has single-handedly granted more power to the consumer to be publicly vocal about their experience. But they’re not the only ones. You, as a business, also have the opportunity to listen, monitor, and address the words that are being said about your business. Whether you choose to seize that opportunity or not is up to; but regardless, people will and are voicing their experiences and opinions about your business online.

My Comment: I’m a big fan of lists, and this list provided by Amy Mcilwain is a great one on ways to use social media to enhance customer service. Thanks for a great article.

Turn Your Company into a Customer Platform by Bill Lee

(HBR) This new view and way of operating actually helps companies come closer to achieving the ideal of giving customers what they want, when, where and how they want it. Social media and the Internet, of course, are rapidly creating many of the tools to facilitate this. Let’s look at four key steps that organizations can take to move toward this ideal.

My Comment: Creating a community of customer evangelists is a powerful strategy. Listen and learn from them. Their feedback about your products and services is crucial to your success. Ask them how they are using your products. Let them be an extension of your R & D. Harley Davidson is a great example of this. The short version is that at one time sales were so low that they were headed out of business. They asked their customers what it would take for them to come back and buy their bikes. Customers told them and they listened. Today they are one of the strongest and most recognizable brands in the world.

5 Ways to Build Relevant Marketing Campaigns by Cynthia Clark

(1to1 Media) The need for personalized messages that give added value to customers was a common theme through the conference’s first day: Savvy marketers need to focus on the following five points in order to build great campaigns that are relevant to customers.

My Comment: As I read this article I can’t help but notice that four of the five strategies to building marketing campaigns have to do with relationship building. I included number 5, which was about data, but it was about using data to enhance the relationship the company has with its customer. Great marketing campaigns resonate with new customers and strengthen the relationship with existing customers. It’s not just about getting noticed by showing what you do. It has to go deeper with a hook to connect with the customer.

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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