5 Top Customer Service Articles For the Week of April 22, 2013


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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.

Getting On Board With Customer Experience by Jeb Dasteel

(Forbes) I recently had the chance to talk about customer focus with Jonathan Clarkson, Director of Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards loyalty program, and initially I was surprised by just how much Southwest Airlines and Oracle have in common from a customer experience perspective. I identified more than a few common themes.

My Comment: Great ideas on creating an excellent customer experience. It really does start on the inside with the employees. While I could comment on just about all of the points, I want to comment on the author’s concept on “overtraining.” I agree that in some businesses you can’t and shouldn’t have to train for every customer scenario. The bigger picture is to create a culture and communicate the general sense of the level of customer service you want to provide. Training will help all of this fall into place. Yet, the training needs to not be something you did, but something you do. It should be a process that always reminds and reinforces what the company is trying to achieve with its customers.

5 steps to becoming “unflusterable” by Micahel Hess

(MoneyWatch) In 20 years of travel, I’ve stayed in lots of hotels in lots of places, from negative-star hotels in rural China to ultra-luxe properties in the world’s biggest cities (the latter only if I got a steal, used points or someone else was picking up the tab… I travel cheap). I’d like to think I’ve seen the best and worst that the hospitality industry has to offer, and that nothing — good or bad — could faze me. So Imagine my surprise last month when a mid-range business hotel in New Jersey gave such jaw-droppingly great service that I practically had to walk outside to make sure I didn’t accidentally walk into the Four Seasons.

My Comment: What a great concept: Being “unflusterable.” Do your people ever become flustered or frustrated with a customer (or anyone for that matter)? Then read this article for some great tips on how to best deal with these sometimes difficult or demanding customers.

Customer Service: The New Proactive Marketing by Hulya Aksu

(Huffington Post) We should strive to listen and be present with our customers — these moments with them, whether hours or a few short minutes — will serve as the basis of every future experience. Remember that our customers are our biggest advocates and the largest source of referrals, which relates directly to profit. It makes sense to take the time, attention, and care needed to lay the groundwork for positive customer experiences and interactions — the first time and every time.

My Comment: Here are some great statistics that really make the case for the importance for delivering great customer service. Interesting that the original study was done in the late 1980’s, yet today the numbers are still very close to what they were 25 years later. Also, love the link to the article from “Return on Behavior Magazine.” Even though the 50 Facts about Customer Experience was written in 2011, the stats and facts are still relevant.

Jeff Bezos is a CX Dream Come True! by Annette Franz Gleneicki

(CX Journey) Last week, I wrote about Union Bank and their “Do Right” campaign. I love the campaign, but I was left with questions as to whether employees live it and customers experience it. One company who leaves me with no such questions is Amazon.

My Comment: Anytime Jeff Bezos has something to say, I listen. Great insights into the way Amazon puts the customer first.

Some Good News: Nice Guys CAN Finish First by Erika Andersen

(Forbes) I’ve long observed that companies that treat their employees well seem to have lots of advantages as a result: higher retention, better employee engagement, more resilience in tough times. I’ve always believed that there must also be a correlation between high employee engagement and good results: it just seemed obvious that when employees are treated with respect and helped to grow, they will feel and be more loyal and productive, and the company will do well.

My Comment: For the past few years I’ve been aware of the statistic that ties the best customer service companies to better stock performance. It makes total sense that the best companies to work for would have similar results, beating the S &P. This article makes an excellent point: Companies with a more engaged and fulfilled workforce have higher profits.

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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