5 Top Customer Service Articles For the Week of August 6, 2012


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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.

How to Hire Extraordinary Employees: 7 Rules by Geoffrey James

(Inc.) Want an amazing work force? Use these rules to define the talents and skills you need–then bring them in the door.

My Comment: Hiring the right employees is crucial to the success of a customer service focused company. Potential new-hires must have the skill as well as the right personality to do the job well. The seven rules in this article will help you hire that “extraordinary employee.”

What is customer service? by Lara Doyle

(Call Centre Focus) We can become so bogged down thinking about the nitty gritty of customer service – customer relationship management software, customer retention strategies, customer loyalty strategies, the customer lifecycle, etc, – that we can often lose sight of just what customer service is. Every now and then it is a good idea to take a step back, zone out the background noise, refocus and get back to basics.

My Comment: Great take on the history of customer service. It makes sense. And, as we moved into the 70’s, where great companies started to deliver personalized attention, service and a higher quality product, I had to find one of my favorite books by Tom Peters, “In Search of Excellence.” These companies were the front runners of what we call customer service.

The Chemistry Of Enthusiasm: How Engaged Employees Create Loyal Customers by Bain Insights

(Forbes) In a slow-growth economy, keeping the customers you already have can mean the difference between profit and loss. And as companies battle for loyal customers and return business, some have discovered a most effective weapon – highly engaged employees.

My Comment: After you read this article you will absolutely see how engaged employees impact customer loyalty. According to A Hay Group study mentioned in the article, companies with highly engaged workers grew revenues two and a half times as much as those with low engagement levels. Remember, what happens on the inside of a company is felt on the outside by the customers.

5 Easy Steps to Build Customer Loyalty by Jacquelyn B. Fletcher

(OPEN Forum) Replacements, Ltd., a Greensboro, N.C.–based supplier of old and new dinnerware that grew out of founder and CEO Bob Page’s attic, knows how to keep customers coming back. Over the last 30 years, their customer numbers grew from a handful of cards in a recipe box to a database of more than 10 million loyal customers.

My Comment: This excellent article about building customer loyalty has five “easy” steps. While easy to understand, execution is the key, and not always so easy, but well worth the effort. Pay close attention to number five. That is the one that most people don’t think about. Seek out the advice of your vendors. Partner with them to discover how you can better enhance your customer’s experience.

Is the Customer Always Right? by Mark Hillary

(Huffington Post) The customer is always right. So says the old expression relied on for years to indicate that when it comes to customer service, customer demands should always be met, no matter how unreasonable.

My Comment: There are several good messages in this short answer. First, the customer is not always right – in spite of how the old cliché goes. So, if they are not right, let them be wrong with dignity. Show them a little love, and even when things aren’t going well, they may reciprocate. At least they won’t complain to the world via social media. And, an interesting stat about how 55% of customers who felt wronged by their insurance company are more willing to commit fraud against that company. In other words, the scorned customer may try to get even. While this number may not apply to your business, I have to wonder if the concept is valid in other industries. When it comes down to it, remember that in confrontational situations you aren’t trying to win an argument.You’re trying to win 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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