5 Top Customer Service Articles For the Week of December 10, 2012


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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.

5 Memorable Holiday Customer Service Stories by Gregory Ciotti

(Help Scout) Below are five examples of companies who know what it means to get into the holiday spirit, and stories of how each left a smile on their customer’s face after things went wrong.

My Comment: Just as we approach the holiday season, and all of the shopping that goes along with it, this article shares five great holiday time customer service stories, featuring some great companies. As much fun as these stories are to read, they also can teach us a thing or two about how to deliver amazing customer service. Happy Holidays!

The Future of Customer Support is Social, Mobile, Video and Insourced by Vala Afshar

(Huffington Post) Summary of fact: people are more mobile and social and spending more of their time connected that ever before. And yet so many businesses, notably in the B2B space, have customer service and support organizations that are not ready for the mobile, social, and hyper-connected era. To add to the dilemma, larger B2B organizations have decided to outsource their customer support offshore in order to reduce expenses. Guess what? The mobile and social revolution will be a big wakeup call for these businesses.

My Comment: The statistics in this article prove that social is becoming mainstream. You can’t deny it. It’s here and it is getting even bigger and more popular. The author makes the point toward the end of the article: “Clay Christensen famously said: “You may hate gravity, but gravity does not care.” Substitute the words mobile and social with gravity and the statement above is still valid. It’s not about technology anymore, it’s a lifestyle.

5 Surefire Ways to Piss Off Customers by Steve Tobak

(Inc) Frankly, there’s no excuse for these offenses. If you want to succeed in business, you should take notes.

My Comment: We usually learn the right thing to do in an article or blog post. Every once in a while it’s good to be reminded of what not to do. This article does just that.

What the best online businesses have in common by Michael Hess

(Money Watch) If you do business online and would like to know how your company’s customer service compares with the best of the best, there’s a unique testing firm that can tell you. Two-year-old StellaService (named after the Italian word for “Star”) is waking and shaking up the customer service world with a comprehensive, sophisticated testing and rating system that puts a high-tech spin on the classic “secret shopper” concept used by bricks and mortar retailers for years.

My Comment: While this article is focused on an online business, I believe that any business can implement these ideas. Business is business – online, offline, B-2-B or B-2-C, any industry – it doesn’t matter. This excellent article is making the point to: be accessible, respond quickly, deliver fast and guarantee your products or services (money back guarantee). That’s what drives a customer-centric business.

Build Social Media Into the Customer Experience by Martin Zwilling

(Forbes) Social media is here, and is the preferred mode of communication by a large segment of your customers, so make it a positive differentiator for your business. Don’t force them to use an automated phone response system, or a faceless unresponsive form. Customers are not all like you, and they have choices, so a “one size fits all” customer service is no longer a viable option.

My Comment: There is some great information in this article. Many of the customer service articles I read focus on social media – because that is the newest way (now several years old) of delivering service. It’s a mistake for companies to sit on the sideline. What probably frustrates companies is that just when they get comfortable with a social channel, a new one comes around. The customer will let you know how they want to communicate with you. It’s best to listen!

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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