5 Top Customer Service Articles For the Week of December 24, 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.

Zappos’ 10-Hour Long Customer Service Call Sets Record

(Huffington Post) It appears Zappos has a unique definition of good customer service. The online shoe and apparel retailer broke its personal record for longest customer service phone call on December 8 with a conversation that lasted 10 hours and 29 minutes, spokesperson Diane Coffey stated in an email to The Huffington Post. Shockingly, Zappos doesn’t view the incident as bad news.

My Comment: Zappos.com is one of my favorite companies, and the story in this article is one of the many reasons. Okay, maybe a ten hour customer service call is extravagant, but I still love it for at least two reasons. The obvious is stated in the article in that “wowing” the customer is one of the Zappos.com core values. The other lesson comes in the story. This story has been written about numerous times in the last week, since it happened. It is now a customer service legend. I put it in the same category as the Nordstrom legendary story about the man who returned a set of tires to a Nordstrom store. These legendary stories help create define the culture of a business. We should all strive to create these types of legendary stories.

What Painting Houses Taught Me About Loyalty: A Primer In Three Lessons By Bryan Pearson

(Fast Company) Some pieces of wisdom hold true for any business. Three tips for long-lasting loyalty.

My Comment: It’s amazing the life lessons we learn when we’re younger in our summer jobs. And, this lesson comes from a can of paint! What a great metaphor for how to create loyal customers. There are no short cuts here. Don’t paint over the cracks, have a good base coat and use the right equipment. Great lesson!

Customer Loyalty: Is it a Behavior? Or an Attitude? by Don Peppers

(LinkedIn) What does it mean when we say that a customer is “loyal” to a brand? Does it mean they’re a repeat purchaser of the brand? Or does it simply mean they like it? In other words, are we talking about physical actions, or does “loyalty” refer to a state of mind?

My Comment: There is a big difference between loyal behavior and a loyal customer. Sometimes people appear to be loyal to a product, but in fact use the product because they have to. Given the opportunity to do business with another company, they would. Then there are people who truly love your product – and would be willing to recommend you to others. Perhaps we can label these two groups as users and evangelizers.

Listening to Customers & Employees During Times of Change by Annette Franz Gleneicki

(CX Journey) In the last few months, I’ve spoken to clients and prospects who recently went through, or are in the midst of, some very transitional times as a result of acquisitions and mergers. They’ve questioned whether they would continue collecting feedback from customers during these times for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to: concern for what customers will say about the organization.

My Comment: It’s always important to listen to your customers (and your employees), and especially during times of change. If you are being sold, merging with another company, changing management – virtually any type of change – this will be felt by the customer. Best to listen to what they are saying to ensure their experience is consistent, if not even better than they have had in the past.

How to Build Customer Loyalty in 2013 by Geoffrey James

(Inc) As we enter 2013, the business world remains in a state of uncertainty. Will the economy recover? Will new taxes be in place? Regardless of what happens, your key to success will lie in one thing: customer loyalty.

My Comment: How to build loyalty? Customers can buy from anyone. If you can become their “partner” and not just a “vendor” you have crossed over from a casual customer to a loyal customer. Partnership is loyalty on steroids. It’s when you think of your customers’ problems as your problems. It’s when you care more about your relationship than any short-term sale. It’s when, as this article clearly points out, you are more than just a vendor!

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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