5 Top Customer Service Articles For the Week of July 16 – 20, 2012


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Each week I read a number of 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.

Build Loyalty Like Apple: Define Your Enemy by Roger Dooley

(Forbes) Apple’s survival through challenging times of low market share and management mistakes is due in large part to the fact that it was never abandoned by its devoted user base. Multiple factors created this amazing loyalty – brilliant design, highly original products, intuitive user experience, creative marketing, and more. But there’s one element that gets mentioned less but was a key driver of the fanatical loyalty of many Apple owners: Apple created an enemy, the PC and its users, and built that enemy into much of its marketing.

My Comment: What an interesting idea; creating loyalty by defining your enemy. Apple has done a great job of dividing Mac and PC users. Loyalty is hard to achieve. It’s not just a rating. It’s an emotion. When you can engage a customer emotionally, you have the potential for loyalty.

Don’t let burning bridges fall on you by Michael Hess

(CBS MoneyWatch) Most business relationships don’t last forever; employees move on, customers come and go, suppliers are replaced. But what goes around does indeed come around, and paths can cross again, particularly within the same industry or in small communities. More than a few times, I’ve seen and experienced reminders of the importance of not burning bridges.

My Comment: Most companies focus on customer loyalty. The smart ones also focus on employee loyalty. This article takes it a step further by adding three more groups; suppliers, sales reps and even competitors. Another great article from Michael Hess.

5 Ways to Beat Mediocrity by Les McKeown

(Inc.) It’s easy to rest on success. But so often that can turn a great company into an average company.

My Comment: Companies that are mediocre have one foot in the grave. It won’t take much to sway a customer to leave a company that provides an average experience. Customers want more than that. And, while the examples in this article are about big goals and huge results, some of the very best companies are simply better than average – all of the time. It’s the consistency that makes them great.

Wake Up Wall Street: Report Ties Customer Metrics to Company Stock Prices by Elizabeth Glagowski

(Pepper & Rogers Group)We at Peppers & Rogers Group have always advocated that acting in the best interests of your customers is sound business strategy. Not only is it the right thing to do, it can positively impact a company’s bottom line. The point was proven yet again last week with the release of a report from the CFI Group that ties customer satisfaction scores to higher-than-average stock prices.

My Comment: This article proves that customer service doesn’t cost… It pays! Recent customer satisfaction data proves that publicly held companies that focused on customer satisfaction outperformed other companies that didn’t.

Defuse an Angry Customer by Geoffrey James

(Inc.) Use these six steps to cut through the drama so you can address your customer’s actual problem.

My Comment: This is a great list with specific steps to deal with angry customers. I might move number 5 (apologize for the problem) closer to the top. And, remember that you’re not trying to win an argument. You are 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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