5 Top Customer Service Articles For the Week of June 18, 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.

The Only Management Strategy You’ll Ever Need by Jeff Haden

(Inc.) Great leaders don’t need to struggle to motivate, inspire, and lead their employees. Here’s why.

My Comment: Jeff Haden has taken a well-known cliché and used it as a great management principle. If leadership follows this one simple principle, employees will be more fulfilled, motivated and excited to come to work.

Make your customer service actually serve your customers by Douglas Merrill

(Forbes) Customer service — and caring about your customers — has to live deeply within your culture. Every employee at your company needs to understand your view toward customer service. And that view of customer service should be that as many employees as possible can solve any customer problem.

My Comment: Great example of why people are willing to do what is necessary for the customer. Employees do what is necessary, even if it’s “not their department.” They recognize that customer service is everyone’s job. The simple reason, corporate culture, which starts by having the right people.

Why Loyalty Programs Can Be Bad for Business by Rafi Mohammed

(HBR) In my work with companies on pricing strategies, it’s common for executives to feel compelled to offer loyal customers something for free. My immediate question is: “Why?” Giving something away for free as a gesture of thanks has become almost reflexive in business. But when you examine the strategic value and underlying costs of these programs, I’ve found that loyalty discounts are rarely necessary to close a deal, nor are they always highly valued by customers.

My Comment: There have been many studies and surveys that indicate that just because you have a loyalty program; it doesn’t mean the customer is loyal. Many of the points and miles accumulated go unused. Many times the company never follows up, other than to sell something, with the new member of their loyalty program, other than at the time of signing up. This great article discusses the perks of the loyalty program. A lot of thought needs to go into deciding what the customer will appreciate, what will make the customer buy more, what will make the customer come back more often and more.

Is This Your Employees’ Idea of Service? by Chris Mittelstaedt

(Inc.) When an employee flipped off a key customer, this CEO realized his company had a culture problem. Here’s how he fixed it.

My Comment: Great article on the simplicity of building a customer focused culture. And, I love the story that started the process of building and communicating the culture. I hope the people who read this article don’t wait for a major customer service snafu, like the one described in the article, to put some of these ideas into action.

You Need Your Customer More Than Your Customers Need You by Harley Manning

(Forrester) Customers today have more choices than ever. Not only that, they have more information about those choices than ever. And they can get that information anytime, anywhere, and on whatever device they happen to be using at the moment. These changes have collectively put customers in the driver’s seat.

My Comment: Customers have choices, and thanks to the Internet and social media, they have access to learn about the choices they have and form opinions long before they ever decide to do business with you. Mr. Manning’s article is correct that the way to compete with a competitor is to create a better customer experience.

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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