5 Top Customer Service Articles For the Week of June 25, 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.

3 Great Things Starbucks Taught Me by Damian Bazadona

(Inc.) I used to hate dropping cash at the coffee giant. Now I love it. Here’s what the retail star has taught my company.

My Comment: Great article about takeaways that we can learn from Starbucks. No matter what size or type of business, all of these ideas are worth considering.

A Healthy Obsession by Chris Brogan

(Chris Brogan) I believe there’s one obsession all companies should breed in every employee: an obsession with the customer experience. This isn’t window dressing. This isn’t “nice to have.” To me, it should be fundamental. Why? Because everything flows from that experience. How many opportunities are being missed simply by not looking bravely and honestly at how your customer flows through your process?

My Comment: Service is defiantly a healthy obsession. I love the use of the word friction to describe what keeps companies from having a great customer service experience. Isn’t it nice to have interactions with companies that are frictionless? Think of a time when you took a flight and there was absolutely no friction; short lines at TSA, flight was on time, airline personnel were nice, etc. No friction doesn’t guarantee great service, but it sure can’t hurt.

Complexity Kills: Keeping Customer Service Simple by Anne Morriss and Frances Frei

(Forbes) We did a systematic study of service businesses as we researched our book Uncommon Service and found two important HR trends. The first is that the average employee is drowning in complexity. The second is that the outstanding employee, the one who has a chance of keeping up, is a much scarcer resource than many managers are willing to acknowledge.

My Comment: KISS – Keep it super simple! Customers don’t like complication. They like simple and easy. It helps builds their confidence. And, I highly recommend the book by the authors of this article, “Uncommon Service.”

Twenty-Nine Years Later, Here’s What I Know About Customer Service by Tim Hockey

(Huffington Post Canada) Despite all the customer service trends and fads over the years, in my experience there’s one lesson that’s rung most true: At the end of the day, people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. (Yes, believe it or not, there are bankers who care.) To create a culture where customer service guides business decisions, actually caring about customer service has to be the point of entry.

My Comment: This article should be read by every leader in any business. Mr. Hockey (Love that name!) says it perfectly: “As with any strategic priority in business, if customer service isn’t championed from the top, it’s going nowhere. The CEO must be the chief customer service officer, and every business decision must run through a filter where the customer experience is top of mind.” It all starts at the top!

How to Get the Online Customer Service You Want by Neha Prakash

(Mashable) Online shoppers are fed up with the customer service they’re receiving. STELLAService, in a study of 25 companies, found that 46% of the time customer service questions were being answered incompletely or insufficiently. Leiser provides these tips in getting great customer service online.

My Comment: The online customer service experience is a reflection of the in-person (or over-the-phone) experience. Companies must realize this as they design their website for the optimum customer experience. That said, if the customer wants to receive a great customer service experience via a company’s website, there is a certain method or protocol to follow. The list of seven tips on getting great customer service online are spot on.

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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