5 Top Customer Service Articles For the Week of May 14, 2012


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Each day I read a number of articles from various online resources. Someone suggested I compile a list of my favorites for the week. Great idea. So, here you are. And, I’ve included a short description and a comment about each article.

Are Your Employees Waving Away Customers? by Janine Popick

(Inc) As a business owner, you go above and beyond to keep customers happy. But your employees might not feel the same. How do you make sure your employees aren’t waving off customers and potential sales? Here are four ideas.

My comment: Great article on creating a customer focused culture. The first step to avoiding the problem of an employee “waiving away customers” is to hire the right people, with the right attitude, in the first place. The idea of an ownership mentality is powerful. In my work with clients trying to create a customer focused culture we play a game: What would ____ do? (Fill in the blank with the CEO’s name.) The idea is to get employees into an ownership and leadership mentality.

Fostering a Strong Company Culture by Alexandra Levit

(OpenForum) In the 1990s, Harvard Business School researchers James Heskett and John Kotter examined the corporate cultures of 200 companies. They assessed how each company’s culture affected its long-term economic performance.

They found that strong corporate cultures that facilitated adaptation to a changing world were associated with better financial results—up to 900 percent appreciation in equity value.

However, building a great culture can be daunting, especially if you haven’t given much thought to it. Here are five steps to make the process a little easier.

My Comment: Company culture is a hot topic. Greg Smith, formerly with Goldman Sachs in New York, helped bring the importance of culture to light. He left because the culture changed. Good for him. This article lists five steps to building a culture that we would like our employees to buy into.

How to Build Customer Trust: 9 Rules by Geoffrey James

(Inc) Fortunately, it’s easy to build trust in a business relationship. Here are the rules, based on a conversation with a true expert in trust-building Jerry Acuff, author of The Relationship Edge: The Key to Strategic Influence and Selling Success.

My Comment: There is an old cliché that people want to do business with people they know, they like and they trust. All of the strategies in this article will help you create trust with your customers. Trust comes from creating confidence. Without confidence, there will not be customer loyalty.

Building a business culture to deliver the best customer service by Cheryl Hanna

(Service Untitled) Deciding on what a business wants to accomplish is part of its core values and related to its overall culture. Customer service should be one of the top priorities, and the commitment to pleasing customers and delivering “out of the box” services should never be discouraged. When building a culture all employees need to participate, all levels of management needs to encourage and inspire, and business owners need to place themselves as role models to encourage the process.

My Comment: This is a great article with a number of good ideas on building a customer centric culture. Start by hiring (and keeping) the best people you can. They have to not only have the right attitude, but also the skills and the personality that fits into the culture.

3 Ways to Annoy Your Customers (Plus: 3 Better Tactics) by Geoffrey James

(Inc.) Here are the most common ways sellers make themselves into nuisances–plus a few thoughts about better ways to work with customers.

My Comment: First of all, I read this second article by Geoffrey James and felt it also belonged on the list. Geoffrey James has given us another list, this time about strategies to avoid using on customers. Typically, companies focus on what works, but it may be just as important to know what doesn’t work.

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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