5 Top Customer Service Articles For the Week of May 21, 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.

When is Net Promoter the wrong customer loyalty question to ask? Guy Letts

For those not familiar, the Net Promoter model is a popular customer loyalty measure based on one simple question “How likely is it that you would recommend our company to a friend or colleague?”

It’s a good question, because the bar for ‘recommending’ is very high. I might say I’m ‘satisfied’ with a company, and willing personally to put up with their inconsistencies, but I will hold back from actually recommending anyone who I fear might one day reflect badly on me or my judgement.

My Comment: Great article. The Ultimate Question is about loyalty. It’s still one of the best questions to ask. And, I love the comment about when is the right time to ask the loyalty question. Too soon is like asking someone on a first date, “How much do you love me?” When it comes to customer feedback, the Ultimate Question may be one of the greatest questions to ask, but it’s not the only question.

How to Motivate Employees? The Best Answer Ever, Jeff Haden

Effective motivation comes down to one surprising word… which might be why so many leaders fail to do it right. Patience.

My Comment: I’ve studied many ways to motivate employees, and this if the first time I’ve read about the “patience strategy.” Making me think. I like it!

In One Adjective, Please Tell Me Who You Are, by Adam Bryant

This interview with Chris Barbin, chief executive of Appirio, an information technology company that focuses on cloud services, was conducted and condensed by Adam Bryant.

Q. What are some important leadership lessons you’ve learned?

A. I would start with transparency — it is a huge part of our culture, and what I think makes a company and team really thrive and work. You should never surprise an employee.

My Comment: Employee engagement and motivation are hot topics these days. I enjoyed reading Chris Barbin’s answers to some excellent questions posed by Adam Bryant. Hire for the right values, have some fun at work and make sure your employees fit the personality of the culture of the organization. And, I love the interview questions.

Customer Service Saboteurs to Avoid, by David Mielach

Restaurants, however, are not the only place where customer service sabotage occurs. In research, Anaya examined all the different types of shoppers who can have a negative impact on the shopping experiences of others. Anaya found seven types of saboteurs.

My Comment: This short article reminds me that some customers aren’t worth doing business with. The description of these customers are spot on. While I smiled as I read them, I also felt a little sad that these type of people can ruin an experience for others.

If Customers Are Right 80 Percent of the Time, What Do You Do the Other 20 Percent? by Stuart Wall

So how do you find a balance? The key is to listening closely, assessing whether or not a customer has a legitimate complaint, and then quickly doing damage control. Read on for tips on dealing with even the most challenging customer interactions.

My Comment: “The Customer is always right” is not very empowering. My spin is that the customer is not always right. (They really aren’t.) But, they are always the customer. So treat them with dignity and respect. And, practice the six tips in this excellent article.

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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