5 Top Customer Service Articles For the Week of November 11, 2013


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Each week I read a number of customer service 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.

Can You Improve Customer Service By Empowering Your Team? by Alistair Niederer

(Huffington Post) Your business has clear ideas about how it should present itself to the outside world. This leads to rules and guidelines about how employees should communicate with customers and others on the outside. But when those rules become so rigid that they appear to prevent the employee from helping a customer in need then you will find that what is really needed is balance.

My Comment: This is a powerful article and the author makes a great point about the idea of rules and guidelines. I’ve always thought rules derail an employee trying to deliver a great customer experience. I’ve felt the word “guidelines” was a better choice of words, as it gives some latitude to the employee who wants to take initiative to help a customer. This article perfectly sums it up:

“Instead of creating mountains of guidelines, companies like Ritz Carlton define standards, the standards they expect their employees to reach. Then the employees are cut loose and allowed to help customers however needed – so long as the standards are maintained there is no need for formal guidelines on every single problem that might occur.”

Love this!

Top 4 Customer Service Tips Inspired by Danny Meyer by Natasha Wyatt

(Sparkcentral) In Danny Meyer’s book “Setting the Table,” he tells the story of how he became one of the world’s most famous restaurateurs. One reason Union Square Hospitality has churned out exceptionally recognizable restaurants is its relentless quest – and dedication – to serving the customers.

Danny’s hospitality philosophy can be applied and transferred to serving customers over social media as well. Let’s take a look at some of his tips.

My Comment: Danny Meyer is one of the people everyone should pay attention to when he talks about taking care of customers. This is a great article with four excellent lessons about delivering an excellent customer service experience.

Customer Service Quotes by Desk.com

(Desk.com) Some of the most successful businesses have one thing in common — great customer service. Unlike differentiators of quality, innovation or price, great customer service is a differentiator that can’t be bought; it’s a competitive advantage that can only be earned.

To keep things in perspective, here is a collection of the best, most inspirational customer service quotes.

My Comment: If you want to be inspired – or want your fellow employees to be inspired – then check out this Slideshare presentation with 50 great customer service quotes. Find the ones you like, print them out and hang them on your walls, put them in your newsletters, etc.

How Great Customer Service Leads to Great Customer Loyalty by Denyse Drummond-Dunn

(Business2Community) The number one challenge faced by marketers today is reaching their customers, which may come as a surprise in this multi-channel, always on, environment we live in. However, once you have reached them and convinced them to buy, you still have the, perhaps even tougher, challenge of keeping them. With so much on offer and the desire for novelty constantly growing, customer loyalty is declining. In fact, according to Bain & Co and Kantar Worldpanel UK Shopper Survey 2012 50 per cent of a brand’s ‘loyal’ users today will not be with them one year from now.

My Comment: Here is a simple list of three things that will help you connect with the customer and give a better experience. Sometimes it’s the simple ideas that make the most sense, which is why I’ve always believed that so much of customer service is common sense – that unfortunately is not always so common.

Create True Customer Loyalty: 10 Rules by Geoffrey James

(Inc) Customer loyalty comes from having a strong relationship with your customers. When they see you as a friend and ally, they’re reluctant to jump ship, even if it means they can get something a little cheaper.

My Comment: This is a great list of ten customer loyalty strategies and tactics. I especially like the first one that is about focusing on the relationship first. If you are more interested in taking care of the customer than making the sale, the sale will eventually come.

I also like number six, which is about the willingness to recommend a competitor. If the customer will be better served by recommending a competitor, then that is the right thing to do – which ties into number one, just mentioned above.

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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