5 Top Customer Service Articles For the Week of November 26, 2012


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Top Customer Service and Business Articles

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.

How to Cultivate Truly Loyal Customers by Jeff Haden

(Inc) Every business wants loyal customers–but loyalty comes in many different flavors.

My Comment: Awesome article on defining customer loyalty. Short and to the point. A company can’t confuse bought loyalty, convenience loyalty and restricted loyalty with the ultimate form of loyalty, which is true loyalty. Example, some frequent fliers fly a particular airline because of the loyalty perks. Take those away and the loyalty vanishes almost instantly. I don’t think anyone would argue that “True Loyalty” is the ultimate prize. Is your company so good that it doesn’t need a “loyalty program” – or if you have one and you took it away, would your customers still be loyal? If you answered yes, then you have true loyalty!

Customer Experience: What Customers Want, What the Enterprise Must Do By Maria Ogneva

(CMSWire) Because what happens across these growing numbers of touchpoints is less and less predictable, businesses should shift the focus away from controlling the experience from the top down, to helping the entire ecosystem be better equipped to create and recreate these experiences over and over.

My Comment: The six ideas in this customer service/experience article mix the new and the old. From the new social channels to the basics, these strategies can be implemented by just about any company.

“Trustability” – Proactive Trustworthiness by Don Peppers

(Don Peppers) Here’s a 5-minute video in which Martha and I introduce the concept of “trustability,” which is the word we use when we’re talking about proactive trustworthiness.

My Comment: Love the concept of trust, and can’t wait to read the book. Trust needs to go beyond the relationship between the company and its customers. It needs to be obvious to the employees as well. Trust should be part of the internal culture and it will be felt on the outside by the customer. Beyond trust, that creates confidence, which also helps drive loyalty.

How to Criticize Employees: 6 Rules by Geoffrey James

(Inc) Even if you’re an experienced executive, it’s likely you often find it very difficult to tell other people where they need to improve. Praising a good performance is easy; everyone likes to receive a compliment. But what do you do when a kick in the butt seems more appropriate than a pat on the back? Here’s how to do this effectively.

My Comment: Criticize your employees the wrong way and you risk sending the wrong message to your employees. I once saw a tee-shirt with a saying: “The beating won’t stop until your morale gets better.” You can’t beat an employee up verbally and then expect them to go out and be nice to other employees, and most importantly, your customers. The six rules about how to criticize employees in this article will help you turn criticism into feedback, which is a gift, not a morale-buster.

Customer experience management technologies shape business strategies by Cameron Kittle

(TechTarget) CEM has emerged as a critical strategy for businesses today. A March report by Harris Interactive shows that 86% of consumers quit doing business with a company because of a bad experience—up from 59% four years ago.

My Comment: Would anyone ever believe that you could have so much fun with a Coke machine? Customer Experience is changing. It used to come from just great customer service, which was a customer interacting with an employee. Now customers interact with equipment, computers and more. Sure, customer service will always play a part in the customer experience, but today it is much more. CEM is becoming a popular acronym that will be showing up more often as companies begin to understand what the new customer experience looks like.

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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