5 Top Customer Service Articles For the Week of October 21, 2013

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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.

5 Takeaways from ‘The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon’ by StellaService

(Happy Customer) We found many good takeaways for businesses looking to learn from the customer-obsessed culture at Amazon.com — one that’s led the company to pulling in $75 billion in revenues this year. Here are the top five.

My Comment: Great commentary on an excerpt from the new book about Bezos and Amazon.com. Really love the fifth point about frugality, which states that Amazon.com tries not to spend money on things that don’t matter to the customer. Great article and looking forward to reading the new book: The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon – and I bet you can buy it on Amazon.com!

How to Lead Your Way to Customer Loyalty by Susan Baroncini-Moe

(thoughtLeaders) There’s no disputing that retaining customers is far more cost-effective to a business than recruiting new ones. But it’s getting harder and harder to develop customer loyalty. On the flip side, some companies seem to be able to get it right from the start. What does it take to create loyalty so strong that your customers keep coming back for more?

My Comment: If you want your customers to come back again and again, look at the inside of your organization first. This article points out three important strategies/tactics to get customers to come back. Isn’t it interesting that the first two are about employees and leadership. If you want to deliver a customer experience that creates loyalty, start on the inside of the company.

Why customer loyalty is declining and what companies can do about it by Steven Van Belleghem

(Conversation Management) Research shows that consumers are prepared to commit to up to five brands as long as they provide a clear added value. Consumers have an emotional attachment to these brands. As a result, loyalty to these brands is almost self-evident. In other words, there exists a certain brand paradox in the world today. People like specific brands while putting less trust in brands in general.

My Comment: This is an another excellent article on how to create customer loyalty. The five reasons listed for declining customer loyalty are spot on. Most businesses are caught in a commodity trap. They look the same as their competitor. Giving something away for free won’t work long term if the customer experience is missing. This article makes the case that customer loyalty is not all about marketing. Customer loyalty is creating an experience that makes the customer want to come back.

Loyalty Programs Don’t Drive Loyalty; Customer Experience Does by David Jacques

(Customer Input) Forrester published “The State of Loyalty Programs 2013”. I thought the new findings would provide a good occasion to share an updated comparison between loyalty programs and customer experience as drivers of customer loyalty.

My Comment: Some companies confuse a loyalty program with a marketing program. Giving someone a free sandwich after ten visits doesn’t make a customer loyal. (NOTE: The sandwich is just a metaphor for any perk a company gives away in exchange for frequent visits or use.) Give the customer an excellent experience every time and you won’t need to give away the free sandwich. Loyalty is an emotion that ties the company to the customer, and that comes from the way the customer is treated.

5 Rules For Being an Unforgettable Gift Giver by Tom Searcy

(Inc) The right gift can open doors and be the catalyst for great business relationships. Sales guru Tom Searcy spoke with a corporate-gifting expert to get his tips on giving unforgettable gifts.

My Comment: When it comes to the customer experience, showing gratitude and appreciation is so important. It can be a simple verbal thank you, an email, a phone call or thank you note. And, in some special cases, a special thank you gift as mentioned in this article. If you are going to thank someone in a big way, then read this article for the insights on how to make the most impact.

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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