5 Top Customer Service Articles For the Week of October 28, 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.

We’re On the Phone 6.5 Hours With Bad Customer Service by Brian O’Connell

(The Street) If time really is money, consumers are getting short-changed waiting for their customer service complaints to be rectified. U.S. adults spend, on average, 384 minutes every year waiting to fix a complaint, or about 6.5 hours — almost a full work day.

My Comment: I never thought about how much time the average customer spends on the phone dealing with complaints and other customer service issues. Time is a precious commodity, and if you “steal” it from a customer, you are showing a tremendous amount of disrespect. For all types of businesses, especially B-2-C, the statistics in this article should be a wake-up call.

The Not-So-Surprising Lessons From Top-Down Employee Engagement By Mark Babbitt

(SAP Business Innovation) The reality is engagement is nothing but a “top down” matter – and the best among us lead by example in this area known to affect morale, productivity, culture and profits.

My Comment: There is no doubt about the great benefits of having engaged employees. Everything from happier employees, lower turnover, and perhaps one of the best benefits, happier customers, are just some of the good that can come from an engaged workforce. This great article is about how engagement, like the culture of the company, starts at the top. Leaders just can’t say they want it. They must be the best example.

Do You Think Your Customers Think You Care? by Michael Hinshaw

(MCorpConsulting) “Customer Care.” In the eyes of most customers, this is a vastly misused (if not oxymoronic) phrase. Because every company talks about it… but so few actually deliver. This disconnect between what companies say they do and what they actually do is at the heart of customer experience – both good experiences, and bad.

My Comment: Theodore Roosevelt said, “No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.” It’s the same with customers. They must know you care, for them to begin to care about you – and doing business with you. If the company doesn’t care about their customers, and fulfill the brand promise (and the advertised promise), it’s just a matter of time before a customer finds somewhere else to do business with that cares more.

Want To Find Brand Ambassadors? Start With Your Employees by Branderati

(Branderati) The 2012 Edelman Trust Barometer, a trust and credibility survey that collects data from more than 30,000 people, found that regular rank-and-file company employees have more credibility than executives. While this might seem like bad news for companies – it should be considered a fantastic opportunity. By turning employees into trusted brand ambassadors, companies bring their strongest asset and their most vocal internal advocates in direct contact with their customer base.

My Comment: Most companies focus on converting their customers to brand ambassadors. As this fantastic article points out, start on the inside with your own people. Customers will get the positive vibe from the employees who should be the company’s strongest evangelists. And, while I’m mentioned in the article, don’t let that deter you. (HA!) There are some great quotes from other business leaders and some great thoughts to consider.

9 Companies That Offer Great Customer Service by John Egan

(The Sparefoot Blog) In the interest of celebrating excellent customer service, we’ve compiled a list of nine companies known for going the extra mile for the folks who use their products and services. (Keep in mind, though, that people do run into problems with even the cream of the customer service crop.) Here’s our list, in alphabetical order.

My Comment: This is a list of the who’s who of companies who know how to amaze their customers. But more important is that the author has given some insight to why they are great. There are a few nuggets to learn from in the “Bottom Line” notes on each of these companies. How many of these do you incorporate (or could incorporate) into your customer service strategy?

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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