5 Top Customer Service Articles For the Week of September 30, 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.

Is Yelp Turning You Into a Crappy Customer? by Gregory Ciotti

(Medium) In many ways, this is why many people don’t see customer service as a 2-way street—when we don the title of The Customer, we shoulder no responsibility in the outcome of our experience with a company. But is this what the interactive process of service is all about?

My Comment: Online review sites are becoming news lately. Fraudulent and ridiculous reviews take away from the credibility of these sites. More importantly, a false review can hurt a company. So, how does a company deal with it? The image in this article from a restaurant may be my favorite ways of dealing with a negative review. I think you’ll enjoy this article.

Surprising, Disturbing Facts From The Mother Of All Employee Engagement Surveys by Victor Lipman

(Forbes) I finally got around to spending quality time with Gallup’s “State of the American Workplace” survey, published earlier this year. As always, it was excellent but disturbing reading, a vast amount of data from more than 350,000 respondents over a three-year period, shedding fascinating high-level light on how Americans feel about their jobs.

My Comment: Employee engagement has been a hot topic for a few years (at least). This article shares some great stats from the Gallup survey, and summarizes it with a simple sentence that leadership should always consider when implementing an employee engagement program.

Imagining a Genuinely Trustable Airline by Don Peppers

(Peppers & Rogers Group) If you fly as much as I do, you already know that airlines aren’t very trustable in the eyes of most customers. Even before they lose your bag, there are all sorts of reasons not to trust an airline. If I were to design a trustable airline today, here are a few of the things I’d consider:

My Comment: There is a great book that was written for the hospital industry: “If Disney Ran Your Hospital.” I think most businesses would be interested to know how to run a business like Disney. How about if you ran your business like an airline? (Southwest and Jet Blue excluded.) How much would you expect to learn? Not much, unless it is Don Peppers fictional airline, Trustability Airways.

5 Words That Customers Absolutely Hate by Geoffrey James

(Inc) There are five words that every customer hates with a passion: “That is not my responsibility.” Regardless of whether you’re in sales, support, engineering, marketing or management, if you say those words to a customer, that customer knows that your firm doesn’t give a damn. And you’ve probably lost that customer, too. Here’s why.

My Comment: It may not be your fault, but it becomes your problem (to resolve). If you walk up to the front desk clerk at a hotel and inform him that the nightstand light in your room is burnt out, that person will most likely say, “Thank you for letting me know. I’ll take care of it.” At that point, I doubt you’ll see the clerk leave the front desk to rush to the guest’s room to change the bulb. No, he will probably call the maintenance department. That’s accountability, which is an invisible expectation that most customer’s want and expect of the people and places they do business with.

Richard Branson on Building Brand Loyalty by Richard Branson

(Entrepreneur) Q: How do you build a company culture based on customer service? — Entrepreneur reader

I have been thinking about that question quite a bit this past week, partly because of a recent New York Times article about one of our airlines, Virgin America, describing what some see as a tension between making profits and creating a company that people love.

My Comment: I’ve always believed (and wrote about this in my recent book) that if you focus on the customer, the profits will follow. That seems to be a big focus and strategy for Sir Richard Branson. His Virgin America airline continues to receive high ratings – some of the highest in the industry. Insight into why is good information for virtually any business.

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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