5 Top Customer Service Articles For the Week of September 3, 2012


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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.

Your Friends Close & Your Customers Closer by Karl Stark and Bill Stewart

(Inc) Letting customer relationships stagnate is dangerous for your long-term health. Here are three ways to let your customers know you care.

My Comment: Three great – and very simple – ideas to stay in touch with your customers. Sometimes simple is strong. Kind of like good things come in small packages.

Get Ready for the Loyalty Marketing Renaissance of 2013 by Adam Broitman

(AdAge) Though the substance of loyalty has not changed in the past 30 years, the tactics and technologies required to implement a loyalty program have been displaced — so much so that history may designate the years between 2012 through 2015 as a renaissance in customer loyalty. Here are a few guidelines to use when planning your customer loyalty programs for 2013.

My Comment: If you want your customers to be loyal to you, then show them a little loyalty first by follow these six steps. While the focus of this article seems to be about using new social technologies in customer service and loyalty, the list is really appropriate for anything related to building the loyal relationship with a customer.

OH BEEEHAAAVE! Winning the Talent War and Keeping Customers Extremely Happy by Julie Kantor

(Huffington Post) Austin Powers didn’t just make us laugh, he had a good point for America’s employers. We need to behave much more to increase employee and customer loyalty. We have to out-behave the competition!

Two data points have been buzzing around my brain lately on this topic. They are the metrics of customer service and employee satisfaction. I don’t think you can focus on customer service without an equal focus on the satisfaction levels of your team members. The nexus is straightforward: treat your employees like valued customers and your company and clients will WIN.

My Comment: Great article with several important messages. First, I love the idea of “out behaving ” the competition. And one of the article’s comments hit one of my favorite topics: What is happening on the inside of the company is being felt on the outside by a customer. For employees to behave in a way that takes the company up a notch over the competition, they must be happy and fulfilled. People don’t just work for a company, they work for the manager. Company’s figure out the people/employee side of the business before they can truly be successful with their customers.

Giving a Better Customer Experience Delivers $106,315 to the Bottom Line by Chris Travell

(Customer Think) This afternoon we released the findings of our 2012 Customer Experience Payback Study. With all the buzz around the importance of elevating the customer experience, one can’t help but think…is it worth it? The study answers that question.

My Comment: This is proof that loyalty rules! Every business needs to read this study, even if they aren’t in the automotive industry. While the numbers may not apply to other industries, the concepts surely do. Years ago Vanderbilt University did studies on typical front-line, retail focused businesses that indicated the satisfied customer is not a loyal customer. An average or satisfactory experience isn’t good enough. To create loyalty, the company must take it up to a very satisfied or completely satisfied rating – and the results are worth the effort.

Tweeting for customer service, not marketing by Mohana Ravindranath

(The Washington Post) Because of Twitter’s searchability, a business’s “dirty laundry” is very visible — but so is its ability to respond to angry as well as satisfied customers, said Daria Steigman, founder of D.C.-based consulting company Social Biz Smarts.

My Comment: The basics of using social media for customer service is simply to pay attention to what is being said about you. The quick and public response from Maids in Black, included an apology and their next step. It lets anyone watching the conversation know that they are reacting to and taking care of the problem. The next step for a company to take in social media is to be proactive and deliver value. Maybe this falls under marketing, but it makes senses to be actively engaged in the social media channels your customers are using.

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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