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Keeping Customer Service Relevant to Self-Service and Proactive Service

Shep Hyken interviews Paul Selby of ServiceNow. They discuss the evolution of customer service and customer needs in a digital world, and how companies can employ self-service and proactive service to meet customer demands.

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The Interview with Paul Selby:

  • Self-service is all about empowering customers and giving them the ability to solve their own problems. This often allows resolutions to be reached faster, which makes the customers happy and eliminates extra work for customer support agents.
  • Most of today’s customer service is reactive instead of proactive. Proactive service is about being aware of your customer’s world anticipating problems, and solving them before the customer has a chance to contact you. The goal is to be so good that no one ever has to call customer service.
  • Even if the issues that arise are not your fault, you still need to provide your customers with access to you for support.
  • Despite some customers’ and companies’ preference for AI and chatbots, voice-to-voice (as in, human-to-human) interface remains the fastest and most frictionless way to provide that support. Technology is not yet at a place where it can include and convey empathy in its responses.
  • At the end of the day, customers drive every aspect of a business. Therefore, it is crucial that you focus on creating genuine, authentic connections with your customers.
  • Customer service is a part of and encompasses all other departments. Make sure you train and empower all employees to deliver the best experience possible.


“We’re always expecting more as human beings. Customer service will never go away; there will always be a need for it.” – Paul Selby

“Customer service is ground zero for making the customer experience better.” – Paul Selby

“Feedback is a huge opportunity for insight. Build your culture around that.” – Paul Selby


Paul Selby is a product marketing director for Customer Service Management at ServiceNow.

Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert, New York Times bestselling author, award-winning keynote speaker, and your host of Amazing Business Radio.

This episode of Amazing Business Radio with Shep Hyken answers the following questions … and more:

  1. What is proactive service?
  2. What is the difference between proactive service and self-service?
  3. How do I balance AI with human support?
  4. How do I create a customer-focused culture?
  5. How does customer service stay relevant and important (in the face of AI)?


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