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Top 5 Customer Service Articles For the Week of April 23, 2012

Each day I read a number of articles from various online resources such as “Inc.” “Forbes”, “Fast Company,” and many more. Someone suggested I compile a list of my favorites for the week.  Great idea.  So, here you are.  And I’ve included a short description and a comment about each article. Make Room for the […]

Each day I read a number of articles from various online resources such as “Inc.” “Forbes”, “Fast Company,” and many more. Someone suggested I compile a list of my favorites for the week.  Great idea.  So, here you are.  And I’ve included a short description and a comment about each article.

Make Room for the Chief Customer Officer by April Joyner

(INC.) The CCO has one key responsibility: to ensure that the customer is taken into consideration at all times, in all departments, and in all major decisions.

My Comment: Everyone talks about how important a focus on the customer is. It’s usually a function of delivering good customer service. It’s actually more. It takes a customer-focused culture, a strong training program and more. Bringing on a Chief Customer Officer to oversee all of that has to do with saying the customer is important. While still a new concept to many, it is becoming more and more popular as companies realize the value of a customer-focused organization.

Three Attributes Of Enormously Successful Companies by Marianne Bickle

(Forbes) The difference between a company that “breaks even” and is “enormously successful” is based on three important attributes: trust, consistency and loyalty.

My Comment: Trust, Consistency and Loyalty. Any company that doesn’t have all three of these attributes will never live up to their potential success. Trust is a given. It also speaks to integrity. Consistency is a confidence builder. Without confidence, you can’t have loyalty. Loyalty doesn’t just come from customers. It also comes from employees. Loyal employees are indicative of a positive corporate culture. What’s happening on the inside of a company is being felt on the outside by the customer.

Customer Service: 5 Rules for Handling Complaints by Ron Burley

(Inc.) Pay attention to these five principles and you customers–current and future–will learn that yours is a  company that listens, admits fault, and corrects mistakes.

My Comment: Great article. # 1 – Respond – is crucial. I might add one word so it reads: Respond quickly. When a customer feels the company is responding with a sense of urgency, confidence starts to come back. The goal just is not only to resolve a complaint or problem. It is to reestablish confidence.

Pharmacists offer prescription for better diabetes care by Mary Shedden

(TBO.com) A study of 5,100 diabetics in a Midwestern health insurance plan showed that when a pharmacist called about lapsed drug refills, hundreds improved adherence to daily medications. The study estimated the interventions saved about $600,000 in potential healthcare costs.

My Comment: This is a great example of the difference between being operations focused versus customer focused. On the surface, the job of a pharmacist may appear to be about dispensing prescriptions (operations focused). However, it is much more than that. It is also about the customer. Great article to make that point.

Great Product? That’s Just the Start by Vanessa Merit Nornberg

(Inc.) Relevance makes customers choose your company over a competitor, it generates customer satisfaction during their interaction with your company, and it keeps them bringing their business back to you time and again. Make your business relevant in three easy steps.

My Comment: This is all about creating value and differentiating yourself from the competition. And these three ideas are more about how you treat the customer than how much you spend to put together a process or system. The takeaways from this article are: 1) Offer to help provide a solution to your customer’s problem. 2) Be a source of information, which creates credibility and confidence. 3) The first sale is the beginning of the relationship. What happens afterward (the follow-up) will lead to the next one, and the one after that.

Shep Hyken is a customer service/CX expert, award-winning keynote speaker, and New York Times bestselling author. Learn more about Shep’s customer service and customer experience keynote speeches and his customer service training workshops at www.Hyken.com. Connect with Shep on LinkedIn.

(Copyright ©MMXII, Shep Hyken)

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