Shep Hyken\'s Customer Service Blog

5 Top Customer Service Articles for the Week of January 28, 2019

Each week I read a number of customer service and customer experience articles from various 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.

What Do Customers Really Think Of Your Brand? by Athina Mallis

(Which-50) Every marketer has heard a horror story where a brand went viral for horrible customer experience with social media enhancing the frequency of those stories twofold.

My Comment: Too often an organization’s leadership believes the experience and service they provide a customer is better than it actually is. This article has some interesting comments about which industries deliver the worst overall service. And, something I noticed… the technology space, which includes internet, cable and cellular, is no longer one of the top one or two worst service providers. (They are trying!)

The 14 Rules of History-Making Teams by Josh Linkner

(Josh Linkner)  Having studied high-performing cultures for over two decades, as well as building five companies of my own, I’ve discovered the 14 core beliefs of the highest performing teams.

My Comment: With the Super Bowl just around the corner, the title of the article by innovation expert Josh Linkner caught my eye. The 14 “rules” are actually some pretty darn good tips for delivering a better customer experience. Consider rule number one, which is “Play like you want to be remembered,” Not a bad strategy for any company that wants to win over their customers.

Adapting Service to Various Generations by Teresa Allen

(Allen Speaks) I was just talking with a representative of a local insurance agent who mentioned that the older clients love her.  Why?  Because they love the fact that she listens to them and takes time with them and will explain slowly any technology that they may not understand.

My Comment: One of the great concepts in customer service is the practice of adaptability. Traditionally, this has been about behavioral styles. You recognize certain behaviors from your customer, and you adapt and play to those behaviors. Today, you not only have to adapt to behaviors but also to generational differences. We all know that baby boomers are different than millennials but do we act accordingly? Teresa Allen has written a very nice article about adapting to generational styles. While an excellent concept for customers, it is also appropriate for the colleagues you work with.

Social media customer care best when humans and bots are at play by Tara Jones

(Retail Customer Experience) Here are five considerations for a mindfully sound social care strategy.

My Comment: It’s been a while since an article about the balance between human and digital (bot) customer support has been on this list. I liked the examples of how social media customer care is still playing a role in customer service and support, and how to properly use a bot or computerized response versus a human response. Used together, it is a powerful solution to getting customers the information they need quickly and their problems/complaints resolved efficiently.

My Comment: We end this week’s Top Five with not an article, but a short one minute video. It answers the question, “If customer service were a fruit, what fruit would it be, and why?” Get ready to smile!


The State of Bots in 2019: Successes and Failures by Astrid Monge

(Fonolo) According to Forrester, today’s “consumers have more tech at their disposal than ever before and it has fundamentally changed how they experience brands.”

My Comment: I like this article, not because it mentions my name in the first sentence, but for two other reasons. First, it continues the discussion from the fourth article on this week’s list about bots and human interactions. Second, because it links to Fonolo’s free report, “The Top Contact Center Trends to Watch in 2019.” Download it today!

Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, professional speaker and New York Times bestselling business author. For information on The Customer Focus™ customer service training programs go to Follow on Twitter: @Hyken


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