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.
Twitter Lets Customers Skip Recordings, And Make Choices by Alex Schmidt
(NPR) Once used mostly for one-time promos and marketing, Twitter is now something businesses are relying on to provide customer service. For instance, Southwest Airlines tweets to alert folks about delays. And Best Buy responds to questions and complaints via Twitter. And they’re not alone.
My Comment: This is a great article that shows the value of using social media, especially Twitter, to help with customer service. While there are other ways to enhance customer service with social media, this is a good start to understanding the basics.
5% Better Customer Service = 50% Better Revenue by Peter Shankman
(shankman.com) We always talk about how negative actions can ripple through the content channels we all share at lightning speed – Well guess what – So can positive actions.
My Comment: I love to read great customer service stories. Peter Shankman shares this one about his favorite airline, United Airlines. (Nice that they are getting some good press.) His story makes a good point. No matter how good a company might be, one employee can erode the brand and reputation of the company. To a customer, as Shankman says, “One bad employee interaction and it becomes the company as a whole that doesn’t care, every single time.” I call this the awesome responsibility. At any given time, any employee can represent the brand, the reputation and all of the company’s employees.
Customer Service in a Wired World: It’s Personal by Geri Stengel
(Forbes) With social media, customer service has been redefined for both online and brick-and-mortar stores.
For e-commerce businesses — retail, professional or B2B — a website is only the beginning. Growth depends on visibility, “findability,” and adding value that entices customers to opt-in. That value is defined by information and community.
My Comment: Online customer service can be some of your best marketing, and this article has plenty of examples to prove it. Be it YouTube, Facebook and other social media channels, every business must embrace this new way of doing business.
Why Customer Experience Is The Only Thing That Matters by Harley Manning
(Fast Company) The only source of competitive advantage is the one that can survive technology-fueled disruption: an obsession with customer experience.
My Comment: Yes! The customer experience really is common sense.
Unfortunately, it’s not always so common. Customer experience is simple: Have a product or service that does what it’s supposed to do and be nice and helpful. Okay, that’s an oversimplification. Yet, it’s not that far off. People assume that what you sell them will work. What’s left is the way you deliver it; the customer experience. And, much of the customer experience is driven by people. People have to be nice, respectful, knowledgeable and helpful. Do that and you’re 90% there.
5 Ways to Take Customer Loyalty to the Next Level by Joanna Lord
(Entrepreneur) In this age of social connectivity, customer loyalty has become more valuable than ever. Consumers share stories of their interactions with businesses on social media, meaning that word-of-mouth marketing is especially valuable.
My Comment: If you want to improve customer loyalty, these five ideas may help you do so. Loyalty can be measured and it can be monetized. The sales and marketing departments may get customers in the door. Why not have a loyalty department that will keep them coming back through the door?
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 http://www.thecustomerfocus.com. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken
(Copyright ©MMXII, Shep Hyken)