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5 Top Customer Service Articles For the Week of February 16, 2015


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.

Customer Experience Is the Brand Differentiator by Jim Tierney

(Loyalty 360) Customer experience is such a massively important focus now for brands because they know it can be the most crucial differentiating factor in their collective goal of brand loyalty.

My Comment: Customer service can be your brand differentiator, and it seems that a large percentage of retailers (but true in just about any industry) agree with that statement. What’s important to remember is that regardless of how hard you promote that brand, it will be your customer’s decision as to whether or not you delivered on the brand promise.

Want Better Customer Reviews? Be A Better Company by Ben Schiller

(Fast Company) Customers will tolerate being screwed over by a company much more calmly if that company gives a slice of its profits to good causes.

My Comment: Interesting article on how socially conscious companies get a little leeway from their customers when it comes to delivering a less than stellar customer service experience. Now imagine if the company provided great service and was socially conscious – now that’s a combination! (Think Whole Foods and Richard Branson’s Virgin Unite.)

How Ace Hardware Turned Corner Stores Into A $4.7 Billion Co-Op by Claire O’Conner

(Forbes) The reason for success, explains Ace CEO John Venhuizen, a charismatic 44-year-old who speaks with the fervor of a preacher, is store owners like the Melnicks: entrepreneurs with a deep knowledge of their local market, inventory fine-tuned to a neighborhood’s demographic and the sort of exacting customer service a typical big-box store with low pay and high employee turnover just can’t match.

My Comment: Outstanding article on Ace Hardware, who is one of my favorite customer service role models. Their business model is focused on delivering value to their customers, primarily in the “helpful” customer service that they provide. That’s been their not-so-secret weapon. They have some of the most knowledgeable, friendly and helpful people on the planet working at their stores.

Customer frustrations and how to avoid them by Olga Kołodyńska

(LiveChat) We are all customers. And we all get angry with similar things, mostly with bad customer service. However, for some reason, we rarely draw any conclusion from it.

My Comment: This article points out more frustrations and mistakes that companies make in their customer service delivery. While we may have read or heard much of this before, my favorite part of the article is the third paragraph, which states: “Whenever you feel displeasure, disappointment or even anger using another company’s service ask yourself: could my customer feel the same while using my service?” Great question!

The Biggest Customer Service Mistakes You Can’t Afford To Make As a SaaS Startup by Sujan Patel

(Forbes) In today’s highly competitive SaaS business environment, showing customers you care is vital. If you don’t do it, someone else will – and they’ll take your business with them. In the worst cases, you’ll have a customer who is upset enough to not only leave, but draw thousands of others away from you as well by airing their grievance on social media.

My Comment: Common sense would make you think that many of the mistakes mentioned in this article shouldn’t happen. But they do. Great reminders of the customer service mistakes to avoid.

Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, professional speaker and New York Times bestselling business author. For information contact (314)692-2200 or www.hyken.com. For information on The Customer Focus™ customer service training programs go to www.thecustomerfocus.com. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken


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