TOP CUSTOMER SERVICE AND BUSINESS ARTICLES
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.
Employee Engagement Is More Important Than the Customer by Sam Bahreini
(Entrepreneur) Problems don’t begin with customers. They start with you and your employees. When customers expect a fantastic experience but receive a third-rate one, you can lose them forever.
My Comment: This article is exactly what I strongly believe in. Take care of employees and they will take care of customers! And if you aren’t sure about that, consider this: What’s happening on the inside of your organization will be felt on the outside by the customer. You can’t treat employees one way and expect them to treat the customer differently. It’s incongruent.
A Great Customer Experience Isn’t Something You Can Script by John Abraham
(Center for Services Leadership) While there is a good reason to set standards for customer experience delivery, this example raises an important question about the best approach to take. When customer experience standards become too rigid and scripted, interactions that should feel personal can lose their authenticity — leaving customers with an awkward feeling at best.
My Comment: Customer service scripts should be guidelines. They are great for training and help create parameters for employees to follow. Every customer is different, and their approach to you is different as well. So if you like the concept scripts, then use them to train employees – as examples of what works. Then empower them to put their personal touch on the interactions they have with your customers.
(Avalara) So what are the best ways to go beyond what your customers expect? A recent survey of online sellers uncovered ideas you can apply to your own business.
My Comment: The goal of any business should be to not just meet expectations, but exceed them. Great article that focuses on exactly that. And even though the emphasis is on the online business model, these concepts are just as valid in a traditional brick-and-mortar business. Connecting with the “human touch” is applicable to any and every business!
Why Customer Gratitude Trumps Loyalty by Mark Bonchek
(Harvard Business Review) So what can marketers do with their loyalty programs to earn greater trust, commitment and advocacy? The answer isn’t more sweepstakes, coupons, points, promotions or emails. It takes a rethinking of what loyalty really means in a digital age.
My Comment: This is one of the best customer loyalty articles I’ve read in a long time. I’ve always felt that for a customer to be loyal to a company, the company must also be loyal to the customer. More than mutual admiration, there is also mutual appreciation. A true sense of gratitude endears the customer to the company – and the company to the customer. Gratitude is an emotion, which can potentially lead to loyalty.
Follow These 10 Customer Service Influencers on Twitter Now by Stephanie Jones
(PATLive) Here are our top 10 favorite customer service influencers you should be following on Twitter.
My Comment: There are some great experts who post great content and share articles on Twittter. Our friends at PATLive put together a list of the top ten customer service influencers on Twitter (And honored to be on the list – Thank you PATLive!). Check out the list and follow some of the experts mentioned.
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