Shep Hyken's Customer Service Blog

5 Top Customer Service Articles for the Week of August 7, 2017

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

Is The Customer Service “Department” Becoming Obsolete? by Mike Wittenstein

(TCFCR) Let’s face it, most Customer Service Departments were created, and still exist, to deal with a mismatch between customer expectations and what a business delivers. This mismatch can occur even when the organization does due diligence and thinks it knows what customers want.

My Comment: This is an interesting article with a provocative title: “Is the Customer Service Department Becoming Obsolete?” I highly doubt that the customer service department will ever be obsolete, but there is no doubt it is changing, for some of the reasons mentioned in this article (and more). The entire landscape of customer service and support is changing. My prediction is the big change won’t be about obsolescence, but importance. Customer service and experience are more important than ever, and that is a trend that will continue.

6 Lessons in Retail… from a Cheese Monger by John Boccuzzi

(LinkedIn) So the first question you might be asking is: what in the world is a cheese monger and what could they possibly teach me about retail, marketing and customer experience? Turns out: a lot.

My Comment: John Boccuzzi knows retail. In this short article he shares six lessons about customer service he learned from a cheese retailer. However, don’t think these lessons are limited to just retail. It’s all about service, the story, the way people feel when they interact with you and more. That’s applicable to any business in any industry.

How Brands Can Use Social Listening to Improve the Customer Experience by Smadar Landau
(Social Media Explorer) Social media listening is one of the most important b2b trends that businesses, especially the ecommerce space, has seen in recent years. The practice of monitoring the customer voice via social for complaints, praise and feedback is an incredibly effective tool for building on the customer experience and journey. An effective Social Listening strategy can provide a significant business advantage to an ecommerce or brick-and-mortar business, and build a great brand.

My Comment: This is a short, yet powerful article on another spin of the popular topic of social media. No doubt that social media is about interaction. However, the concept of listening is powerful. It is a way to gain insight from customers and an advantage over your competition.

Chatbots: Should you waste your time? Top Minds Chime in by Henry Foster

(Ignite My Company) Although chatbots have been around for a while, within the past year there’s been a surge in interest and usage. There have been more and more companies offering bot building services, website integrations, and developer tools.

My Comment: Chatbots are a hot topic. They are becoming more and more important in customer support and marketing. They are great for handling basic customer support functions, communicating with customers when a rep isn’t available and more. This particular article focuses on the Facebook Messenger chatbot and marketing. The author reached out to 14 experts to get their opinions.

4 Simple Yet Innovative Tips To Boost Customer Care (without sacrificing your tech budget!). by Neal Dlin

(LinkedIn) Here are 4 simple yet innovative tips that help change the way customer care operations are run and improve the customer experience for the better.

My Comment: This article is outstanding. Read it and if you are not already using the ideas shared in this article, the do so. I especially appreciate the first concept the author shares, which is to stop punishing honest customers for the crimes of a few – probably a very, very few. I also love his idea that employees are customers, too, and their journey should be mapped, just as you would a customer. Okay, there’s two out of the four. You’ll have to read the article to get the other two.

BONUS

Here’s a bonus. Not an article, but a video interview where Jeff Nicholson from Pegasystems was the host, and I was the guest. We talked about artificial intelligence and how many people don’t even know they have experienced AI. Jeff did a great job with the questions. Click here to watch the video.

Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, professional speaker and New York Times bestselling business author. For information contact 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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