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.
Can awful airline customer service be overridden with AI and analytics? by Scott Kendrick
(tnooz) After the debacles that occurred within domestic air travel in 2017, it’s clear airlines need to look carefully at their customer service tactics.
My Comment: Many of us know what is like to deal with the airlines when there are weather delays, mechanical issues and cancelled flights. These problems can result in long waits in line or hold times on the phone. This article by Scott Kendrick of Callminer is about how the airlines are using (or should be using) AI to support their customers. Interesting ways that can be applied to other businesses, as well.
(IT ProPortal) Customer experience must be redefined for the digital age.
My Comment: Customers are more demanding than ever, especially when it comes to the customer experience. They know what good service is and expect it. This, according to the article, can put a company that’s not customer focused in a “fragile” position. Mismanage the customer’s experience and you may shatter the relationship and any hope for future business.
Why Paid Memberships Are the New Loyalty by Doug Stephens
(The Business of Fashion) What if businesses could turn transient loyalty into something deeper and more engaging?
My Comment: Here’s an interesting take on loyalty programs. Maybe they aren’t as effective as they could be, as the article points out that “retailers are spending mountains of money to retain the very customers they had the least chance of losing to begin with.” In other words, maybe the member of the loyalty program would still be loyal without the program.
(Information Age) Gartner has revealed that 25% of customer service operations will use virtual customer assistants by 2020.
My Comment: Gartner reveals that by 2020, 25% of customers support operations will be using virtual customer assistants (VCA) or chatbots on the channels that customers engage with companies. That is up from less than 2% just last year. That’s a big gain in three years! One major point this article mentions is that, at least in the near future, there will still need to be human interaction. Chatbots and AI can’t do everything… yet.
Millennials Are an Amazingly Patient Bunch by Zoya Gervis
(New York Post) Millennials are the most patient generation of all, according to surprising new research. A study examining the customer service experiences and expectations of 2,000 people found millennials are prepared to wait the longest times before getting agitated and are less likely to complain when things go awry.
My Comment: There are so many articles about the millennial generation. I’m intrigued by this one as Jive Communications released a study that indicates that millennials are the most patient and forgiving customers, backing that claim up with stats and facts on that topic – and many more.
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 www.thecustomerfocus.com. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken