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.
Kick-Ass Customer Service by Matthew Dixon, Lara Ponomareff, Scott Turner, and Rick DeLisi
(Harvard Business Review) Think about the last time you flew. When you checked in, did you use a self-service option—like the airline’s website, app, or airport kiosk—to check your bags, choose your seat, and print out your boarding pass? Or did you instead wait in line at the airport to speak with a human being? If you’re like most people, you used the self-service option. Indeed, our data show an overwhelming preference for self-service: Across industries, fully 81% of all customers attempt to take care of matters themselves before reaching out to a live representative
My Comment: This article had me a the title: “Kick Ass Customer Service.” And, then I was surprised that the article started off with the concept of Self-Service. Can you really have “Kick-Ass” customer service with self-service customer service? The answer is a resounding YES! The authors start with a compelling stat that “across all industries fully 81% of all customers attempt to take matters themselves before reaching out to a live representative.” They also share some excellent information about seven different types of customer service reps – and much more.
How AI and Messaging by Mikhail Naumov and Davy Kestens
(VentureBeat) The past few months were full of exciting announcements regarding: artificial intelligence and mobile messaging. Both had made significant leaps in progress, and together will make a very exciting year ahead for businesses.
My Comment: What’s even better than getting your customers’ email addresses? Getting their mobile phone numbers, which gives you the ability to message them with a much higher “open” rate (for lack of a better term). And, what can make that message even better? When AI (artificial intelligence) kicks in and delivers personalized and relevant messages to the customers – the kind they want and when they want them. This article presents a perspective on what happens when AI meets messaging. Very cool information, and we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this concept.
Customer Feedback: How To Ask For And Implement It by Lauren Dowdle
(Fieldbloom) Running a small business can seem like a never-ending guessing game, especially when it comes to figuring out what your clients are thinking. You’re an entrepreneur, not a mind reader.
My Comment: Customer feedback, both good and bad, is a gift. Relish it, embrace it, and most important, make an effort to get it. This excellent article has a number of ideas that will help you create a better system for getting feedback as well as doing something with it once you have it.
(Salesforce) Every year, companies must put customers first, and this year was no exception. Here are a few lessons from 2016 to help you prepare and improve your customer service on Twitter for 2017.
My Comment: Social media customer care is something that too many companies ignore – or don’t pay close enough attention to. When a customer posts a message on any social channel, the company must respond. This excellent article from Salesforce has three important customer service tips on Twitter. However, any of this will work on most social channels.
(Brian Solis) Last year, I spent time with Mark Johnson, CEO and CMO of Loyalty360, to discuss all things Customer Experience (CX). The conversation was so rich, it resulted into a two-part series exclusively for the Loyalty360 community. Now however, I’ve been given the green light to share the conversation (parts 1 and 2) with you here.
My Comment: I’m a big Brian Solis fan, so when he shares his wisdom, I listen and take notes. Loyalty360 interviewed Brian about his thoughts and insights regarding customer experience. This is Part One of a two part article, and I’m very much looking forward to Part Two.
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