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.
(Retail Customer Experience) As the new year arrives, it’s a great time to look ahead at what’s to come from those in the trenches. Retail customer experience gurus, leaders and experts shared their insight with Retail Customer Experience via email as 2017 ebbed to a close.
My Comment: The 2018 customer service and experience predictions continue to roll in. I’ve read dozens of articles (and written a few myself) about the trends and predictions for the new year. This particular article focuses on retail, but there is plenty of insight for B2B type businesses as well.
Ensuring A Positive Employee Experience by Brian Berns
(Forbes) After years of focusing on improving the customer experience, businesses are now turning attention inward as employee experience (often referred to as “EX”) moves toward the top of executive priority lists.
My Comment: Would you want your customers to visit an outdated website or experience old technology and systems when interacting with your company? Of course, not! So, why would you treat employees differently and let them use antiquated systems? Upgrade the experience for your employees and you upgrade the experience for your customers. (What’s happening inside your organization is felt on the outside by your customers!)
5 Strategies for Delivering a Seamless Customer Experience by ShaDrena Simon
(iQmetrix) A seamless omnichannel experience means that whether online or offline, your customer sees the same branding, structure, values, and tone. There are 5 tools and strategies that you can implement to provide ease and simplicity for your customers.
My Comment: This short article has five good ideas to consider. My favorite was the fifth strategy, which focuses on consistency. Many companies make the mistake of an inconsistent customer experience from one channel to the next, from one location to the next, and even one employee to the next. A lack of consistency destroys confidence, and that destroys sales.
Bots are about to get better at customer support than humans by Michael Sikorsky and Rita Gunther McGrath
(Wired UK) Thanks to machine learning, AI-enabled bots could gain a competitive advantage over human chat exchanges.
My Comment: While I wouldn’t call it a controversial topic, there is quite a debate about bots versus human. No doubt that bots are getting better at interacting with customers, especially simple interactions like changes of addresses or frequently asked questions. I like that this article emphasizes that companies that learn how to use AI-powered bots supported by human “escape hatches” will provide a better experience.
How Best to Empower Today’s Contact Center Agents by Don Berryman
(No Jitter) Optimizing the contact center requires a mix of properly skilled agents plus smart technology choices.
My Comment: The future is here! This week the CES show will take place in Las Vegas and LG (the people who make TV’s) is showcasing a robot that will interact with customers in retail stores, airports, hotels and more. This will impact business in a number of ways, including the workforce, as in replacing workers, and very important, the customer experience.
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