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.
Geolocation: How Businesses Are Improving Customer Experience and Engagement by Robert Szyngiel
My Comment: As I pull up to the store, my phone vibrates with a special offer, just for me. Is it a coincidence this happened? No. It’s called geolocation, and businesses are using it to give their customers personalized offers. Very cool technology that’s starting to catch on.
Why reducing customer friction is the new customer loyalty by Jeremy Goldman
(TNW) The marketplaces that are winning loyalty from today’s consumers are doing it by focusing on reducing customer friction points.
My Comment: I was very excited to read this article, as it focuses on reducing friction, which is exactly what my upcoming book, The Convenience Revolution, is all about. Reducing friction is about customer convenience. If you aren’t thinking about how to give your customers a more convenient experience, you’re missing an opportunity to potentially disrupt your competitor – or maybe even an entire industry!
As a bank fires its robot, will the robots fight back? by Chris Skinner
(Thefinanser) If you didn’t catch the big news of yesterday, it was the first public firing of a robot. In this case, a bank’s chatbot, Amelia. Amelia was launched last year by Swedish bank Nordnet, with the aim of speeding up customer onboarding and improving customer satisfaction. Apparently, she achieved neither and so was sacked for underperformance.
My Comment: I have to love an article where the author’s picture is a caricature and not a photograph. Chris Skinner recaps the story of a bank who fired its robot. The bank’s chatbot, which was meant to be used to speed up customer onboarding and improve customer satisfaction, failed in its duties. As a result, the bank made the chatbot’s termination public. So, what happens when you fire a robot? Nothing today, but that might be the case in the future.
(Marketing Tech) For customer experience to secure its position on the board agenda permanently, businesses must do two things: firstly, they must identify where the customer experience begins, and secondly, they must allocate an owner.
My Comment: This article starts with the popular stat that by 2020, customer experience is expected to overtake both price and product as the key brand differentiator. Today’s customer has a voice that can be amplified. Good of the voice is positive. Bad, if it’s negative. This is the premise. Customer experience is marketing, and this author offers several insights that every company should pay attention to.
(Bloomberg) Samsung, LinkedIn, and Pinterest use Directly’s software to refer questions for a small fee, as an alternative to outsourcing.
My Comment: What if you could outsource your customer support calls to your happy and knowledgeable customers? That’s exactly what brands like Samsung, LinkedIn and Pinterest are doing. They refer simple questions to “amateur experts” and pay them $2 (or more) to help a customer. That’s a bargain compared to the cost of someone answering from the support center.
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