Shep Hyken's Customer Service Blog

5 Top Customer Service Articles For the Week of March 6, 2017

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.

How Artificial Intelligence is Transforming Enterprise Customer Service by Adelyn Zhou

(Forbes) As AI technology matures, businesses are jumping to include artificial intelligence in their strategic investment roadmaps. Forward-looking enterprises are especially keen to leverage AI for customer service, a cost center that traditionally scales linearly with revenue. AI-augmented customer service promises attractive efficiency gains, and have generated widespread attention.

My Comment: Here’s an interesting stat: 8 out of 10 businesses are already using or plan to use an AI (artificial intelligence) customer service solution by 2020. That seems like a big number, but the point is that AI is an important and we can’t ignore it. I’ve been writing a lot about it over the past two years. This article will give you further insight into how companies are using AI to deliver a better customer service experience.

Listen to Your Employees, Value Your Customers – an interview with influencer Ricardo S. Gulko by Amy Clark

(I Want It Now) In his interview with me, he shared his insights on the current state of the customer service industry, upcoming trends managers should be aware of and best practices in standing out.

My Comment: This interview with Ricardo Gulko has some excellent insight into what’s trending in the world of customer service. In addition he shares a few tips that will help any organization deliver a better customer service experience.

How to Get Better Customer Service, and Skip the Rage by Christopher Mele

(New York Times) What is the most efficient and least painful path to get good customer service? Call the company’s toll-free number? Chat online? Send an email? Complain on social media?

My Comment: This article comes from the customer’s perspective. It is somewhat of a general “state of service” article. Some of the article may come across as negative, but we need to consider what all of our customers are saying – good and bad. There are some good points to consider here.

The New Rules of Employee Empowerment by Jeff Toister

(LinkedIn) Customer service leaders frequently ask me about employee empowerment. It sounds so good in theory, but it’s often difficult in practice.

My Comment: It takes more than empowered employees to take care of your customers. It takes empowered employees who are properly trained. Jeff Toister shares a great example of two employees that are both empowered. One employee takes five minutes to take care of the customer, while the other takes 30. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way for the first employee to share his/her best practices with the other employees? That’s part of training!

Take your customers off mute: 3 tips for customer feedback by Loretta Jones

(Marketing Land) There’s no denying the value of customer feedback. Columnist Loretta Jones shares three tips to make sure you’re getting the most out of your customer feedback programs.

My Comment: Sometimes common sense is not so common. In this case, the author shares three common sense ideas around the topic of customer feedback. It’s simple: Make it easy for customers to share their feedback. Ask the right questions. Then do something with the feedback.

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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