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5 Top Customer Service Articles For the Week of May 14, 2018

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.

Google’s robot assistant now makes eerily lifelike phone calls for you by Olivia Solon

(The Guardian) Google Duplex contacts hair salon and restaurant in demo, adding ‘er’ and ‘mmm-hmm’ so listeners think it’s human.

My Comment: This is one of the most incredible demonstrations of AI I’ve seen – direct from Google I/O 2018 (their developer’s conference). While the short article and video is focused on the consumer, imagine what the experience would be in a customer service role. Be sure to watch the short video. It is amazing!

How Ann Taylor and Loft Create Customer Loyalty Through Charitable Efforts by Carol Roth

(Entrepreneur) Ann Taylor and Loft build up charities and customer loyalty at the same time — here’s how you can do it, too.

My Comment: Charity is part of the customer experience. Customers like to do business with businesses that give back to the community or are involved in a cause. This short article covers a clever promotion that is a win/win for the customer and the charity.

Great Employee Experiences Beget Great Customer Experiences By Lisa Loftis

(CMSWire) Granted, I may be biased vis-à-vis my employer, but the premise that great employee experiences translate to great customer experiences is real.

My Comment: Before you can have a good CX, you must have a good EX – that’s Employee Experience. The best companies to buy from are often the best companies to work for. (Imagine that!)

Complaining Customers Are Your Best Customers. But Why? by Isabella Steele

(Comm100) If you work in customer service, chances are you know the signs of a complaining customer.

My Comment: The complaint is an opportunity to take care of a customer who cares enough to let you know they aren’t happy. It’s also a potential opportunity to improve. This is an excellent article about how to manage those complaints. Don’t be afraid of them. Embrace them!

Two black men arrested at Starbucks settle with Philadelphia for $1 each by Rachel Siegel 

(Washington Post) Two African American men arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks last month have reached a settlement with the city and secured its commitment to a pilot program for young entrepreneurs.

My Comment: Just a few weeks ago Starbucks had a PR crisis when two African-American men were arrested in one of their stores. The rest of the story is in this article. Both sides showed class and diplomacy.


‘SNL’: Prisoners Trade Horrible Stories While Working Customer Service (Video) by Phil Hornshaw 

(The Wrap) “SNL” suggests there might be a reason nobody likes calling customer service lines: The people working them are convicted criminals, who are paid only 33 cents per hour.

My Comment: Let’s close this week out with a departure from the norm. This is not an article, but a video from “Saturday Night Live.” It’s is a hilarious sketch about customer support/call centers. WARNING: This is a late-night TV sketch. Not cuss words or nudity, but the material is a little edgy.

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 Follow on Twitter: @Hyken


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