Each week I read a number of customer service and experience 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.
5 Fun and Inexpensive Customer Appreciation Ideas by Aja McClanahan
(Fundera) Customer appreciation doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. With a little creativity and thoughtfulness, you can show your customers just how much you appreciate their business. Recognition, a kind note, or thoughtful gifts can deepen business relationships tremendously.
My Comment: Here is a short article with five simple and reasonably priced ways for people to show their customers some love and appreciation. Sometimes it’s the little things that make a difference.
My Comment: If you want to keep your best employees and have them engage with your customers, then maybe you need to give them a little CRAP! In this case the word “crap” is an acronym that stands for Caring, Respect, Appreciation and Praise. Great common sense – that unfortunately is not so common!
7 Powerful Customer Service Phone Tips by Pascal van Opzeeland
(Userlike) The phone is one of the oldest and most personal customer service channels. Its unique nature calls for a unique approach.
My Comment: While this article focuses on seven customer service tips for the phone, they are also appropriate for other interactions with your customers, including face-to-face. Tip number two suggests closing your eyes to visualize the caller. Maybe that’s not possible in a face-to-face situation, but the other tips will work. It’s really all about communication skills.
Losing the human touch from customer service can be bad for business by Business Matters
(BusinessMatters) As business technologies continue to become more wide spread and sophisticated, company owners are increasingly looking for opportunities to implement new systems that can streamline processes, improve customer experiences and save costs.
My Comment: Technology is changing the way we deliver customer service and support. Our customers are using self-service solutions, emailing, sending text messages, posting on Facebook and Twitter, etc. None of these allow for human-to-human interaction. This article touches on how losing the human touch can be bad for business. Companies must learn to strike a balance between technology and human-to-human if they want to maintain an emotional connection with their customers.
(CustomerGuage) Now that the dust has settled, and pictures of Dr. David Dao’s half naked body are no longer making the rounds on my social feed, I think it’s time we talk logically about the elephant in the room: Customer experience within the airline industry has come under hot water over the last few months, through a combination of poor service, ugly PR and heightened social media usage. This has culminated in public outcries, Congress hearings and calls for change in policies from the top down. So what led to this so-called “perfect storm” of customer experience failings, and what, if anything, can be done to improve CX within the airline industry?
My Comment: There has been so much negative press about the airlines in the last two months – especially about the United Airlines debacle. So it’s time for a more positive spin on all of this. Through these turbulent times in the skies, there is a silver lining in the clouds. Our friends at CustomerGuage posted an excellent article with some valuable insights and lessons we can learn from the airlines.
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