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.
(FitSmallBusiness) Customer centric businesses invest the whole team focus on supporting their prospective and existing customers. This doesn’t just mean sales and customer service, but accounting, marketing and other departments as well. Customer centric sales requires a more consultative approach, and sometimes means prioritizing help and advice over tying to make a speedy sale.
My Comment: The term customer-centricity has become very popular over the last few years. My basic definition is that every decision and process a company makes and has keeps the customer in mind. This article has some great information. Some of it is a reinforcement of what you might know, but it’s worth reading. I’m surprised how many companies don’t create a detailed journey map to dig deep into each (and every) interaction that customers have with you. So pay close attention to number two.
‘Woo, Wow, and Win’: Designing a Captivating Customer Experience by Knowledge@Wharton
(The Wharton School) Companies carefully craft the products they sell to customers, but rarely do they give the same thoughtfulness to designing what could be the most critical part of the sales process: customer experience.
My Comment: Thomas A. Steward and Patricia O’Connell have written a great book, “Woo, Wow and Win: Designing a Captivating Customer Experience.” Who doesn’t want to deliver an experience that is captivating and makes customers want to come back?! This is actually the transcribed interview from a Wharton University podcast. (So you know it must be good!) Your choice. You can read it or listen to it.
(Effectly) Creating a customer journey map is an important first step when it comes to your customer experience transformation.
My Comment: Our first article recommended in this week’s Top Five roundup had to do with creating customer centricity. I mentioned that step two of that process had to do with creating a customer journey map. This short article by Annette Franz, who is the guru in journey mapping, breaks the process of designing the map into four very simple and concise steps. (Remember, simple does not always mean easy.) If you haven’t yet created the journey map, it’s time to do so!
Want to transform customer service? Question conventional wisdom! by Anand Subramaniam
(CustomerThink) 1838. It was the year that the term “conventional wisdom” (CW) was first used in print. Over the decades, CW has prevented or stalled progress in many domains, and customer service is no exception. Here are some common beliefs about customer service that you are well-advised to question and perhaps jettison.
My Comment: The author shares some customer service and CX “conventional wisdom” and then shares commentary on why we should question it. Great concepts here. What you believe to be true may be holding you back. Conventional wisdom thwarts progress and innovation – in everything, including customer service!
How chatbots could change customer service over the next 5 years by Becky Peterson
(Business Insider) As more companies come to embrace chat functions to complement or reduce human phone centers, rudimentary human-to-human chat conversations will soon be a thing of the past, according to experts in the field. In the next three to five years alone, chatbots will become nearly ubiquitous, and work seamlessly with human customer support agents to provide customers with efficient, personalized responses.
My Comment: What will the future of customer service look like? Today we’re getting a glimpse of the future. Chatbots, fueled by AI (Artificial Intelligence) will be normal in customer service. The article claims that support centers (with humans) may become a thing of the past. On that point, I disagree. There is a reference that chatbots won’t replace humans altogether. I think there is more job security in this area than many think. Chatbots will get “smarter” over time. The ability to get questions answered and problems resolved in the quickest, simplest and with the least amount of friction is the goal of the forward-thinking company. This article gives some insight into what that will look like.
Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, professional speaker and New York Times bestselling business author. For information contact (314)692-2200 or www.hyken.com. For information on The Customer Focus™ customer service training programs go to www.thecustomerfocus.com. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken