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.
3 Lessons From a Customer Service Failure by Jill Schiefelbein
(Entrepreneur) Every brand touchpoint is important. Every interaction is a chance for your employees to communicate the experience that your brand provides.
My Comment: Jill Schiefelbein tells us a great story and shares three excellent customer experience lessons; the voice on the phone matters, industry jargon can create a barrier and kill an experience, and the process shouldn’t inconvenience the customer. A quick read with some important reminders.
(CeoWorld Magazine) Brand Keys 24th annual Customer Loyalty Engagement Index® (CLEI), conducted by the New York-based brand engagement and customer loyalty research consultancy has definitively identified “loyalty” as a profit-generator for brands that know how to create it and market it.
My Comment: If you can’t create trust between your company and your customer, you are destined for failure. This article makes the point that trust is a defining piece of the customer experience. It drives repeat business and loyalty. It drives word-of-mouth referrals. Today’s customers expect trust, and as the author states, it “has become the indispensable connective tissue between brands and customer loyalty.”
(Fast Casual) A restaurant’s strongest competitive differentiator is the experience they offer their guests. And considering the average lifespan of a restaurant is less than five years (90 percent fail within just one year of opening their doors), that experience can either make or break a restaurant’s chance of success.
My Comment: It doesn’t matter your type of business or industry, there is much to learn from the restaurant industry – even the fast-food/fast-casual restaurant industry. One of my favorite concepts is to treat the employee the way you want your customer treated – maybe better. Yet, consider that customers also care about the way a company treats its employees. For example, “87% of customers’ affinity toward Starbucks is driven by the way the company treats its employees.”
Build A 5-Star Customer Experience With Artificial Intelligence by Alston Ghafourifar and Michael Evans
(Forbes) Rapid technological advances have created opportunities for smaller companies to serve customers around the world and effectively compete with larger companies for new customers.
My Comment: Every day I read articles on AI. Some of them are very technical. Really, it’s quite simple. AI should augment the process and experience, not replace it. Here are several ways that AI is helping different companies in different industries create a better customer experience (CX).
Have Many B2B Companies Missed The Customer Experience Revolution? by Adrian Swinscoe
(Forbes) There is evidence that many B2B companies have still not grasped these fundamentals and the role they play in delivering a well-designed, consistent and connected customer experience.
My Comment: I’ve heard it too many times. CX is for retail brands, as in B2C. Smart companies in the B2B space recognize the importance of delivering a powerful CX. The author makes the point, that regardless of your industry, you can’t afford not to be addressing CX. It’s what can differentiate you from your competition. It’s what can keep you in business!
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