TOP CUSTOMER SERVICE AND BUSINESS ARTICLES 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. Best Practices: How Brands Can Build Loyalty with ‘Surprise-and-Delight’ […]
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.
Best Practices: How Brands Can Build Loyalty with ‘Surprise-and-Delight’ Efforts by Scott Matthews
(AdAge) Two current and prevalent examples that come to mind involve MasterCard and Bud Light. Both brands use surprise-and-delight strategies to great effect, creating powerful buzz and brand loyalty not just among their most passionate fans, but also with new audiences, thanks to the ability to share the news with friends across social networks.
My Comment: I like the idea of a “surprise and delight” strategy. While it may seem random, it should be planned and purposeful. The outcome should be a customer experience that is memorable and appreciated. And, ideally one where the customer will not only want to come back, but will also want to share the “story” with their family members, friends and colleagues at work.
It’s the Customer Experience by Denis Pombriant
(TechNewsWorld) Companies that take a moments-of-truth approach find that rather than preparing for almost anything in sales, service and marketing, they can limit their horizons to the things their customers care about and that they wish to be great at. There always will be things that customers want from us that are outside of our capabilities, and we need to say, in so many words, that this isn’t what I do.
My Comment: While this article’s focus is on CRM, I think that the concepts really apply to anyone and any business wanting to create a strong customer experience. Nothing complicated here. It’s not rocket science. Just good common sense worth considering.
3 Types of Customer Interactions Every Customer Experience Manager Must Understand by Eric Larse
(Kinesis CEM) It is impossible, of course, to plan every customer experience or to ensure that every experience occurs exactly as intended. However, companies can identify the types of experiences that impart the right kind of information to customers at the right times. It is useful to group these experiences into three categories of company/customer interaction: Stabilizing, Critical, and Planned.
My Comment: This is another perspective on how your customer interacts with your organization. A “stabilizing” interaction creates confidence. A “critical” interaction can lead to positive impressions and memories. The “planned” interaction is a reaction based on a customer’s behavior – when the customer does this (says this, buys this, etc.) you react like this (you respond, suggest other products, etc.). As Jan Carlzon said years ago, “Every time a customer comes into contact with any aspect of a business, they form an impression.” The three types of interactions in this article are critical to any company’s success.
10 Customer Experiences You Need To Deliver Today! by Gerry Moran
(MarketingThink.com) The customer experience is your next competitive battleground. Are you prepared to win it?
My Comment: This is an outstanding article. Ten great ideas on customer experience. Customers’ expectations are changing all of the time, and it is because other companies – not even our competitors – are raising the bar. As this article states (so well): “The rules change daily. Customer expectations of experience are set and improved by the be in class in an industry… So, with improvement or a a new way of doing things, your customer raises the bar and increases your pressure to deliver.”
Why Strong Customer Relationships Trump Powerful Brands by Cristof Binder & Dominique M. Hanssens
(HBR) Since the birth of e-commerce, marketing experts have disagreed about the future role of brands. Some have predicted that digital technologies will hasten the demise of brands because customers will have ready access to information they need to make purchase decisions, and “brand” will therefore become less relevant. Others have prophesied an increasing importance of brand as a simple way to evaluate choices in an era of information overkill.
My Comment: This great article makes the case that the relationship with the customer is more powerful than the brand. While the article doesn’t get into how to do so, it is implied that you want to turn average customers into loyal customers. Do that by creating a strong customer service experience. Connect on an emotional level, if possible. That is what will improve the value of the company – not the name (brand) on the sign above the door.
Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, keynote 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
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