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Top 5 Customer Service & CX Articles for the Week of October 31, 2022

Each week, I read many 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. Beware! 3 Tactics to Avoid Spooking Your Customer by Mark Smith (CMSWire) If a customer […]

Each week, I read many 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.

Beware! 3 Tactics to Avoid Spooking Your Customer by Mark Smith

(CMSWire) If a customer becomes disengaged or disgruntled at your offerings, they are likely to “ghost” your brand. You don’t want scary CX, do you?
Imagine being the house that trick-or-treaters avoid because they don’t have the “good candy.” With an abundance of options, trick-or-treaters want the houses that will give them the king-sized chocolate bar, not the free toothbrush.

My Comment: Since today is Halloween, I thought we’d start with a themed article. You don’t want to scare your customers away. You don’t want to be seen as creepy. But that is exactly what some companies and brands do. Perhaps you’ve looked at a website for a scant five or ten seconds. All of a sudden, you start seeing ads on your social media pages, again and again. You think, “That’s strange. I hardly spent any time on that website.” To put it in Halloween terms, they are creepy. As the title of the article implies, don’t spook your customers.

3 Steps to Get Ready for Siri, Alexa and Other Machine Customers by Christopher Sladdin

(MarTech) Many customer service organizations believe “machine customers” are but a distant trend, yet they’re already here and impacting our daily lives. Maybe you’ve recently asked Siri, Alexa or some other smart product to call customer service or wait on hold for you. The number of tasks assistants can perform is increasing all the time, as more industries see the potential to deliver low-effort CX in this way.

My Comment: Here is a term you’ll start to hear more and more: machine customers. Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Google’s Nest are examples of machine customers. With advances in conversational AI and the Internet of things (IoT), these machines will become extensions of their human owners. They will know what and when to buy certain items. This will make for some very interesting opportunities for companies and brands that understand the power (and limits) of the machine customer.

How Does the Physical Customer Experience Impact the Digital CX? by Scott Clark

(CMSWire) The customer experience includes all of the interactions that a customer has with a brand across all of its channels. This includes a brand’s social media presence, mobile apps, websites, customer service chat, voice calls and brick-and-mortar storefronts. Customers today expect there to be a seamless, exceptional experience across all of these mediums. The pandemic is starting to wane and customers are now going back to retail outlets in person. Let’s take a look at the ways the physical experience impacts the digital customer experience and vice versa.

My Comment: While everyone seems to be focused on the ever-emerging digital customer experience, the author of this article is noticing a trend that more customers are returning to physical retail stores. It’s now time for those brick-and-mortar stores to enhance the in-store experience with digital. The main takeaway of this article is that regardless of the physical or digital experience, there must be consistency.

7 Tips to Manage Customer Service During the Holiday Season by Milton Simpsons

(Utah Pulse) It’s that time of the year again; when everyone is packing up to go visit their families and spend some time together. But that’s not what the holiday season is like for businesses. It can get quite stressful for them as well as for the customers. Customers get worried that their items aren’t being delivered to their homes, the internet connection has suddenly stopped working, cannot find certain products, and whatnot; the complaints are endless.

My Comment: The holiday season is just around the corner, although some smart (and aggressive) retailers have already started their holiday advertising campaigns. For those who will experience the bump in business, be ready – not just for handling customers but also for managing your employees, specifically customer service employees.

Research Reveals How to Shift Customer Service From a Cost Center to a Growth Driver Engine; Service Set to Unite Customer Experiences by Brian Solis

(CIO Online) There’s an old saying when something you value changes and no longer brings you the joy the way it used to, “it’s not like it used to be.” For those who remember the good old days, great service was an essential part of the customer experience. Nowadays, customer service is not what it used to be. For decades now, customer service has become a necessary cost center. The emphasis on scale, automation, speed, and margins have also come at the cost of customer experience. However, new research now shows that the role of service is shifting back to “service,” to unify the customer’s experience.

My Comment: The customer service department is not a cost center. It’s not just for handling complaints and problems. While that is what the customer support team seems to be doing, in reality, they are the people responsible for fixing complaints, problems, and issues in such a way that the customer says, “I’ll be back.” Perhaps a better name for the customer service department might be the revenue generation department or the customer retention department. When they do their job well, they save a customer, restore their confidence, and can be the catalysts for word-of-mouth advertising when customers talk about how well the brand handled a problem.


Top 11 Customer Experience Books You Must Read in 2022 by Blair Williamson

(Nextiva) A survey of 362 firms carried out by Bain shows that 80% of organizations felt they provided a “superior experience” to their customers; however, only 8% of customers agreed with this statement. Wake up call, right? Obviously there’s a disconnect between what we think we’re doing well and how our customers feel about what we’re doing.

My Comment: Thank you to Nextiva for including The Cult of the Customer as one of the “Top 11 Customer Experience Books You Must Read in 2022.” It’s always an honor to be on a list like this. And take a look at the other books recommended. If you have a desire to up your CX, this list of books is a great place to start.

Shep Hyken is a customer service/CX expert, award-winning keynote speaker, and New York Times bestselling author. Learn more about Shep’s customer service and customer experience keynote speeches and his customer service training workshops at Connect with Shep on LinkedIn.

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