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. Are Lifelike Digital Humans the Future of Customer Experience? by Rebecca Bellan (TechCrunch) Soul Machines, […]
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.
(TechCrunch) Soul Machines, a New Zealand-based company that uses CGI, AI and natural language processing to create lifelike digital people who can interact with humans in real time, has raised $70 million in a Series B1 round, bringing its total funding to $135 million. The startup will put the funds toward enhancing its Digital Brain technology, which uses a technique called “cognitive modeling” to recreate things like the human brain’s emotional response system in order to construct autonomous animated characters.
My Comment: Is this the future of customer service? Talking to an avatar – a digital human – with almost lifelike features, and most important, responses? I wouldn’t be too concerned about this taking away a lot of jobs. My opinion is that this technology ups the customer experience related to lower-level needs. It’s more aesthetically pleasing than just texting with a chatbot or interacting on the phone with voice response technology. READ MORE
(Express Computer) It is indeed an undeniable fact that customers that are happy and satisfied tend to stick around for long. However, this can only be done by adding value to customer experiences which keeps them engaged and further paves the way for customer retention and loyalty. Content marketing plays a pivotal role in helping businesses in creating a loyal customer base and connecting with them effectively.
My Comment: Content marketing, done right, is more than just traditional promotion. It also adds to the customer experience. This short article makes some good points. Consistency, building a community via social media, and a personalized approach are just three of the topics the author addresses. READ MORE
(Forbes) Wise organizations look beyond customer needs and expectations to their hopes and aspirations. They leave the realm of “what is” to explore “what might be.” Speculation about what will be appealing to customers is grounded in savvy customer research that includes attentive listening and thoughtful learning about customer dreams.
My Comment: What if you could read your customers’ minds? Think of how well you could serve those customers if you knew what they were thinking. Well, you can’t read minds, but if you asked the right questions, you might get more insight into what the customer is thinking. The author quotes Andrew Grove, founder of Intel, who wrote, “Breakthroughs come from an instinctive judgment of what customers might want if they knew to think about it.” If you want customers to “think about it,” ask the right questions. In this excellent article, you’ll learn ways to get inside your customers’ heads and better understand what they need, want, and expect. READ MORE
(MarTech) It’s hard being a customer. Why do we keep coming across hurdles to purchase the products or services we want if we are so important? Think of the examples where buying was a frustrating experience.
My Comment: There is often a gap between what a company/brand executive perceives as giving good customers service and what their customers perceive it to be. This gap can be a real problem. Typically it’s the executive thinking it’s better than it is. This short article has several suggestions on how to close that gap. READ MORE
(Quinine) Brands continually need to work hard to understand the new priorities of consumers, as what they value changes, and what they need and want from their physical retail experiences shifts.
My Comment: Speaking of a gap, how about the value gap, which is what this excellent article is about. And in this case, the gap is good. The author defines the value gap as when the customer experiences value unexpectedly. It’s when consumers feel like they’ve won the lottery. So we want our customers to experience this gap, and the author has handed us 15 business and store factors (for the retailers) that will drive the perception of great value. READ MORE
(Chain Store Age) The ACSI noted that, during much of the 1990s, there was a sharp decline in customer satisfaction. But as businesses began to realize that customer loyalty was often contributing more to profits than increased market share, there was a shift toward a greater focus on customer satisfaction and the index increased sharply over many years.
My Comment: We close out this week with a bonus article about the state of customers service. The ACSI (American Customer Satisfaction Index), shows a decline in customer satisfaction to the lowest level since 2005. This is more of a “state of the industry” article that should serve as a wake-up call for those who aren’t focusing enough attention on customer service and experience. READ MORE
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 www.Hyken.com. Connect with Shep on LinkedIn.
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