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Top 5 Customer Service & CX Articles for the Week of April 18, 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. Tracking Customer Experience? Measure Outcomes, Not Indicators by Mike Cooper (The Drum) Ask any brand […]

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.

Tracking Customer Experience? Measure Outcomes, Not Indicators by Mike Cooper

(The Drum) Ask any brand to rate their customer experience on a scale of one to 10 and most will probably choose a high number. Now ask one of their customers, and they’ll probably give a different answer – a lower one too. This is the ‘customer experience gap.’ Trinity McQueen’s Mike Cooper, head of customer experience, considers the cause of this difference and how to work around it.

My Comment: This article starts with the premise that there is a CX gap, which is the difference between what brand executives and the brand’s customers think about the level of customer service and experience the brand provides. Often there is a “gap,” a difference that often indicates the executives just don’t know. The answer is to measure success in the right places, and the author offers up four in particular.

Product Drops Not Price Drops: Attracting Full-Price Customers In The Face Of Inflation by Dan Wallace-Brewster

(Forbes) It’s easy for retail professionals to look at global, political and economic trends and say inflation is out of control and overgeneralize shopper behavior. Just because prices are going up doesn’t mean people who value convenience over cost are suddenly going to become bargain shoppers. Not every shopper falls neatly into one of two categories, and many have different behaviors for different product categories.

My Comment: This is an interesting article from the retail world where the author claims that in the midst of 7.5% inflation (or higher depending on your source of info), Americans can be divided into three groups: 1) convenience shoppers who value the experience over price and buy less than 40% of their purchase on sale, 2) bargain shoppers who buy more than 40%, and 3) part-tie bargain shoppers who fall in the middle. Understanding those groups and how to sell to them is important to the success of your business.

The Importance of Customer Experience Observability by Linda Chen

(DevOps.com) Ask anyone to name their favorite brand, and they’ll often respond with minimal hesitation. Prod a little further and the importance of customer experience (CX) is sure to play a major role in their response. In fact, 96% of consumers say CX is a key factor in their choice of loyalty to a brand. This sentiment is even more powerful post-pandemic, with 58% of consumers saying they place more importance on CX when making purchasing decisions than they did pre-pandemic.

My Comment: This is a very technical article, but I found it fascinating as it introduced me to a concept called “observability,” which is an approach that collects and analyzes data on the system, especially anything that contributes to the digital customer experience. Gartner has identified observability as, “…the evolution of monitoring into a process that offers insights to speed innovation and enhance CX.”

Customer Understanding: Why Is It the Cornerstone of Customer-centricity? by Annette Franz

(CX Journey) You can’t make any improvements, you can’t design an experience, you can’t transform anything, without customer understanding, without data and insights about your customers. You must first understand customers and their pain points, problems to solve, and jobs to be done. After all, who are you in business for?

My Comment: Annette Franz is the author of Customer Understanding and the recent book, Built to Win, which is about creating a customer-centric culture that drives value. In this article, she approaches a concept from both books, which is about customer understanding being the cornerstone of customer-centricity. Understanding the customer means, in Franz’s words, “No discussions, no decisions, no designs without bringing in the customer and her voice (that’s the understanding piece), without asking how it will impact the customer, how it will make her feel, what problems it will help her to solve, what value it will create and deliver for her.”

Why Customer Service is Important: 10 Reasons to Prioritize It by Erika Trujillo

(The Groove Blog) Providing customer support can take up a lot of time and energy, which is why traditional customer service is often seen as a cost center. Company leaders know they need to provide service, but they see this as a “cost of doing business” rather than an opportunity to delight customers, make connections, and ultimately increase revenue.

My Comment: This is an excellent list of ten reasons you should be devoting more effort to customer service. Here are some great stats, facts, strategies, examples, and tips that will help any organization deliver a better customer service experience.

BONUS

Check Out These Retail Reads From Our Top Influencers by RETHINK Retail

(RETHINK Retail) Looking for fresh retail perspectives? We curated a list of the best retail reads featuring RETHINK Retail’s Top Retail Influencers. Read countless insights from the best and brightest thought leaders with their fingers on the pulse of the industry.

My Comment: Even though the title indicates these books are “retail reads,” many are appropriate for any type of business. And thank you, RETHINK Retail for including my book, Cult of the Customer, on this excellent list!

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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