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Top 5 Customer Service Articles For the Week of August 15, 2016

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. Will Chatbots and AI Replace Federal Customer Service Reps? by Phil Goldstein (FedTech) Advances in […]

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.

Will Chatbots and AI Replace Federal Customer Service Reps? by Phil Goldstein

(FedTech) Advances in messaging and artificial intelligence technology could replace workers in federal call centers.

My Comment: The concept of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and chatbots replacing humans fascinates me. The technology is so much better than it used to be. A good chatbot technology makes recognizing the difference between a human and a bot (computer) almost, if not completely, indistinguishable. Will it ever replace human interactions? I don’t think so, at least not completely. There always has to be a “fallback” plan that defaults to human interaction. Interesting read!

4 Tips for Delivering a Richer Customer Experience by Tara Sporrer

(Multichannel Merchant) Here are 4 tips for delivering a richer experience this summer so you can catch online customers in the buying mood before they head off to sunnier pursuits.

My Comment: This short article has four great tips that anyone or any company can use. Simple and common sense, that’s what I like. Call it a “richer” customer experience. It comes from an “easier” experience, which are what these tips seem to be about. And the easier it is to do business with a company, the better chance for repeat business – and maybe even customer loyalty!

6 Must-Dos for Best-In-Class Social Media Customer Service by Sara O’Keefe 

(Ignite) If you’ve heard feedback from your customers or fellow marketing experts that your brand could improve, let these must-dos below be your guide to an A grade from your customers.

My Comment: There have been many lists shared about how to be more effective with social customer care. What I like about this list is that several of the ideas aren’t included in the typical list. While the fifth idea on the list, “Make It Private,” might seem anti-social, it really isn’t. Using social media channels to connect one-on-one with customers is a powerful social media customer care strategy.

The 30 Things Customers Really Value by Eric Almquist

(Harvard Business Review) While what constitutes “value” can be nuanced and vary from person to person, my colleagues and I have identified 30 universal building blocks of value that meet fundamental human needs. These are basic attributes of a product or service that address four kinds of needs: function, emotion, life changes, and social impact. Functional elements, for example, include saving time, reducing risk, and organizing. This latter element is central to brands like The Container Store and to Intuit’s TurboTax, because both help consumers deal with complexities in their world.

My Comment: As I read this article and looked at the graphic, I couldn’t help thinking of “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.” Well, this is the “Customer’s Hierarchy of Value.” I find it interesting the pyramid is used to define the most important to the most basic customer needs and values.

How to Make the Move from Reactive to Proactive Customer Service by Silky Sinha

(Business2Community) Do you detect and react to customer problems or wait for the customers to make the first move and ask for help? If you belong to the former category, then you are obviously on the right track as providing proactive customer service is what customers expect today. However, if you fall in the later one, then you are still following the default approach of responding to customers’ problems as they arise. This is reactive customer service.

My Comment: The best companies to do business with seem to not just react to what a customer needs, but also anticipate. That said, being proactive takes it a step further. My favorite example of this (and the simplest way to describe proactive service) is when the server at a restaurant fills the water glass before it is empty and the guest has to ask. How can that way of thinking be brought into the way you do business? Read this article to find out.

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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