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Top 5 Customer Service & CX Articles for the Week of March 20, 2023

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. 8 Best Practices for Creating a Compelling Customer Experience by G. Tomas M. Hult (Harvard […]

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.

8 Best Practices for Creating a Compelling Customer Experience by G. Tomas M. Hult

(Harvard Business Review) How can a company best create a compelling customer experience? Based on the author’s research involving thousands of companies and analyses of millions of customer data points from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), the eight areas that companies need to focus on are: Orchestrating the marketing ecosystem, aligning company and customer needs, delivering amazing customer convenience, reinforcing digital marketing, adjusting customer incentives, cultivating customer evangelists, handling customer complaints, and managing product returns.

My Comment: The ACSI (American Customer Satisfaction Index) is the “go to” study about customer satisfaction. Anytime I have a chance to read anything put out by the people behind the research, I take the time to do so, and you should, too! Tomas Hult is a member of the ACSI team and researches thousands of companies and analyzes millions of data points and customer interactions.

Will ChatGPT Replace The Contact Center Agent? by Gal Rimon

(Forbes) At the end of the day, automation provides value to the way we work and ChatGPT is no different. But let’s be honest: How many of you still press zero multiple times in a row when you are greeted by a bot because you just want to interact with a human? It will take time for consumers to become comfortable enough with the technology that it can completely replace humans, if ever.

My Comment: The topic of ChatGPT is “white hot.” And now there are new companies sprouting up that are using the ChatGPT platform for customer service. So the question is, “Will ChatGPT replace the customer support agent?” We’ll here from an executive in the customer support industry. My quick take is, at least for the short term, the answer is, “No.” Did video kill the radio star? Did ATMs replace bank tellers? (No and no.)

Vanishing Phone Customer Support is Driving US All Insane by Helaine Olen

(The Washington Post) It shouldn’t be this hard to speak to a human. But, increasingly, companies large and small are making it difficult to access a real, live person when help is needed. Contact numbers are hard to find. Wait times to speak to an operator are long — one industry analyst estimated the average wait tripled from 2020 to 2022 and says he believes they still are a third worse than before the pandemic. Some phone lines are seemingly staffed entirely by robots, forcing you to go through menu after menu in quest of a live, real person. Or, increasingly, companies don’t offer a telephone option at all.

My Comment: How do you feel about the elimination of human-to-human support? Last year Frontier Airlines discontinued the ability to contact customer support. The response was not positive (although I think it was a bold move, just maybe too soon). The author of this opinion piece in the Washington Post gives her take on the subject.

The Secrets to Customer Journey Mapping Success With Jim Tincher by Melanie Mingas

(CX Network) In this interview with CX Network, customer loyalty guru, mapping expert and founder of Heart of the Customer, Jim Tincher, explains what has – and has not – changed in journey mapping, the problem with Post-it notes and how to become a “change maker”.

My Comment: Jim Tincher is a customer experience expert who focuses on B2B. In this excellent article (actually an interview), Tencher emphasizes the importance of journey maps and how the basics haven’t changed. He also shares some fantastic tips to consider as you’re creating the journey map for your organization.

Losing Customers Due to Lack of Relevance? by Wise Marketer Staff

(The Wise Marketer) Today’s customers expect brands to recognize and anticipate their wants and needs and deliver value for the data they are sharing. This means that personalization needs to be implemented across all your customer touchpoints: offers, product recommendations, pricing, communication channels, rewards, content, frequency of communication, and finally, customer experience.

My Comment: This is an excellent article (the first of three in a series) on personalization. The author clearly defines the definition of personalization in business. With the right data, mixed with anything else a customer might share, there is an opportunity to personalize the experience that gets customers to know you, like you, appreciate you, and most importantly, say, “I’ll be back!”


Thank You For Not Calling! Agents Are On The Verge Of Burnout, Study Finds by Christopher Elliott

(Forbes) Is it just me, or do call center agents seem burned out lately? They’re sometimes lackluster, dismissive — and even rude, according to customers. There may be a reason. A new study by CMP Research, a market intelligence firm for the customer management industry, suggests many call center workers are at the end of their rope. It says reducing agent burnout is one of the top priorities for customer contact leaders.

My Comment: Christopher Elliott is a travel writer whose work has appeared in many major publications. He contacted me (and several other experts) for comments about agent burnout. There’s plenty of good information here, including why call center agents are burning out and what companies are doing to prevent it.

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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