Shep Hyken's Customer Service Blog

5 Top Customer Service Articles For the Week of March 20, 2017

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.

No More Nonpologies: Apologize to Customers Like You Mean It by Leslie O’Flahavan

(HDI) Sometimes, when things go wrong, when you are to blame for a problem, or when a customer is rightfully aggrieved, all you can offer is an apology, so you really must learn to do it right. Here are three tips for writing a heartfelt apology to a customer.

My Comment: I hate when I’m calling a customer support center for help and the apology for my “inconvenience” is scripted and insincere. This is a short article about how to apologize. It’s simple. Say you’re sorry, accept responsibility – even when it isn’t your fault – and the resolve the issue.

Want to Build Customer Loyalty? Smartphones are the Secret Weapon by Ken Kunz

(COLLOQUY) The devices are consumers’ constant companion. As brands compete in an increasingly demanding field, here are 3 tips for deploying smartphones in the battle for customers.

My Comment: One of the more powerful customer loyalty strategies a company (any company, not just retailers) can have is to be able to market to and add value to the customer through their mobile number. Done the right way, you can create a good relationship. Done wrong, you lose the customer permanently. If the customer is willing to share their phone number with you, treat it with respect it deserves.

As Social Media Evolves, Travellers Demand Joined-up Customer Service by Nick Vivion 

(Tnooz) Customer service has always been one of the most challenging areas of any service-based business.

My Comment: Social customer care has become mainstream in the customer service world. While this article has a focus on the travel industry, don’t let that stop you from reading it. There’s a lot we can learn from the travel industry. And, the article makes a great point. Social care is not just “customer service on social media.” It’s about a conversation between the brand and the customer that empowers them to pursue resolution through whichever channel is most convenient.

#SXSW: Emerging AI with a Focus on Greater Experiences by  

(360Connext)  The overwhelming theme this year is about artificial intelligence and using it for good, so here are a few themes that seem to be permeating the zeitgeist.

My Comment: Last week was SXSW (South By Southwest) and one of the technologies on “center stage” was Artificial Intelligence (AI), and how it will help improve the customer experience. While many are resistant to the concept, we better start getting used to it. Jeannie Walters reports on the current state of AI.

Why Your Sales Pitches Will Never Earn You Loyal Customers by Rachel Quetti     

(Commercial Integrator) At this year’s Business & Leadership Conference, Bob Lobascio, James Kane, Michael Shinn and Jay Myers said it’s time to ditch your old sales tactics and start focusing on building strong, meaningful customer relationships in order to grow your business.

My Comment: There is an old saying that goes something like this: People want to do business with people they know, like and trust.” The knowing and liking is easy. It’s the trust part that takes time. Building a relationship based on trust is a powerful way to not only make the sale, but to earn loyalty. Any traditional sales technique can be enhanced by “selling with service” – focusing on the relationship and adding value over anything else.

Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, professional speaker and New York Times bestselling business author. For information contact or www.hyken.com. For information on The Customer Focus™ customer service training programs go to www.thecustomerfocus.com. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken

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