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5 Top Customer Service Articles for the Week of August 28, 2017

Each week I read a number of customer service and experience 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.

The Contact Center Playbook for Improving Customer Satisfaction [Whitepaper] by Nicolina Savelli

(Fonolo) In this handy playbook, contact center leaders will learn the ins and outs of improving customer satisfaction, otherwise known as CSat. This guide will discuss important metrics to consider when measuring satisfaction, and how to achieve customer happiness and retention along the way.

My Comment: Don’t skip this article if you’re not in the contact center world. While the article’s title appears to be focused on contact and support centers, the concepts can be used by any type of business in any industry. Ideas like understanding industry benchmarks and using feedback are for everyone. This is a great article from my friends at Fonolo!

Artificial Intelligence: The Customer Experience Imperative by Bob Hayes

(Business Over Broadway) The tools and methods of artificial intelligence, machine learning and predictive analytics will play a major role in helping businesses better understand and manage the customer experience.

My Comment: This is a very short article, but still has some really good information about the basics of how AI (Artificial Intelligence) can enhance customer service.

Cost-effective service excellence by Jochen Wirtz & Valarie Zeithaml

(Springer) This article integrates relevant literature to develop a conceptual model on the potential avenues to achieve service excellence at low unit costs, which we term cost-effective service excellence (CESE).

My Comment: This is more than an article. This is a major research paper on the topic of low cost, but effective, customer service. There is plenty of information here to digest. The authors are academics and they have gone to great lengths to share important information related to the customer service industry. Taking the time to read this is like attending a high-level graduate course.

Customer Service Hall of Fame and Customer Service Hall of Shame by Samuel StebbinsMichael B. Sauter and Evan Comen

(24/7 Wall St.) One of the most important aspects of doing business for almost any company is customer service. In order to develop a loyal customer base and thrive, companies often need to go above and beyond customer expectations. While nearly every major U.S. company claims to prioritize customer needs, only a few are able to do so successfully.

My Comment: Each year “24/7 Wall Street” shares their list of the best and worst customer service companies. They teamed up with Zogby Analytics to bring you the companies they believe belong in the customer service “Hall of Fame” and the “Hall of Shame.” I don’t think you’ll find any surprises in the companies representing the bottom of the customer service world, however you may be surprised at a few of the Hall of Famers. (Well deserved, I might add!)

The Future of Customer Loyalty Programs – Now and for the Holidays by Timi Garai

(Antavo)  Online eCommerce giants are moving into the offline sphere and we’re seeing more and more innovative solutions based on Big Data.

My Comment: If you’re in retail (and even if you’re not), you’ll definitely want to read this article. And while the article makes reference to the holiday season, many of these ideas work year round. I’m most intrigued by the statement, “What works for Amazon can work for other retailers… Every company can have their Amazon moment.”

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


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