TOP CUSTOMER SERVICE AND BUSINESS ARTICLES 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. Three Steps to Achieve Consistency of Customer Satisfaction by […]
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.
Three Steps to Achieve Consistency of Customer Satisfaction by Hansen Lieu
(SAP) As the authors admitted, delivering a consistently good customer experience – over time – is very difficult. It requires discipline and a laser focus on customers. But, if your organization can do this, it gives you a strong competitive advantage that is difficult to replicate.
My Comment: This, unfortunately, is a story that is told too often. The quality of the customer service diminishes with small negative interactions. The key is consistency. Consistency, assuming the experience is consistently good, creates confidence. Confidence leads to potential customer loyalty. Without confidence, there can be no loyalty.
Maggie Lang, Kimpton Hotels: Creating Great Experiences Online and Off by Brent Leary
(Small Business Trends) Maggie Lang, Senior Director of Guest Marketing for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, shared with me how the boutique hotel chain is taking a strategic, unified approach to customer experience development to take on the big hotel chains in the battle for the modern day traveler.
My Comment: Great interview that reinforces how important social media is to the customer service and experience strategy of a business. And, it just so happens that Kimpton, one of my favorite hotel chains, is the case study. Social media is much more than another channel for us to monitor for customer complaints. For Kimpton, because of social media, the experience can begin before check-in, or continue long after check-out. There is no reason that other companies in virtually any industry can’t do the same.
Why Great Customer Service Isn’t Enough to Be Customer-Centric by Xand Griffin
(PeopleMetrics) What I discovered was that while lots of people talk a whole lot about customer-centricity, most don’t understand what it means.
My Comment: Customer service is just a part of a customer-centric organization. As mentioned in this article, if a business were truly customer-centric, putting the customer in the middle of every decision, there might not be a need for a customer service department to field any issues, complaints or problems. Sounds like perfection, which is not reality. However, what if the customer-centric company were to deliver the perfect experience? What would that look like? What would or could a company do differently? This article is a great conversation starter.
Richard Branson on Why Making Employees Happy Pays Off by Richard Branson
(Entrepreneur) Happy employees are central to the success of a business. We all instinctively know this, but it can be hard to pinpoint why. Nobody would argue that employees should be sad and downtrodden, yet it seems as though some businesses and their managers set out with the intention of presiding over a group of miserable people, and then succeed in doing just that.
My Comment: The “always amazing” Sir Richard Branson should be listened to when he speaks – or writes! The numbers from the studies regarding happy and engaged employees confirm higher productivity. So do the success and stock prices of many of these companies. Sir Richard gets it. This reminds me of what Herb Kelleher, another maverick in the commercial aviation industry, said when asked the question, who is more important – employees, passengers or shareholders? His response was that happy employees meant they were more likely to work harder to make the passengers happy, which meant the passengers would fly again on his airline. That, in turn, would make the airline more successful, which made the shareholders happy.
6 Tips for the Best Online Customer Support by Anneke Steenkamp
(Zopim) By adjusting the way in which your online customer support system is run, you can impact the overall success of your business.
My Comment: Online support is gaining in acceptance. Customers are realizing that it is sometimes easier and more efficient than even a phone call. The key, as the article points out is consistency in all of the channels that the customer uses to communicate with the company. The online experience must be as good as an in-person experience. As the author points out, these tips are a good start and should make anyone who provides online support something to think about.
Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, professional speaker and New York Times bestselling business author. For information contact (314)692-2200 or www.hyken.com. For information on The Customer Focus™ customer service training programs go to http://www.thecustomerfocus.com. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken
(Copyright ©MMXIV, Shep Hyken)
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