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5 Top Customer Service Articles For the Week of February 5, 2018

Each week I read a number of 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.

How Retailers Can Use Customer Experience to Compete with Amazon by Marissa Bosché

(Apptentive) In this post, we outline a few key ways that retailers can step their customer experience game up to keep their customers happy, engaged, and loyal.

My Comment: How does a company compete against Amazon – or any disrupting competitor of any kind? Understand them and then know where you can be different enough to make a difference. This article dives into several ways that a retailer can compete against Amazon, yet most of the ideas work for any type of business under intense competition from a disrupter.

New Study: 62% of Companies Ignore Customer Service Emails by Steven MacDonald

(SuperOffice) Today we’re excited to release our new study: The 2018 Customer Service Benchmark report, which is a study of how 1,000 companies handle customer support. The report, which is 25 pages of customer support insight, took several months to complete, and is now available.

My Comment: SuperOffice came out with their Customer Service Benchmark Study with many interesting findings, one of which is that 62% of companies ignore customer service emails. (Yikes!) Here is a short infographic for some of the findings. If you’re intrigued, click on the link to get a full report. It’s free, but you’ll have to share your email address. Well worth it.

10 Ways to Improve Your Customer Service and Increase Sales Performance by Hassan Mansoor

(CustomerThink) Customer service is the golden key to any successful business – if you don’t have it, act fast and make it a priority. Customer service has evolved over the past years; instead of just one-on-one private interaction in person or via phone call, it is now evolved around social media as well.

My Comment: I’m a fan of the concept of selling with service. No doubt there is a connection between sales and service. The sales person than can out service their competitor wins. Here are ten points that are relevant for any company that wants to sell in way that creates customer loyalty.

B2C Influence on B2B Customer Expectations by Shannon Gronemeyer

(CX Café) There are obvious differences in the way B2C and B2B companies engage, interact with, and serve their respective customer bases.  Traditionally, this was appropriately based on significant differences in expectations from those customer groups.  However, recent research is indicating that this expectation gap is evaporating at an alarming rate.

My Comment: For years I’ve been preaching that our customers are getting smarter about customer service. They don’t just compare you to direct competitors, but to companies outside of the industry. Is it reasonable for a customer of a manufacturer getting ready to place a million dollar order to compare the experience they had when buying a $50 pair of shoes? The short answer is… YES!

The breakdown: Disjointed internal operations lead to disjointed customer experiences by Lauren Drexler

(Retail Customer Experience)  From your customer’s perspective, your business should run like a well-oiled machine. Too frequently, however, disjointed internal teams, tools and processes lead to negative customer experiences. My own experience over the holidays demonstrates how things can go awry — and how to make them right.

My Comment: One of the strongest ways to deliver a great service experience is to have it start on the inside with employees. Treat employees the way you want customers treated, if not even better. However, the system you have also plays a part in the overall customer experience. If it’s broken, the customer will feel it. As the title of the article points out, a disjointed internal operations lead to disjointed customer experiences.

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

  1. I always enjoy these lists, Shep!

    That report from SuperOffice really stood out. It’s amazing that companies still struggle with email, even though it’s a mature channel. The elite companies set themselves apart by sending helpful, on-brand, and friendly responses in <1 hour. I guess the report is good news for those organizations!

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