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.
(Mark Shaw) I got into some Twitter banter with a friend from Twitter, Gregg Weiss @greggweiss at the top of Greg’s profile is his pinned tweet. This to me is perhaps the single most important reason why brands and businesses need to be on Twitter.
My Comment: If you’ve been following me at all you know I’m a huge fan of social media customer care. If a company doesn’t have a presence on Twitter, they are missing a huge opportunity, and this article is proof of that. It’s short and sweet and makes the case for why every type of business needs to be on Twitter (and any other social channel for that matter).
3 Tips for Successful Social Customer Service by Krysta Gahagen
(TotalRetail) These trends combine to mean that social media is an increasingly important factor in retail brand differentiation. Consumers seek on-demand customer service as they shop both online and offline.
My Comment: When an author tells me that I’m about to read an article that is going to give me a lesson (or three) from icons in the customer service world (such as Nordstrom and Zappos), I take notice, and you should, too.
5 Ways Offline Retailers Can Compete in Amazon’s World by Zach Goldstein
(Colloquy) The online-shopping giant may have won the retail battle, but brick-and-mortar stores can use data to win the war. In-store shopping lives on, but technology will dramatically change what it looks like.
My Comment: How can a retailer compete with Amazon? How can any type of business compete with a competitor that is ten times larger (or more)? While this article focuses on retailers competing against Amazon, it is a lesson for any type of business in any industry.
(Brian Solis) My friends Rob Cottingham, Gerard Francis Corbett and I have had some fun lately. One way to gain perspective on our modern reality is to do so through humor. So when a several big brands in the beverage, transportation, banking and airline industries were suddenly in the global media hot seat, we had a laugh and productive conversations behind the scenes. As a result, we set out to build upon these unfortunate opportunities with a couple of pithy but poignant cartoons hoping to spark a bigger dialogue. Our goal was to not further chastise brands, but instead call attention to the fact that every company can, at any point, fall to the experiences that customers have and share.
My Comment: Not only is this article filled with important information about how to focus on the customer experience (CX), it is also entertaining. So laugh a little, or at least smile, while you learn a lot from Brian Solis and his friends.
7 Tips to Turn First Time Shoppers Into Repeat Customers by Richard Shapiro
(TCFTR) Brick & mortar retailers are complaining about the dramatic reduction in customer traffic. But, very few companies have a plan in place to turn a first time shopper into a repeat customer. In fact, most companies don’t have that concept, creating repeat business, front and center as a vital piece of their overall approach. Most repeat purchases are a result of either convenience, the store is in a good location or the store is offering a promotion. Repeat business is not built on a foundation of customer loyalty. Repeat business by accident is a failed strategy and missed opportunity.
My Comment: Every interaction we have with a customer is an opportunity to build customer loyalty. This is especially true the very first time a customer does business with us. What are we doing at that moment that will make sure that customer comes back the next time they need what we sell? Here’s seven tips that any business (not just retailers) can use to help bring the customer back next time, every time.
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