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Each week, I read many 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.

Field Tested Tips for Aligning Customer Service and Marketing by Ronnie Gomez

(Sprout Social) If a business is an orchestra, then every department is its own instrument. When teams work in isolation, the result is simply noise. However, when everyone unites around shared goals, beautiful music is made. And there’s no sweeter harmony than what’s created through collaboration between customer service and marketing. My Comment: Let’s start with a great article about aligning customer service and marketing. I’ve been preaching for years that customer service is marketing. Done right, customer service will get your customers telling your story. This is a robust article (about 13 minutes) that is worthy of your attention.

20+ Customer Experience Statistics for 2023 by Fernanda Alvarez Pineiro

( First impressions go a long way and that is certainly true when it comes to customers piecing together their opinion of your business. Evolving technologies make it easier to personalise the sales funnel but customer preferences are becoming more demanding. As a business, you should be thinking about ways to improve the customer experience to stay competitive. My Comment: I’m a geek for great stats and facts about customer service and CX. My annual customer service and experience research (Download it at no charge!) has similar findings, but this list is worth diving into. The information is compelling to get a company started on their customer service/CX initiative or add “fuel to the fire” to your existing program, even if it’s doing well. There is no end to the service/CX journey. It’s ongoing, and we must always move forward or risk having to play catch up to the competition.

Your Brand Is Not What You Say—It’s What You Do by David M. M. Taffet and Jordan Goldenberg

(Fast Company) Here’s a little secret most branding agencies won’t tell you. You can’t define your brand—your customer does. It’s why the standard in brand measurement–net promoter score asks the fundamental question: How likely is it that you would recommend us to a friend or colleague? My Comment: This is a branding article, but consider one of the definitions of a brand, which I’ve latched onto. A brand is a promise delivered. As mentioned in the article, a brand is not what you say. It’s what you do. So, if your promise is to create an amazing experience, as many brands do, do you deliver on that promise? Furthermore, as much as you think you are, the judge and the jury on this one is the customer. They decide if you keep your promise.

Why Is Service So Bad When We Supposedly Tip To Get Good Service? by Gary Leff

(Gary Leff) U.S. tipping culture is insane, it’s gotten out of control and what’s worse is that it’s getting exported to the rest of the world. Workers should be paid by their employer, not by an uncomfortable system where customers are supposed to pay extra – on top of posted charges – paying some amorphous amount meant to supplement an employee’s wages. My Comment: Let’s lighten this week’s roundup with an article on tipping. I’ve written about Tipflation and Tip Creeping. I don’t agree with everything in this article, but there is a tipping epidemic – at least in the US. When the person taking your order in a drive-through window at a fast food restaurant is upset when they don’t get tipped, we have an issue (which is addressed in the article). There are ways around tipping, but that’s an article that I’ve already written or plan to expand on. In the meantime, you’ll enjoy this two-minute read.

The $400 Billion Opportunity for AI in Customer Service by Howard Rabinowitz

(CIO) Generative AI is predicted to produce billions annually in business value. Here are key strategies to capitalize on the promise. My Comment: This is an excellent article from our friends at Freshworks about the power of AI and the customer experience. First, the headline caught my attention… $400 bill! Let’s find out what that number means (read the article). I want to reinforce a big point of the article. Generative AI (ChatGPT types of technologies) don’t have to replace people. Instead, the machine can become the co-pilot to a powerful interaction with the customer – one that gives the front-line customer service and sales reps tools that they can use to deliver a personalized and better CX.


15 Surprises for Boosting Agent Morale by Call Centre Helper Magazine

(Call Centre Helper Magazine) Are you tired of using the same old games and prizes? Then look no further as we have put together some fresh ideas to help boost agent morale in your contact centre – recommended by our consultants panel of industry experts. My Comment: Several times this year, Call Center Helper has interviewed me about various customer service and CX topics. The most recent article to go live focuses on agent morale, featuring many great suggestions from nine seasoned customer service experts, with three ideas from me, including a fun and different way to show your employees a little love and appreciation.

The AI Customer Service Blueprint by Magical

(Magical) The easiest way to think about integrating AI customer support tools and apps into your business is to think of it like building a house. You need a good foundation of support content to help your customers succeed, a main floor for boosting customer retention, and an upper floor of customer expansion. This AI Customer Service Blueprint breaks down how to integrate AI for customer support into three main levels. First, we’ll lay down the foundation, then set up the main floor, and finish with building out the upper floors. My Comment: This is a big one – a 22-minute read, unless you take notes (and you should). There is “a ton” of information here about how AI will help your customer service teams provide a better experience. Not everything is applies, but there’s something here for everyone. I’m honored to have some of my thoughts included. Shep Hyken is a customer service/CX expert, award-winning keynote speaker, and New York Times bestselling author. Learn more about Shep’s customer service and customer experience keynote speeches and his customer service training workshops. Connect with Shep on LinkedIn.

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