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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 comments about each article and would like to hear what you think too.

Put Yourself 2nd to Place 1st in the Experience Economy by Barry Fiske

(Fast Company) Customers can sense when a company’s products and experiences aren’t loyal to their needs, so why should they be loyal to that business? My Comment: I bet you would agree with this statement: Companies exist to solve customer problems. If I need a shirt, there’s a store that will sell it to me. If I need an upgrade on a software program, there’s a company that will design it for me. If we don’t have a product or service that meets a customer’s needs, we will go out of business. And when you combine it with meeting the customer’s service needs and expectations, you go to another level. According to the author, some companies have lost sight of that. That message is loud and clear in just the first two paragraphs of this article. Of course, there’s more!

10x Improvement in Customer Experience by Jaimie Boyd, Gretchen Brainard, NSN Murty, Joe Mariani & Pankaj Kamleshkumar Kishnani

(Delloite) Combining digital public infrastructure like digital identity with tools like human-centered design can help governments significantly enhance customer experience. My Comment: Kudos to the government! They are improving the customer (citizen) experience. According to our customer experience research, only 18% of consumers in the US believe the government delivers great customer service. But it looks like it’s getting (or going to get) better. Deloitte took a closer the service governments provide. According to the authors, “While the private sector has found that keeping customers at the center of their operations improves their overall performance, similar realization is taking root in governments.”

Customer science: A new CIO imperative by Thorton May

(CIO) For businesses to become truly customer-centric, CIOs must instill a more scientific approach to customer experience analysis. My Comment: What is customer science? This was a new term for me, and it probably is for you, too. The concept is simple. According to the author, companies (and specifically CIO’s) should take a more scientific approach to customer experience analysis. If you’re into understanding customer behavior through measurement, this article is for you.

For legacy industries, influencer marketing is key to evolving the customer journey by Greg Scavuzzo

(Sprout Social) Influencer marketing has the power to reroute the customer journey in some of the most traditional spaces. Why stagnate when you can innovate? My Comment: Influencer Marketing is part of the customer experience. A celebrity or recognized expert who uses, talks about, and promotes a product or brand is a combination of marketing, sales, and experience. While most of us see influencer marketing in the B2C world (food, fashion, health, lifestyle, etc.), there’s tremendous opportunity in the B2B world, especially as younger employees who appreciate influencers have careers in the B2B space. This article does a great job of explaining the power of using influencers, regardless of industry.

Find Products for Customers, Not Customers for Products by Annette Franz

(CX Journey) I’ve preached over the years: solve problems for customers; do that, and your business will go far. My Comment: After reading this article, it reminded me of a question: What business are we in? One of my favorite answers came from Howard Schultz (of Starbucks) who said, “We’re not in the coffee business serving people. We’re in the people business serving coffee.” When you flip what appears to be the right answer around, you get a better answer. Annette Franz has done the same thing with products and customers. She opens the article with a great quote from Seth Godin, who said, “Don’t find customers for your products; find products for your customers.” 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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