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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.

The Candy Cab Gives New York City Passengers a Sweet Ride by Elise Sole

(Yahoo! Shine) Hailing a taxi in New York City is practically a competitive sport but one cabbie is making the grind a little bit sweeter. My Comment: I love this story about Mansoor, a cab driver who has elevated his profession by giving away candy to his customers.  But it is more than that.  He creates Moments of Magic for his customers.  He creates a brand for himself that creates loyalty and he understands that WHY he wants to do what he does is as important as doing it. Just about any business can benefit from the way Mansoor thinks.

Are Marketers Ready for ‘Cognitive’ Customer Service? by Craig Hayman

(Advertising Age) The explosion of social media has changed the notion of customer service across all industries. A service once restricted to phones and then email has been opened through social platforms like Facebook and Twitter. My Comment: Technology in customer service… This is just a small glimpse into the future of customer service.  However, in spite of all of the amazing technology that is coming (or is here), don’t forget that people still do business with people.  At some point, the customer may interact with the employee of a company.  That interaction could make or break all that company is striving to achieve.

IBM’s Watson Now A Customer Service Agent, Coming To Smartphones Soon by Bruce Upbin

(Forbes) Now Watson has a new job–as a customer-service agent with the mostest. The help desk is a bit of a step down from fighting cancer, but IBM is nothing if not pragmatic. U.S. organizations spend $112 billion on call center labor and software, yet half of the 270 billion customer-service calls go unresolved each year, presenting a fairly sizable opening for an enhanced cognitive computer. My Comment: I love the concept of IBM’s Watson.  This may be an excellent frontline customer service program.   This technology is a great way to get good information fast.  This isn’t an automated attendant.  It’s more like Apple’s Siri for business – a true voice recognizing system that will give customer information faster and more accurately than human interaction.  Not to say that we still need that human interaction.  We do.  That’s the back-up.  People will get comfortable with Watson, and have even more confidence in the company when they know that if they need additional help, they have someone to talk to.

A 3-Step Customer Service Guide for Your Team by Michael Alter

(Inc) What you can do about that moment of truth, when a customer decides to stay or go. My Comment: Three simple “steps”; however, we should all pay really close attention to number three.  Is what you’re doing (your employees doing) going to make you look good when the customer posts in Facebook (or any other social media channel)?  That’s the new test – will you be happy with the online review?  More and more B2B and B2C customers are leaving comments on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Yelp, etc.  The customer service you deliver today is going to show up as a review on social media tomorrow.

Build Customer Loyalty: Empower Your Customer Service Team by Scott Anderson

(Business2Community) Customer service at many companies is on life support, and management is ignoring the miracle cure: the customer service team.  When an empowered customer service representative helps a customer, he does more than solve a problem: he helps build a relationship. My Comment: One of the best ways to create great customer service is to hire the right people, train them and… let them do their job!  Trust and empower them to deliver the customer service that makes customers want to come back.  This is a great article that summarizes some of the key strategies and tactics that create customer loyalty. 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 at Connect with Shep on LinkedIn. (Copyright ©MMXIII, Shep Hyken)

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