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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.

How to Avoid Your Cx Initiatives from Being Another Flavor of the Month by Nicole Paul

(John DiJulius) You’ve spent months executing a new initiative to help streamline things for your team. Manuals have been created, processes have been approved, the collateral has been ordered, and the team may be weary – however, leadership is SO EXCITED for the culmination of this investment. The day arrives, the notice goes out to the team, manuals hit desks… and within two weeks, nothing has changed. Does no one want to see change? Don’t they want to improve the day-to-day? My Comment: When our clients are interested in our customer service training for their “new” customer service/CX initiative, they are excited and ready to start. While most of our clients succeed, a few turn the initiative into “the flavor of the month” or “theme of the quarter.” For a customer service initiative to work, it has to keep going. John DiJulius is a fellow customer service expert and a great friend. Regarding service and CX, he’s one of the best, and this short article will give you a few insights into his thinking about moving from another “flavor of the month” to a program that lasts and makes change.

Personalization and Real-Time Interaction Management: Best of the Martechbot by MarTechBot

(MarTech) Best of the MarTechBot showcases the MarTechBot’s responses to prompts submitted by readers. The language model is based on content from MarTech embedded on top of ChatGPT. The editors of MarTech selected this response for its usefulness and have supplemented it with additional relevant content. My Comment: This article shows the power of generative AI (ChatGPT-type technologies). The author prompted the chatbot with a question about personalization versus real-time interaction management. (Don’t worry if you don’t know what real-time IM is!) The bot delivered an answer. The prompt was tweaked, and the bot delivered an even better answer. The point is that generative AI can be used in so many ways. Ask questions, brainstorm with it, let it support your communication efforts, write your emails, and much more. Used the right way, it may even help you create more tailored and personalized customer experiences!

Loyalty is a Strategy, Not a Program by Kevin Susman

(Total Retail) In the commercial innovation workshops I lead around the globe, there are many strategies that clients and customers want to cover. However, without fail, I always get asked what can be done to improve customer loyalty. No matter the country or the language it’s being delivered in, the answer is always the same — invest in developing loyalty as a strategy, and not just a program. My Comment: I’m a big fan of loyalty programs. However, most companies confuse a loyalty program with a discount or incentive program. Often, this falls into the marketing and/or sales departments. There’s nothing wrong with pushing for repeat business, which I love and promote; just don’t confuse it for an actual loyalty program. This thoughtful article discusses several loyalty program angles and offers a lot to think about, and you’ll understand how loyalty should be considered a strategy, not just a marketing program.

Six Simple Steps To Customer Growth by John Knotts

(Forbes) Growing a business means making more revenue. At the heart of business growth is a marketing and sales strategy. Included in this strategy are six distinct activities that grow revenue for your business. These items are gaining more customers, adding new products, adding new services, adjusting your pricing, bundling your products and services and creating recurring revenue systems. My Comment: I was reluctant to include this article in the Top Five as it focuses more on marketing and sales. Often, there is a blurry line between these business strategies and customer experience. Knowing who your customers are (as in your target audience) and creating a value proposition that you honor leads to a better CX.

Why Your Company Needs a Comprehensive Employee and Customer Experience Plan by Kent Lewis

(Inc. Magazine) The EX/CX Evangelist would develop and manage an integrated plan to ensure employees are encouraged and empowered to execute a first-class mindset, resulting in extraordinary customer experiences. Central to this strategy is the creation of an exceptional employee experience program, incorporating the first-class mindset. The program would cultivate employees to provide the foundation and support for exceptional customer experience. My Comment: This is an excellent article, with the first point being that a good customer experience starts on the inside with a good employee experience. The author summarizes some of the best parts of Tiffany Bova’s latest book, The Experience Mindset, which was included in my Forbes article on the top ten business books of the year. In addition, you’ll get six more strategies and tactics to create your customer and employee experience plan.

Best Customer Service 2024: The Winning Strategies by Rachel Rabkin Peachman

(Forbes) To create Best Customer Service 2024, Forbes partnered with HundredX, a data analytics company whose year-long survey had 201,000 people in the United States provide 4.2 million evaluations across more than 3,000 brands. (Those brands’ parent companies could be based in any country, but all respondents resided in the U.S.) Survey participants were asked to rate brands on four aspects of customer service: people, speed, services and resolution. My Comment: This excellent article not only includes a few tips/strategies (including a couple of mine) to deliver amazing customer service but also includes a link to a list of the top 100 companies. What I like about this list, put together in partnership with HundredX, is that it’s based on 4.2 million ratings on more than 3,000 brands. 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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