Shep Hyken\'s Customer Service Blog

Below are blog posts, articles and tips focused on customer service and experience. To view just the articles (typically longer than a blog post), click here.

Emergency Business DrillCustomer Friendly Decisions

I recently read an interesting story about a technological glitch at Starbucks that made it impossible for the point of sale registers to work. What that meant was that they couldn’t take money for the coffee – or whatever else they were selling.

This didn’t happen in just one store. The internal glitch caused an outage in 7,400 stores in the US and another 1,000 in Canada. In my mind, this qualifies as an emergency. What should employees do in this situation? Continue reading

CS Is Marketing and Listening

Customer Focused

I recently attended the IBM Amplify (#IBMAmplify, #NewWayToEngage) conference in San Diego, CA where the focus was on customer engagement. IBM invited a select group of people they referred to as influencers. I was fortunate to be in this group, which included a dozen authors, bloggers, and thought leaders. The speakers at the general and breakout sessions filled my head with information, and it was especially refreshing and thought provoking to debrief with this group of influencers, so I thought it would be fun to summarize my top five takeaways from the conference. Continue reading

Business Policies

The other night I had just returned from a trip and was hungry. I wasn’t sure what I wanted for dinner, so I went to the refrigerator, opened up the door, and stared into a somewhat empty box. Other than some beverages and condiments, the “fridge” was pretty much empty. I thought about what I wanted for dinner and I didn’t feel like having a pizza delivered. Instead I felt like something much healthier; a big, thick, juicy hamburger and fries. Okay, not so healthy. Continue reading

This week on our Friends on Friday guest blog post, my colleague Bill Kalmar shares several recent experiences he has had at different eating establishments. It is amazing to read about the lack of consistent service and the rules put into place by management that do not satisfy the customer. Shep Hyken Continue reading


In the past I’ve written about proactive customer service. The example I always like to use is when a server in a restaurant notices that the guest’s water glass is about half full, the server refills the glass before the guest drinks it all and has to ask for more. Being proactive raises the perceived value of what you offer. Your customers feel you’ve really are paying attention and focused on them and their needs. Continue reading

Trust Is a MustTrust in Business

We trust the people we do business with. We trust that when we go to the grocery store to get bread, milk, meat and more, the store will be well stocked and the food will be fresh. We trust when we go to a restaurant we’re going to get good customer service and the food will be prepared properly – and safely. We trust when we order merchandise from, or any other retailer, the merchandise will show up in just a few days. They even tell us when to expect it to arrive. Continue reading

This week on our Friends on Friday guest blog post, my colleague Ricky Nowak shares an experience about how customer service can be so different at similar businesses. I have always said that consistency is key to the customer experience and leads to loyalty.  Shep Hyken Continue reading

Customer Gift or Marketing

Guest Experience

Have you ever been given a gift of appreciation from the place that you do business with? The other night I ate at a restaurant. Once we sat down, the server brought over champagne glasses for each of us. The server told us that they love to start every guest experience with a complimentary glass of champagne to toast the customer. Continue reading