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.
Customer service: which brands really get it? by Ben Davis
(Econsultancy) Aside from the web giants making a virtue of customer experience, which brands have made recent commitments to customer service?
Let’s take a look at a few of them. Thanks here to Steven Van Belleghem, as I found these examples from this slideshare of his.
My Comment: One of the things I like about this article is that the companies used as role models for the concepts listed here aren’t your typical customer service rock stars. The other thing I like about this article is the lessons we can learn from these companies.
Can You Recognize a Customer Service Culture? Do You Have One? by Flavio Martins
(WinTheCustomer!) Employees and customers experience your customer service culture in different ways and it’s that complex nature of culture actually drives its power in transforming and inspiring people.
My Comment: This article made me think of culture in a different way: the culture and the brand promise are connected. Most would agree that leadership tries to define the culture, and if they are successful, it is what helps drive a company’s long term success. We want a good culture that makes our company a good place to work. Ultimately that is felt on the outside by the customer. But, maybe culture is a little like a brand. Leadership may try and create it, but the employees and customers define it. It’s the employees’ and customers’ perceptions that count. The best companies have a culture that is congruent with their brand promise.
A Look Back: 5 Customer Experience Trends from 2013 by Noreen Seebacher
(CMSWire) In retrospect, 2013 may go down as the year marketers shifted their focus from broad, amorphous groups of customers to targeted, personalized, omnichannel, shared experiences for each one. It was, in many ways, a seismic shift in attitude, powered by five key customer experience trends.
My Comment: All five of these customer experience trends (together) may not apply to every business, but I bet there isn’t a business out there that isn’t impacted by at least one of the them. One that I think that most businesses can latch on to is the concept of “personalization.” Customers want to feel appreciated, respected and recognized for their business, and one powerful way to get there, that will also create customer loyalty, is personalization.
Customer Service can Make or Break a Company [Infographic] by Brian Wallace
(Business2Community) Offering quality service can be a competitive advantage that translates into increased sales and greater customer loyalty.
My Comment: This would be a good infographic to print out and hang up for every employee to see. It makes the case for customer service. However, making the case doesn’t mean the employees will deliver. That still takes training and more. And understanding the importance and power of customer service is great place to start.
Richard Branson on Finding Talented People Who Can Grow Your Business by Richard Branson
(Entrepreneur) The long process of building up your company’s bench strength starts with the daily practice of letting employees take on challenging responsibilities beyond their current roles. All you have to do is listen to their ideas and give them the power to make the best ones a reality. Building their skills is essential to your company’s long-term success.
My Comment: I think the point of this article is clear. If people have talent in a particular area of business, and it is combined with a passion for it, that is a winning combination. Nurture that to grow and watch the people succeed. This is what creates fulfilled and engaged employees, which is good for the company and its customers.
Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, professional speaker and New York Times bestselling business author. For information contact (314)692-2200 or www.hyken.com. For information on The Customer Focus™ customer service training programs go to http://www.thecustomerfocus.com. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken
(Copyright ©MMXIII, Shep Hyken)