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Three Customer Service Strategies to Take You into the Future

Before we get into this article, a quick reminder that National Customer Service Week is just around the corner (first week in October).  While I’m mentioning this to get you hyper-focused on customer service, don’t think that this is just about a one week celebration.  This just puts a spotlight on customer service, loyalty and experience for that particular week.  It really is an every week, actually every day, effort.  Think about what you plan to do to celebrate National Customer Service week.  Is it a rally, a special customer event, or maybe bringing in a speaker to address your company?  I’ll be posting daily videos featuring tips throughout the week, starting Monday, October 1.  You can find them on my YouTube channel:  www.YouTube.com/ShepHyken.

Recently I was asked to share some strategies based on trends happening in the world of customer service.  Here was my answer:

Strategy One: Use Social Media:

First, let’s cover social media.  It’s not a fad.  It’s here to stay, and if you are not already doing so, you must embrace it.  At the most basic level, use social media to be reactive to customer comments, especially complaints.  Monitor Twitter, Facebook, and any other social media channels your customers use to hear what they are saying about your company.  Interact with them, and if there is a complaint, jump hoops to take care of it.

Tip: When there is a customer complaint, start a conversation that tells the customer (and all of his/her followers) what you plan to do about it.  You can turn a potential PR nightmare into a PR opportunity.

Also, use social media channels to push out value added content from your business. This can be in the form of tips and suggestions on how to best use your products or services.  You can become a great resource to your clients.  You can feature special customers.  Use different ways to provide value to your clients via these social media communities.

Strategy Two: Exploit YouTube

YouTube can be used to help own your space.  Create informational and value added videos for your customers – and the rest of the world – to see and learn from.  You will become a trusted resource and be recognized as an expert in your industry.  In addition, you can post testimonials from customers.  And, customers can submit videos to you to post that show different ways they are using your products and services.  You can also put product manuals, support information and much more in video format.

Tip:  One video won’t do it.  Post multiple vides, perhaps one per month, or even one per week.  And be sure to create descriptions that optimize the YouTube search engine (which is owned by Google).

Some may call the YouTube strategy a marketing strategy, but I disagree.  When it becomes a value added experience for the existing customer, it falls under the category of customer service.

Strategy Three:  Stick With the Basics

The basics never go out of style.  With all of the cool technology and social media trends, don’t forget the basics of great customer service.  You still have to hire right, train right, manage right and always work at creating a customer focused culture.

And, one more reminder that National Customer Service week is just around the corner.  What are you doing to promote it within your organization?

Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, professional speaker and New York Times bestselling business author. For information contact (314) 692-2200 or http://www.hyken.com. For information on The Customer Focus™ customer service training programs go to http://www.thecustomerfocus.com. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken
(Copyright ©MMXII, Shep Hyken)

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2 Responses to Three Customer Service Strategies to Take You into the Future

  1. Responsiveness has always been important, but it seems that in our social media age it is more important than ever. When you don’t monitor what’s happening in social media, you miss the conversation and the ability to influence others. When a company jumps right in to solve a problem or correct a perception, I am so impressed. Thanks for sharing these three trends, Shep.

    • shephyken says:

      Great comment, Skip. When a customer makes a complaint through Twitter, Facebook, etc., or sends an email about a problem, what they are saying is, “Contact me… NOW!” Thanks for sharing, and I look forward to our interview that comes out the first week of October – National Customer Service Week!

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