Weekly Review: 10/9 Edition

Happy Friday! Here’s our five picks for the best customer service, customer experience and mobile articles of the week, in no particular order.

How to Ensure You Don’t Become a Customer Service Robot by Robert C. Johnson

Oftentimes, many service reps forgo a human connection, sometimes through no fault of their own, instead presenting customers with a rote, monotone response to their very earnest questions. Unfortunately, that’s not a very good customer experience and can turn customers away from your brand. In a recent article for MyCustomer, Robert C. Johnson points out that service doesn’t have to be this way, offering up six alternatives to common “robo-responses.” Here’s his answer to the oft-heard “Thank you for being a valued customer.”

Try using something more personalised to your company. For example, when you call HubSpot support, they say “We’ve got a team of support engineers who are excited to work with you.” The best part? Their support engineers really do sound like they’re excited to work with you!

There’s still a need for empathy, caring and understanding in customer service, no matter how automated things might get. And while machines might be efficient, there’s nothing quite like an honest human connection.

4 Ways to Deliver Great Customer Experiences Today by Judith Aquino

Research from Forrester has found that 80% of companies want to differentiate themselves based on their customer experience. In addition, customer experience is predicted to overtake price as the key brand differentiator by 2020. While brands might be focusing more on customer experience, are there any actionable tips to help get them to the next level? Judith Aquino has four strategies, one of which is actively listening to customers.

Letting your customers know their opinions matter builds trust. While you can’t implement every customer suggestion, it’s important to show your customers that their feedback is important. Short videos, blog posts, or emails are another way to communicate with your customers and show them how you’re taking their suggestions seriously.

Customer feedback not only benefits the customer, as they feel they’re being heard, but it benefits the company as well. Some proposed solutions will be valid enough to implement, and when they are implemented, you can let customers know that, they’ve been heard.

Respect Your Employees And Customer Service Will Improve by Micah Solomon

We recently interviewed over 60 industry influencers on the best way to improve customer service, with “focus on the employee experience” taking the top spot. And it’s not hard to see why—if employees are treated well and respected, that’s a sentiment they’re likely to pass along to customers. And treating your staff well doesn’t just benefit customers—it’s also good for your bottom line, as companies with engaged employees outperform those without by over 200%. In his article, Micah Solomon lists five ways to create those kind of engaged employees. One of his suggestion is to be compassionate.

How can you expect an employee to show warmth and empathy to your customers if you’re docking your employees’ time for unexpected childcare issues, if you’re timing their bathroom breaks, and so forth? 

A respected employee is a happy employee, and someone who’s likely to stick around through the good times and the bad. Fostering a sense of loyalty from employees, not just customers, it guaranteed to benefit your business in the long run.

Celebrate National Customer Service Week….All Year Long by Laura Norman

Customer Service Week may have come to a close, but that doesn’t mean the lessons learned or the bonds formed are any less important during the other 51 weeks. But how can companies and contact centers nationwide keep the morale high (and costs low) after the festivities have ended? Desk.com’s Laura Norman has a few ideas. In her recent article she suggests making sure you’re still taking the time to “wow” and celebrate customers.

If you go the extra mile, you can make them customers for life…Don’t just be in the business of selling your products. Be in the business of helping customers succeed.

There’s nothing to keep spirits high like helping a customer succeed (good for both the customer and the employee). By taking a little extra effort to make the customer experience special, companies can retain and gain valuable, and loyal, customers.

Richard Branson on the Importance of Customer Service by Richard Feloni

Everyone knows billionaire businessman and entrepreneur Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group. What you may not know about him is that he’s as passionate about running his multiple brands as he is about customer service. He’s known to write about his experience as a Virgin customer, whether it’s good, bad or anywhere in between. In his recent book, The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership, he outlines what companies could do to improve their customer service—namely, trying the customer experience out for themselves.

So when you’re playing customer, one of the first things to do is to try and locate a phone number to call on your website that will enable you to get through to a real human being. Try calling it and count how many recorded options, pre-screens and hand-offs you are forced through before you (perhaps) get to a real person.

When Richard Branson tells you you should improve your customer experience, you better take notice. He probably knows a thing or two.

Agree with our picks? Sound off in the comments on any articles we might have missed, and don’t forget to download our ebook on providing a great omnichannel experience.

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