Weekly Review: 11/6 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.

Starbucks’ Digital Transformation by Larry Dignan

Go almost anywhere in the world and you’ll find a Starbucks, perched on a street corner with its trademark green umbrellas swaying in the wind. However, it’s what’s happening inside the Starbucks, more specifically during the payment process, that really makes Starbucks stand out. Their mobile payment app, whose continued use helps customers earn rewards, handles more than 8 million transactions a week. Given the success of their mobile app, Starbucks in doubling down on digital—their technology investments will grow to roughly $260 million in fiscal, a 79% increase over fiscal 2015. In his ZDNet article, editor Larry Dignan outlines why their mobile app is so successful.

Starbucks’ mobile and digital strategies all revolve around its loyalty program. Starbucks saw early on that its digital footprint was part of an ecosystem that connected to its physical presence. Now contrast that to dozens of retailers who are just now getting around to connecting digital and physical silos into an omnichannel approach.

At OneReach, we believe that it’s important to provide a seamless, omnichannel experience to customers, and part of that comes from using digital channels. Starbucks knows this very well—now, it’s time for other businesses to follow their example.

Read the full article on ZDNet.

5 Ways to Win on Customer Experience by Denise Lee Yohn

Customer experience is becoming an increasingly competitive field—by 2020, it will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. And while some companies, like the aforementioned Starbucks, have cornered the market on providing great customer experience (digital and otherwise), some businesses still have some catching up to do. Some companies still struggle with providing a great experience across channels, or just a great experience in general. Lucky for them, branding expert Denise Lee Yohn has outlined five great ways to stand out on customer service, one of which is to be empathetic.

When you have a deep understanding of what your customers want and need, you can design a customer experience that really resonates with them.  Virgin America shows how powerful this can be.  Just like all companies owned by Richard Branson, Virgin America challenges convention for customers’ sake and addresses customers’ needs and wants that competitors overlook.

Companies that the time to figure out what matters most to customers and what would improve their customer experience will easily stand out from the crowd. Not sure where to start? Try creating a journey map

Read the full article on Forbes.

Why “No Problem” is a Big Problem in Customer Service by Micah Solomon

“No problem,” “Don’t worry about it,” “No worries”—all these phrases have entered our common vernacular as what we usually say when something goes wrong. There’s nothing bad about using these phrases in a casual setting or among friends, but what happens if you start using them in the workplace, more specifically in customer service? Are they a good example of trying to empathize with your customer, or are they far too informal to use at all? According to customer service expert Micah Solomon, it’s the latter, and here’s why.

My opinion is that the literal meaning of “no problem” poses a risk that customers will wonder whether they are causing problems at your establishment, and whether they’ll be causing even bigger problems if they are brash enough to make yet another request after the one you just no-problemed.

Solomon recommends using other words like, “My pleasure” or “You’re welcome,” which we don’t think would be too big of a problem for us. 😉

Texting Your Way to Success in the Contact Center by Tamara Irminger Underwood

Millennials love texting—no surprise there. Aside from the emergent Generation Z, Millennials are the most text-savvy demographic around, sending and average of 128 texts a day to Gen Xers’ 75. And with census data showing that millennials now make up 25% of the population, businesses that haven’t taken note of Millennials’ proclivity for texting should do so. That means offering any customer, including Millennials, the option to text your business. In her ICMI article, Senior Writer for MHI Global Tamara Irminger Underwood outlines why businesses should providing the option to text, for customers both young and old.

MMS/SMS texting options for customers is expected to grow in popularity. It is not a replacement for any one channel, but another option that provides convenience. When strategically integrated, it can enhance the overall customer experience, and there is no guessing as to whether or not customers will use this communication channel. 

At OneReach, we firmly believe that texting is a great way to communicate with customers—it’s fast, flexible and easy to use. We may even have a blog post or two about it…

Read the full article on ICMI.

Why You Should Be Designing Experiences, Not Products by Dave Fish

As mentioned above, a good customer experience is becoming an increasingly competitive factor for businesses. Companies are starting to realize the importance of providing the best experience possible to customers and are incorporating that into their service offerings. A big part of this is focusing on not what your latest and greatest features are, but rather figuring out what customers care about and designing to that. In his article for CustomerThink, SVP of Expert Services at MaritzCX Dave Fish writes that you don’t need to worry about the product—just focus on designing the experience.

Think backwards from the experience in service and product design and ask yourself; what are table stakes, what would drive an amazing experience, what is detracting from the experience, and what can I remove without any negative impact to the experience?

Designing a great customer experience will vary across industries, but one thing will remain the same—businesses making sure the customer experience is the best it can be.

Read the full article on CustomerThink.

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.

Image credit. Edited.

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