Weekly Review: 11/20 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.

Stop Surveying (And Ignoring) Your Customers by Bruce Temkin

Companies are always looking to improve their customer experience, be it through trying new and exciting initiatives, putting effort towards training employees, or upgrading to the latest and greatest service technology. One great way to improve your customer experience is to survey customers on how you could improve, but that feedback is only important if you act on it. In his latest blog post, customer experience expert Bruce Temkin recounts an experience where he responded at length to a survey and they sent him back an automated response, ignoring what he said. As Temkin points out, this shows customers you’re not invested in actively improving the experience.

Instead of surveying customers, ask customers questions that help you make their experiences better. And do something with what you learn.The bottom line: Stop surveying, start improving.

Instead of asking customers to rate you on a scale of 1-10, get qualitative feedback by asking open-ended questions about what you could do better. And when you do ask questions, make sure your user experience contributes to a great customer experience.

Read the full post on the Experience Matters blog.

11 Unwritten Rules of Customer Service by Jeremy Watkin

There are some customer service rules that go without saying: always be nice to the customer, ask questions to get to the heart of their problem, empathize with their feelings, etc. But what if there were some additional rules that you didn’t know about, ones that could change how you deliver customer service on a day-to-basis? In a recent blog post, customer service expert Jeremy Watkin outlines 11 customer service rules that go without saying. One of them is to ask questions, both of colleagues and the customers themselves.

There’s no bigger waste of time in customer service than troubleshooting the wrong issue.  Take the time to really understand the issue at hand.  Ask clarifying questions and listen carefully.  As the expert on your product or service, you may have to answer questions customers didn’t even know to ask.

If you don’t understand something, the only way you’re going to learn is by asking. It’ll benefit both you and the customer in the long run.

Read the full post on GoFCR.

3 Strategies to Create a Cult Following for Your Business by Jess Ekstrom

Every business wants to be the next Starbucks of their industry, and why wouldn’t they? Starbucks a loyal customer base, deliver consistently amazing service and have a product that’s known the world over for being the best of the best. But it’s important to remember that Starbucks didn’t become popular overnight—they had to build up their reputation over years and years before becoming a brand people that inspires loyalty. In her article for Entrepreneur, CEO and founder of Headbands for Hope Jess Ekstrom explains three strategies for creating a Starbucks-level following for your business, one of which is to humanize the customer experience.

One of the most important factors in a cult following is the deeper connection to an audience. There needs to be a level of a relationship, not just a transaction. Your audience needs to feel like you have their backs and you’re not just a money-generating machine.

Providing standard service is great, but it will only get you so far. To be a brand that truly rises above the rest, you need to consistently show your customers that you care about them.

Read the full article on Entrepreneur.

Does Size Matter in Customer Service? by Jeff Toister

The size of your company can really have an effect on your customer service style. Smaller companies are more likely to value the personal, one-on-one interactions with customers, given their size, while larger companies are likely to value the speed and efficiency at which customer questions are answered. While there’s not necessarily a right or wrong way to deliver customer service in different-sized organizations, there is definitely a noticeable impact in the quality of service provided. In a recent blog post, customer service expert Jeff Toister did a little digging and found that employee engagement plays a role in the quality of customer service, but is only one of many factors impacting service.

Other factors play a role such as the product, processes, and policies. Big companies tend to do this better than mid-sized companies, which can sometimes experience growing pains. Small companies are often small enough to continue operating informally.

Customer service delivery will vary from company to company based on size and style. What shouldn’t change is the quality of service that is provided to customers.

Read the full post on Toister Perfomance Solutions.

Positive, Negative, or Nothing At All — What Do Your Customers Remember About Their Experience? by Ian Golding

Think about the customer service interaction you had. Chances are you remember the company it was with, maybe what you were contacting them about, but most importantly, how you felt. Did you have a good experience that really wowed you, or was it really nothing special? You’re probably more likely to remember a positive interaction or a negative interaction because they evoked emotion. In his article for CustomerThink, customer experience expert Ian Golding highlights the important of emotion in a customer service interaction.

There has never been any doubt in my mind that the EMOTIONAL component of all experiences is perhaps the most important aspect of a customer’s relationship with a business. When we, the consumer, decide to interact with a company, we largely do so because they have a product or service that we want/need.

Emotions are an important part of the customer experience, just as they are an important part of our daily lives. Providing an experience that evokes a positive response from customers will keep them coming back for years to come.

Read the full post on CustomerThink.

We’ll be taking next week off for Thanksgiving but will pick up the Weekly Review in December.

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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