5 Top Customer Service Articles for the Month of June 2018

July 12th, 2018 | Hutch Morzaria | Customer Service | Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes
5 Top Customer Service Articles for the Month of June 2018

Continuing our series of the best customer service posts on the web from May, I’m going to look at some standouts from last month that caught my eye. There is no specific theme here aside from a focus on improving the customer experience. Take a look at this month’s picks, I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

From the Dentist’s Chair

Dan Gingiss is a contributor with Forbes, and he wrote an excellent post about providing an exceptional customer experience. His focus was on a Dentist’s office (Weintraub & Eltink Orthodontics) and the service that they provide to their customers.

Trips to medical practitioners are nothing if not stressful and most people expect to be kept waiting for their appointment even if they arrive on time. The situation at Weintraub & Eltink is entirely different though. Technology definitely plays a part, but perhaps, more importantly, the staff know and respect their patients time.

If patients are kept waiting due to a fault of the office, staff are empowered to make good on these mistakes. Part of that includes apologizing for the error and acknowledging the failure, but it can also include simple monetary compensation (in this case $5 gift cards) to help the “pain go away.” Dan’s article is an excellent way of understanding that it doesn’t take immense effort or sacrifice to help build a loyal customer base.

Marvel and DC Have Some Competition

If you’re a fan of comic books and superheroes, you know that the past couple of years has been nothing short of a bonanza for the entertainment industry. Steve DiGioia has a fascinating post about how customer service agents can “act” to ensure that they provide appropriate levels of service.

As everyone in the service industry knows, the life of a support agent is not simple and straightforward. Aside from having to understand all the industry jargon, they also need to deal with often disgruntled and unhappy customers. However, Steve’s post, Are You a Customer Service Hero, Villain or Problem Solver, gives frontline staff the tools they need to address these challenges.

By focusing on training, he makes it clear that knowledge makes a difference.

  • The training should be around the products and services you offer to ensure that your agents speak with authority.
  • You should focus on empathetic training so that your staff don’t sound and act robotically, and perhaps most importantly
  • Training to find the problem. This is an often a tricky skill to learn, but when these concepts are grasped, it can make a huge difference in the service provided to the customer.

Difficult Customers

Staying on the theme of difficult customers, this article has some extra tips for helping agents and frontline staff to keep their cool in difficult customer service situations.

Often the issues that customers have nothing to do with the agent themselves, but they are forced to bear the brunt of the customer’s frustration. It’s something we’ve all had to do as customer service professionals, and while it’s not easy, there are some tips and tricks that you can learn to ensure that the experience is as painless as possible.

Elizabeth Wellington wrote a perfect piece on Difficult Customers on the Helpscout blog, and I think it’s worth sharing it. She breaks the process down into nine discrete steps, which I will list below.

  • Prepare in Advance
  • Recognize the Opportunity
  • Change Channels
  • Adapt Your Approach
  • Find Your Balance
  • Apologize with Sincerity
  • Never, ever lie
  • Lean on Your Team
  • Get Creative

I’ll let you read the specifics in her article, and I’d say you should pay particular attention to point #4. I think that one is essential as adaptability is a vital CX skill, but if you grasp the whole thing that’s even better!

Lessons Learned

Michael Pace had another excellent post on his blog the Pace of Service which is worth sharing. This time, Michael looks at some of the companies that are known for their “exceptional” service, and he gives us 6 common factors that they share.

I won’t list them all here as that might stop you reading Michael’s excellent article, but the critical point to realize is that there are lessons we can all learn from these organizations that we can apply in our businesses to make a difference.

Michael makes it clear that while these traits are shared by the organizations he’s reviewed, they are not simple checklist items. Companies need to START with these traits and build up from there to truly make a difference.

I’ll be Back

Arnold Schwarzenegger uttered these iconic words in Terminator, and it’s the image of robots running havoc that is most often in people’s minds when they think of machine intelligence and AI. Of course, there’s also the equally frightening vision of Hal from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Regardless of how you slice it, AI has got a reputation. Fortunately, we are not yet in a dystopian future, and there is still hope for the human race!

At Comm100 we’ve covered where AI currently sits in the Contact Center world, and Andrew Friedenthal has an excellent post about how AI can benefit sales. His post goes into a lot of detail about how AI in CRM systems can directly benefit Sales, and he further expands upon the Sales AI tools that are already available. Andrew makes a very valid point that any improvements should be implemented gradually to give your teams and customers an opportunity to acclimatize before you add the next feature.

Conclusion

Well, that’s my wrap up of some of the articles I found interesting in June and just like Arnold – “I’ll be back” – for the next set soon!

If you’d like to have your article or post included in future monthly roundups, please let us know.

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About 

Hutch has been involved with the Internet and technology from the days of dial-up and has been involved in building and growing successful customer service and technical support teams globally. He has a deep and abiding passion for customers and is always looking for ways to make his teams as efficient and productive as possible. In his spare time, Hutch focuses on sharing his knowledge and enjoys spending time with his family. Connect with Hutch on LinkedIn.

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