Weekly Review: 10/30 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.

Automation Fail: How One Company Stumbled Into a Tweet Chat by Jeff Toister

At OneReach, we’re big fans of automation and how it can be used to improve the customer experience (less hold time, personalization, increased context, etc.) Still, some companies haven’t quite got the hang of using automation for service. On this past Tuesday’s #ICMIchat (definitely check it out, it’s a lot of fun and starts at 1pm EST), one participant was complaining about the poor service she had received with one company and tweeted at their support handle. The automated responses that followed, like the one below, were a bit out of context, as Jeff Toister points out in his latest blog post.

As we’ve mentioned before, automation is a great way to streamline the customer service experience, but only if you’ve designed it properly. Looks like this company still has a few things to work out before being able to provide great automated service.

Read the full article on Jeff Toister’s business blog.

Everyone Says They Listen to Their Customers—Here’s How to Really Do It by Ana Brant

There are a variety of different ways companies can collect feedback—surveys, mystery shopping ratings, in-person interviews, etc. Each channel comes with its own inherent strengths and weaknesses: surveys only ask a limited range of questions, as do in-person interviews. In contrast, mystery shopping only uses one specific day to extrapolate on strengths of the day-to-day processes of a company. In her recent article for the Harvard Business Review, guest experience expert Ana Brant analyzes the power of each service channel in the hospitality industry, one of which is the survey.

This is the easiest feedback channel to misinterpret, for luxury businesses and others. Results are best when it’s a scientific survey built on a proven customer-engagement methodology. However…a quick online survey (à la Survey Monkey) can set a luxury organization into fire-fighting mode about a one-off problem that’s not a true trend.

Each channel has its own drawbacks, which is why it’s so important to use them in concert with one another to get the best idea of how your organization is performing. And Although her article primarily discusses the luxury service industry, the listed customer feedback channels can still be used in any industry.

Read the full article on Harvard Business Review.

3 Keys to Amazing Customer Service by AJ Agrawal

The expectations of today’s customers surrounding service are changing. Almost 90% of customers expect companies to provide a seamless omnichannel experience, and the same percentage of customers are willing to share good service experiences with others. And companies that provide consistently great service and see a 5% increase in customer retention can increase profits by up to 25%. So how do you provide that great service that increases profits? In his article, Alumnify CEO AJ Agrawal lists three ways any company can provide amazing customer service, one of which is treating employees well.

Employees who feel valued by your company will generally produce better work and work harder. These employees will feel better about the company, and so they will want to make your customers feel valued, as well.

This is in alignment with our recent customer service report, which found that focusing on the employee experience is the number one way to improve customer service. Simply put, happy employees will be likely to provide good service to customers.

Read the full article on Inc.

Invisible Customer Service: The Customer Must Be Reminded of How Good You Are! by Shep Hyken

Providing great customer service can be a monumental task, but what do you do once you’ve mastered it? If you’re providing consistently great service, how do you stop extraordinary from becoming ordinary? And how do you make sure customers remember your service when they’re not interacting with your brand on a regular basis, like for a health insurance company? In a recent article, customer service expert Shep Hyken examines invisible customer service, pointing out that sometimes customers need a little reminder of the stellar service they’re getting.

Let’s say that you have an individual insurance plan. As long as you are in good health, the main interaction that you will have with the health insurance company is paying the scheduled premiums. However, if you become sick and need to take advantage of the insurance that you have been faithfully paying for, that’s when you will find out what kind of service they offer.

Companies want to make sure they’re providing service that will ensure customers stick around, and they may only have one shot. That’s why you need to make sure every interaction counts and ensure the customer is getting the best experience possible.

Read the full article on GoSmallBiz.

Put Your Customer Interactions under a Microscope by Chris Tranquill

Contact centers rely on a lot of different measurements—CSAT, AHT, FCR, CES, etc. While these are all good metrics for evaluating an entire interaction, they don’t really dig deep into what actually took place. Did a customer become frustrated while talking to a representative? What were the customer’s concerns, and were all of them addressed? In a recent article for ICMI, contact center expert Chris Tranquill examines what needs to be examined in further detail during service calls: the interaction itself.

It’s not enough to know that a customer was agitated on a call to the call center.  At what point in the call did the customer’s sentiment begin to change?  How many times did it change?  What took place immediately before the sentiment change that prompted a change?  The sequenced data unlocks those mysteries allowing much deeper insights into customer interactions.

Contact center metrics are great for measuring the end result (and its effect on the bottom line), but could get better at measuring the interaction itself. How? We’ve got a suggestion…

Read the full article on ICMI.

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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