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Customer Information Form Basics: What You Need to Know

dreamstimefree_192239The words Big Data are spoken every day in corporate offices around the world. And the benefits of it to companies and customers is, well… big.

And while Big Data is becoming more accessible to small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), the basics of customer information — small data, if you will — is still where customer and experience meet for most organizations.

To collect this information, you need a method, and the customer information form is a tried and true way to get to know your customers. Let’s look as some of the basic types of information your form should have and then look at five tips to be effective with the form.

Four Types of Customer Information

Not all information is equal. But the more you know about your customers the better you can serve them. Here are four types of customer information you should consider having your form capture.

Basic Contact Information

This is the solid foundation you need to stay in contact with your client. Name, address, phone number, email address and the like are essential to making sure you can contact your customers in a timely fashion. Almost every form captures this basic data; the trick is having the real-time systems in place to make sure it is accurate. Read more

Paradox of Choice

A Mash of Monthly Mashes

It has been a great run of mashed up customer service and customer experience tips, tricks and observations, but it’s time to evolve. To commemorate three years of the Monthly Mash, here’s a quick look at some of our favorite original content from the series.

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Holiday Shopper Stress | Shopper Holding Head with PresentsVolume 37: November 2014The Sympathetic Holiday Shopper: To be open or not to be open on national holidays.

 

The Omnipresent Customer | Businessman checks his watchVolume 36: October 2014The Omnipresent Customer: Customers want to talk with us where they want to talk with us, and they want the experience to be seamless across channels.

 

Paradox of ChoiceVolume 35: September 2014Fewer Choices, More Happiness: A review of the key findings of Barry Schwartz’s book The Paradox of Choice and their relevance to customer experience.

 

Read more

The Faces of Customer Experience

Meet the Faces of Customer Experience 2014

The Faces of Customer Experience

 

We introduced our Faces of Customer Experience series in April 2014, and we’ve had the privilege of meeting and sharing the stories of a number of wonderful customer-facing professionals. Their histories and influences, such as mentors, Italian restaurants and books have something to teach us all.

So let us reintroduce you to our Faces from 2014. We look forward to meeting more interesting professionals like them in 2015! If you have a story to share, let us know. We’d love to introduce you to our audience too.

 

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Jeannie Walters of 360ConnextMeet Jeannie Walters! – She has been helping companies improve retention, employee engagement, digital experience and social customer care for more than 15 years.

 

Debbie Szumylo | Faces of Customer ExperienceMeet Debbie Szumylo! – She specializes in helping organizations balance employee engagement, customer experience & business results.

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Customers That Stick Guide to Online Customer Service Certificate and Degree Programs Banner

Introducing a New Guide to Customer Service Higher Education

Today we are releasing our new guide to customer service and customer experience higher education programs. The Customers That StickTM Guide to Customer Service Certificate and Degree Programs is designed to help shine a light on the growing importance of our field and to help generate interest in those higher learning institutions that are at the forefront of customer service and customer experience education.

Customers That Stick Guide to Online Customer Service Certificate and Degree Programs Banner

We believe this is a first-ever attempt to catalog and collect these programs in one location.

This project is extra meaningful to me because I am a graduate of one of the programs listed. I have a Certificate in Customer Experience from the Center for Services Leadership at Arizona State University. You can see its entry in the guide here.

Please check out our press release and the actual guide for more information. Also, we would love any feedback on how we can grow and deepen this resource over time. If you have any suggestions, as always, please contact us.

Luke Rees of Accuracast Headshot

Omnichannel Customer Service with the Human Touch

Luke Rees of Accuracast headshot

Luke Rees

Guest Poster: Luke Rees

The following is a guest post from Luke Rees, a digital marketing executive at AccuraCast who writes extensively about technology, ecommerce, and trends in the search market industry.

Luke explores the importance of not only omnichannel alignment but also of considering human-to-human interactions as part of an omnichannel strategy. Also, he does so in British English (recognise), which adds a little European flavor to the blog!

And now, Luke…

 


The age of digital retail still presents a number of challenges for businesses, and especially for customer service teams. Greater insight into online behaviour means we can understand our customers’ needs in depth – plus, we can track and engage with them in real time. But what about the human touch? It would be a mistake to assume all customer interactions only happen online.

Despite ever growing trends in digital, the best businesses still recognise the value of the human voice. Research from ResponseTap, a call-based marketing automation company, found that 64% of people get frustrated when they are only able to interact with a company online, and 70% find that speaking to an operator on the phone gives them peace of mind and confidence that they are getting exactly what they want.

These findings support the notion that the human voice offers a vital element in the formation of brand identity, as a reassuring and helpful voice helps to develop and strengthen loyalty between business and customer. Life is about human interactions and the business that masters this today, wins.

The Importance of Choice

The main thing marketing in the digital age needs to offer consumers, is choice. Selling has become more informal, sociable, and subject to change, and as a result the customer purchasing path has never been more complex. Read more

The Retirement of the Monthly Mash | Beach Chairs on Sand at Sunset

5 Changes to the CTS Blog in 2015

Happy New Year, and welcome to the first Customers That StickTM blog post of 2015! I thought our first post of the year would be a good time to talk about some of our upcoming plans for the blog . While the changes are not revolutionary — the blog will still be very recognizable to regular readers — it is evolutionary, and we will be refining our focus and and concentrating on some exciting new areas to help provide you even more value.

More Resources

To begin, we’ll be creating more free resources you can use to enhance your customer service and customer experiences. We will start with the Customers That StickTM Guide to Customer Service Certificate and Degree Programs (launching on Monday, January 12), which will be a resource for those looking to learn more about what is happening in higher education in the fields of customer service and customer experience.

Next, we will be releasing a brand new collection of CS and CX resources on February 2.

You will find even more helpful resources posted as 2015 progresses.

Retirement of The Monthly Mash

The Retirement of the Monthly Mash | Beach Chairs on Sand at SunsetIt’s been a great run, but The Monthly Mash is ready to sip frozen drinks on a beach in blissful retirement. The Monthly Mash hit the three year mark this past November, and we think it’s feeling a bit burnt out.

We’ve enjoyed sharing so much great customer service and customer experience content over these past three years. We will continue to curate great content from the customer-centric disciplines and will share them via our social channels as well as in less structured ways than the Mash.

We’ll miss the Mash, and to celebrate its retirement, we’re throwing it a retirement party. Check back in on Monday, January 19 for a recap of some of the content from three years of Mashes. Read more

cts_post-2014-12_holiday-break

Happy Holidays from CTS

The holiday season is upon us, and we’d like to express our appreciation and gratitude for your engagement with CTS this past year! We thank you for being a part of the CTS community and for sharing your customer service experiences with us here on the blog, on social media, and through email.

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In the spirit of the holidays, the CTS blog will be taking a break until the new year. We will be returning on January 5, 2015 with new and exciting content on customer service and customer experience.

Best wishes to you, your organizations, and your loved ones from the CTS Team; we wish you a happy holiday season and a prosperous new year!

Photo credit: http://depositphotos.com/portfolio-1315104.html

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Faces of Customer Experience: Becky Lollar

Meet Becky Lollar!

beckyI grew up in Bartlett, TN and attended Union University in nearby Jackson where I earned degrees in elementary education. I taught Kindergarten for three years then chose to stay at home with my two daughters.

After our first family trip to Walt Disney World, I was hooked! I now represent Magical Travel, an agency which specializes in selling Disney vacations. After four years, I am still thrilled to be helping clients make magical memories!

False Dichotomy

We know that the answer is often somewhere in between, but the fun of this section is that you have to pick just one!

Paper > Plastic

Personalization < Privacy

In-Store Shopping > Online Shopping

Transactional Relational

Mac > PC

Customer Service < Customer Experience

Captain Kirk < Dr. Spock

Talk > Text

Dog < Cat

Movie Theater < In-Home Rental 

Tell Us More About Yourself…

What was your first job and what did you learn about customer service in it?

My first part-time job was working at a summer day camp as an assistant counselor. Our primary customers were the parents of the children we were serving. In this job, I learned that meeting customer expectations is what really matters; if parents didn’t feel that we were providing their kids with a safe environment and planning fun, structured activities, they could choose other options.

My first full-time job as a public school teacher was no different; communication is the key to success. Parents have expectations that the teacher will enable their kids to progress at an acceptable rate. I had to learn how to plan and conduct conferences during which we would have constructive conversations about individual and parent-teacher “team” objectives and desired outcomes.
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Holiday Shopper Stress | Shopper Holding Head with Presents

Monthly Mash and The Sympathetic Holiday Shopper

Welcome to the Monthly Mash, a mashup of tools, tales and tips on customer service and the customer experience from around the blogosphere.

VOLUME 37: November 2014

Thoughts on the Customer: The Sympathetic Holiday Shopper

If you read our December 11 blog post, you know that we recently conducted a survey of consumer attitudes on holiday shopping. One of the findings you might have noticed was that 86.8% of respondents said they have “felt sorry” for retail workers who work on holidays. This idea is supported by a recent survey from LoyaltyOne which found that 50% of consumers think that stores being open all day on Thanksgiving day is a bad idea.

Holiday Shopper Stress | Shopper Holding Head with PresentsIt should be noted that both our question and LoyaltyOne’s only scratch the surface of this topic and also don’t (seem to) account for the difference in feelings people might have for industries that are generally expected to be open on holidays, like movie theaters and restaurants. However, the two data points do give an indication of overall sentiment.

In our survey, we collected some interesting anecdotal data as well through an open-ended question: “What do you dislike most about holiday shopping?” We received a wide array of responses to this question, and some of the strongest, most impassioned responses were around the commercialization of the holidays and making staff work on holidays.
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Consumer Holiday Shopping Experiences Infographic from Customers That Stick

Infographic: What Customers Experience Holiday Shopping

Here at CTS Service Solutions, we recently performed a survey designed to find out how consumers feel about holiday shopping and to see what customers are actually experiencing during the holiday shopping season.

The Holiday Shopping Experience: Customer’s Viewpoint 2014 was conducted on November 24, 2014 and surveyed 450 male and females between the ages of 18-65 living in the United States. The survey revealed a number of things about the holiday shopping experience:

  • Other customers are a big source of unpleasantness. Some of the experiences reported in surprising numbers include observing customers screaming at retail employees, feeling unsafe in a crowd, and seeing other customers have disagreements with each other (small number but large considering what it is).
  • Retailers are leaving business on the table. From long lines to lack of assistance, many respondents reported walking away from a purchase due to one annoyance or another.
  • People have strong feelings about the holiday shopping season. We asked an open ended question: “What do you dislike most about holiday shopping?” The word cloud in the infographic below gives an idea of some of the major themes but does not capture how strongly some consumers feel about retailers who have staff work on the holidays and about the commercialization of the holiday season in general.

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