Welcome to the Monthly Mash, a mashup of tools, tales and tips on customer service and the customer experience from around the blogosphere.
Volume 20: June 2013
Thoughts on the Customer: A Customer Service Rorschach Test
Here’s a fun game to play with your team. Ask them to fill in the blank with the first word that pops into their head.
Customers are _____.
I learned this trick from a friend who was a psychology major in college. The test he gave me was to fill in the phrase people are _____ with the first word that came into my head.
In this test, the respondent is not supposed to think, just to say the first word that pops into their head. If the test is being done with multiple people, each person should be isolated; otherwise, everyone else whom hears the question will have time to think of an answer.
The theory is that the immediate answer, too fast to be filtered, gives you the most honest answer and indicates your general outlook towards people (and life). So, if you answer people are fun you might be a little more positive than if you answer people are jerks.
In that spirit, asking your team members to fill in the phrase customers are ____ might provide you some interesting insights.
Let me say for the record that based on the last few decades of research in psychology and brain function, the answer to this single question is certainly not scientific proof of a person’s outlook. So, please, do not fire someone if their answer is “customers are a pain-in-the-ass.”
That being said, if the weakest service provider on your team replies with customers are jerks, perhaps there is something deeper in their outlook that is causing them to deliver poor service. The answer to the question, positive or negative, can provide a nice pretext for exploring a team member’s attitudes towards customers.
As for me, I’ll just end by saying that customers are awesome (except when they’re not)!
The Month in Customer Service Blogging
A collection of the best posts about customer service and the customer experience we read this past month.
- The Secret of Success: Help Your Customers Get Lost – We should all strive to create a customer experience that customers want to stay and get lost in exploration.
- How In-Store Navigation Impacts Customer Experience – Conversely, it is best to avoid creating an experience where customers get lost in frustration or confusion.
- How to Find Customer Pain Points – Listening to and learning about your customers’ problems and points of pain will help you to address and solve those issues.
- How a $36 Customer Service Move Won Long Term Loyalty – Treating customers (and their wallets) with respect when they leave your company could win them back in the long run.
- Five Customer Service Tactics to Increase Sales – Make no mistake, these are not sales tactics but great customer service tips that will surely increase profits.
- Are You Creating Engaged or Entitled Employees? – An interesting employee engagement grid that helps you view engagement across two dimensions.
- Creating a Customer Experience Culture – Red Balloon founder Naomi Simson explains why it’s important to create a customer experience culture and offers some tips on how to do it.
- Why You’re Training Customers to Complain via Twitter – Providing good customer service via Twitter is important but shouldn’t replace traditional communication.
- Ecommerce Basics: 10 Questions to Ask When Creating an Online Store – A great list of questions that also deal with the many facets of the customer experience online.
- 5 Social Customer Service Rules of Thumb for the Travel Industry – Tips for travel companies who use social channels to serve customers.
- The Best Ways to Improve Your Customer Service Satisfaction Rating – 5 tips to help you deliver better service.
- Proactive Customer Service: Why You Need It & How You Can Do It – A few core strategies to kickstart your proactive customer outreach.
- 8 Retail workers Who Made the Most of Their Free Time – The customer service message? Have a little fun!
Someone Was Listening
Sometimes the most popular post from the previous month; sometimes just the one I liked best.
Many of the inputs that help create customer expectations are outside the direct control of your organization. In 9 Keys to Managing Customer Expectations, we discuss ways to manage the influences on customer expectations over which you have control.
NOTE: Due to the holiday here in the U.S., we will not have a blog post this Thursday. Have a great 4th of July, and we will see you next Monday!