Welcome to the Monthly Mash, a mashup of tools, tales and tips on customer service and the customer experience from around the blogosphere.
Volume 28: February 2014
Thoughts on the Customer: Customer Experience as A Competitive Advantage
What differentiates your product or service for your competitors?
- Is it price? Are you the lowest game in town?
- Is it quality? Does your product stand out so much from your competition that it sells itself?
- Is it uniqueness? Are you one of the few who produces such a product or service?
If you answered yes to one of the above questions then congratulations, you have a competitive advantage that has nothing to do with customer service. However, for many, the answer to the above questions (and other questions like those) is no.
No, our product is not really special…
- Our insurance health screening test is the same as our competitors.
- Our toner refill service uses the same toner as the service down the street and for about the same price.
- Our speedy oil change service is… well, about the same speed as other oil change services.
When you can’t differentiate your core product or service, then your last bet hope for differentiation and competitive advantage is to provide a superior customer experience around your product or service. Customer experience can be the ultimate competitive advantage.
The Month in Customer Service Blogging
A collection of the best posts about customer service and the customer experience we read this past month.
- 50 Amazing Customer Service Quotes – A great list of quotes to motivate your customer service team.
- The 50-Point Website Essentials Checklist – Have you ever needed an all-in-one guide for your business website? Here it is!
- What Do the Companies With the Best Customer Experience Have in Common? – The answer in this article: building community. A look at one very small part of the customer experience across high performing CX companies.
- 5 Tips For Building Trust – Earning your customers’ trust is a crucial element to earning their long-term loyalty.
- Growing Customer-Centricity – This analogy summarizes the optimal way a culture (of anything, really) should grow.
- Three Good Moves This Week That Might Save Your Life – I love posts that view CX through a different lens, and this piece from Colin Shaw does just that. Three companies implement customer-centric changes that really might save lives.
- Four Reasons Why Customer Service Skills Are as Important as STEM – In any industry, employees with great people skills are necessary.
- Gen-C and the Future of Social Business – This prediction of what customer experience will be like in 2020 almost seems like futuristic science fiction.
- How to Make Your Customers Fall in Love with Your Brand – A step-by-step guide to creating and maintaining a long-lasting relationship with your customers.
- Creating a Hands-On Experience Drives Advocacy and Word of Mouth – Brands are beginning to understand that engagement and advocacy is through hands-on experiences.
- Talk to Your Customers! – It turns out that listening to your customers and taking action on their feedback can be very profitable.
- The Secret To A Better Customer Experience – This “secret” can apply to your digital presence and in your physical locations. Great read!
- 10 Things Customer-Obsessed Companies Do Differently – A nice list of ways companies demonstrate an obsession with customers.
Someone Was Listening
Sometimes the most popular post from the previous month; sometimes just the one I liked best.
We received some great feedback on our recent post Putting the Customer Ahead of the Customer Service Checklist. Having a customer service checklist can be a crucial part of providing a consistently good experience. However, when checking off a box on the checklist is allowed to override judgment at a customer touch point, the checklist is not being used correctly. The checklist is there to bolster your customer’s experience, not to diminish it.