Welcome to the Monthly Mash, a mashup of tools, tales and tips on customer service and the customer experience from around the blogosphere.
VOLUME 34: August 2014
Thoughts on the Customer: Talk Isn’t Cheap
We flew a bargain air carrier this past holiday weekend and got to experience first hand a customer journey where the customer is not at the forefront of the process. The experience consisted of a number of problematic touch points, from the bait-and-switch discount pricing to the robotic gate agent; however, the silver lining of the experience was how it reinforced the importance of the most basic customer service principles. One principle that truly stood out as crucial was quality, thoughtful communication with customers.
Instead of recounting the entire experience, I will just tell the story of when the flight was delayed. The flight was already half-boarded, so it was necessary to unload the passengers that were already on the plane. Since my wife was on the plane and I was not (yet, another fun aspect of the experience), we received a number of different messages about the cause of the delay — all within a ten minute window.
- The pilot is not legally able to fly the plane. (Comforting)
- The pilot is having trouble getting to the airport.
- The pilot didn’t know he had a flight.
None of these messages were delivered well to begin with, but the succession of mixed messages did nothing but undermine our confidence in the professionalism of the crew and the airline.
Eventually, we did board the plane, and then we were delayed once more. As we sat on the tarmac, our hopes of takeoff dashed again, the inside of the plane began to heat up in the Florida sun. The flight attendant came on the loudspeaker to make us all feel better about our extended delay.
“Hi folks, I just want to let you know that we should be leaving in a few minutes; we just have to finish some paperwork.”
You can’t make this stuff up.
If you ever think that basic customer service communication training is unnecessary, think again. Talk isn’t cheap at all; in fact, done poorly it can cost a whole lot.
The Month in Customer Service Blogging
A collection of the best posts about customer service and the customer experience we read this past month.
- You Are Getting Customer Innovation All Wrong – A great reminder that your front-line customer service reps have a wealth of knowledge about improving your customers’ experiences.
- While Phone and Email Are Flat, Live Chat Speeds Have Improved in 2014 – Live chat is winning the race for speedy customer service. How do your company response rates compare?
- Irresistible Customer Experience: What Every Customer Wants #cx – A quick look at what an irresistible customer experience is and what it isn’t.
- A Day in the Life of a Customer-Facing Tech-Support Agent – It’s always important to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, especially a customer service employee!
- Invisible Customer Service: The Customer Must Be Reminded Of How Good You Are! – An interesting look at how you can let your customers know about the quality of your service, even if they never have to use it.
- How to Break Up With a Rude Customer – One of the hardest customer service lessons to learn: Breaking up with rude customers. This article offers 4 tips to do it nicely.
- 7 Reasons You Need to Be Using Social Media As Your Customer Service Portal – If you haven’t yet embraced social media as a customer service channel, here are 7 reasons you should.
- Hoffman’s Hot Seat: Exploring the 4 C’s of Customer Data – Learn the 4C’s of customer data: currency, correctness, consistency, and completeness from John Oechsle, President and CEO of Swiftpage.
- The Secret Ingredient for Winning the Customer Service Battle in E-commerce – “Whether they realize it or not, web stores now are competing primarily on customer service. Apart from offering a great product for a great price, customer service clearly is the new battleground.”
- Are You Treating Customers Like Family? Two Lessons From Red Lobster and Frontier Airlines – Two great examples of employees treating their customers the way they would want to be treated.
- Going the Extra Mile: How to Use Twitter to Boost Customer Satisfaction – Four useful tips on how to use Twitter effectively to go the extra mile for your customers including ‘Address Major Issues Publicly’ and ‘Make it Personal.’
Someone Was Listening
Sometimes the most popular post from the previous month; sometimes just the one I liked best.
3 Customer Service Lessons I Learned From Kids – Customer service lessons can be found in the most unlikely places. In this post from CTS Social Media Manger Tricia Keels, we are reminded of three lessons that apply to the adult world from a pop-up backyard restaurant run by kids.
Photo Credit: http://depositphotos.com/portfolio-1454700.html