Welcome to the Monthly Mash, a mashup of tools, tales and tips on customer service and the customer experience from around the blogosphere.
Volume 18: April 2013
Thoughts on the Customer: Does Your Team Project the Right Demeanor?
On a flight this past weekend, the pilot came over the speaker system and told the passengers, “Please return to your seat and fasten your seat belts.” We had just encountered minor turbulence, but the pilot’s voice was excitable, as if we were about to fly into The Perfect Storm. It could have been stress or frustration, but he sounded almost panicked. It was a bit disconcerting.
All pilots generally sound the same. Put on your best Morgan Freeman voiceover voice and read, “Ladies and gentlemen, it looks like we might have a patch of rougher air for a few minutes. If you could return to our seat and fasten your seat belts, we should be past it in just a few moments.”
The reason most pilots sound like Barry White on Xanax is because that is the appropriate voice for the situation. The one sentence pilot I had this past weekend was not projecting the right demeanor.
Customers judge our tone and energy as much as they do what we say. Help your teams learn to find the right voice for each situation.
And also, give your customers an extra bag of peanuts if they ask for them.
The Month in Customer Service Blogging
A collection of the best posts about customer service and the customer experience we read this past month.
- Dear Business… It’s Not You, It’s Me – A totally different perspective on how and why we, as customers, choose to leave companies that we do business with.
- Customer Experience: Loyalty Through Narcissism? – Companies should approach their customers with an inclusive mindset in order to provide the experience they really want.
- The Single Best Question You Can Ask Your Customers, Audience or Partners – Uncover what your brand looks like to your customers with just one question.
- You Asked, Forrester Answered: Questions About Customer Experience Design – A great Q & A outlining the core of what customer experience design is and how it works.
- Customer Experience Is Everything: A Lesson In Falling In And Out Of Love With A Brand – A fantastic story illustrating the differences between service and experience.
- Yes, You Treat Customers Well. But How Do You Treat Employees? – A personal account (with a customer service lesson) from a business owner on the importance of treating employees well.
- Stop Watching The Stock Ticker and Start Improving Customer Experience – Companies who rank low on Forrester’s Customer Experience Index are not returning much (if anything) to their shareholders.
- Brands: Customers Aren’t Your Social Media Mouthpieces – A challenge to the corporate idea that social media users want to promote brands.
- How Social Media and Smartphones Breed a Petri Dish of Negativity – Smartphones have made many things more convenient, especially the ability to complain.
- Good Employees Make Mistakes. Great Leaders Allow Them To – Reduce the frequency and severity of mistakes made by your customer service reps with these superb tips via Forbes.
- 15 Tips for Successfully Handling Customer Complaints – Every customer facing professional should read this to get reacquainted with how to handle complaints.
- 4 Best Practices for Better Government Customer Service Delivery – Four reasons why interacting with Government agencies is getting better!
- Tips to Improve Customer Service at Restaurants – Simple customer service tips for restaurants and their servers that are easy (and free) to implement.
Someone Was Listening
Sometimes the most popular post from the previous month; sometimes just the one I liked best.
This month, we were really excited to launch our new video series, Inside Customer Service. The series focuses on the insights and experiences of business professionals who have customer service experience. We hoped to get a mix of stories and experiences from their professional lives as well as their personal lives.
In each interview, we ask the same three questions:
- What is the most outrageous customer service situation you have ever been involved in?
- What phrase or idea would you ban from customer service if you could?
- If you could give one piece of customer service advice to companies today, what would it be?