Welcome to the Monthly Mash, a mashup of tools, tales and tips on customer service and the customer experience from around the blogosphere.
Volume 12: October 2012
Customer Experience Resource: The Digital World
I can hear you now: So Adam, you are supposed be providing us with useful tools and resources to help us better our customer service. This month you give us “the world.” Seriously, were you just too tired to write something useful?
Yes, I freely admit, the Digital World is a bit broad to be a “resource,” but considering the news this past month about Newsweek, I thought it was a good time to speak about the 50,000 foot view of the changing digital landscape that is affecting all businesses, regardless of industry.
In case you missed the news, starting in 2013, Newsweek, an American print icon, will cease to produce the paper version of its magazine. Newsweek is moving to a purely digital, paid subscription model. Only time will tell if their brand and partnership with the Daily Beast will allow this model to be profitable.
Many have died, many have mutated to shells of their former selves, and many have tried to slowly embrace a digital/hybrid model, a model that will no doubt end as the WWII generation passes and the Baby Boom generation slips into decrepitude.
But the changes are not just for publications, they are for everyone. How you interact with your customers, how your customers view you and talk about you — all of these dynamics are being shaped by the rapidly shifting digital landscape.
Business is changing and, with it, customer service.
You see, I can recommend all of the books, software, and training programs that I want, but unless I work with you directly, I will never know exactly what your business needs, now or in the future. Predicting the future with accuracy is an impossible endeavor. However, failure to try is even worse.
To that end, I will leave you with a few questions:
- What will your industry look like in 5-10 years?
- Which aspects will change, which will not?
- What digital resources are available now that can help you gain competitive advantage and manage the transition from today to tomorrow?
The Digital World is full of resources; try to figure out what change for your business is going to look like and start adopting the tools you are going to need to thrive in the evolving future.
The Month in Customer Service Blogging
A collection of the best posts about customer service and the customer experience I read this past month.
- Junk Removal, Grandpa and Customer Service – A great short story about creating great customer experiences with a lot of heart and a few index cards.
- Great Service Turns Problems into Opportunities – A great service recovery doesn’t have to be difficult and can set the tone for the continuing business relationship between company and customer.
- 10 Ways to Fascinate (and Win!) Over the Phone – Ten insightful tips on creating an effective and positive customer experience over the phone.
- Customer Experience Lessons from Peripheral Sparring – Being mentally present while helping customers is far better for your customers than if your mind is somewhere else.
- YouTube Your Way to Great Customer Service – Some great ideas on how to use YouTube to enhance your customer experience online.
- What You Do Screams So Loud I Can’t Hear What You Say – Companies need to do what they say they’re going to because customers know the difference.
- Why Some Companies Succeed – For Now – Despite Their Poor Customer Experience – In the past, we have discussed how monopolistic and oligopolistic firms can often succeed with bad service. This post agrees and then takes it another step.
- The Reality of The Impatient Customer – Surprising new data on how long today’s consumers are willing to wait on hold.
- The Secret to Ritz-Carlton’s Customer Service Mojo – Insights into how the Ritz does customer service in an interview with the VP of the Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center, Diana Oreck.
- Big Data’s Biggest Obstacles – Can we really find what we’re looking for in big data?
- Infographic: Loyalty Rewards – A great reminder for customer service teams to always do the best they can with new and existing customers. Also, see our post on loyalty programs.
- 3 Things To Keep In Mind When Dealing With Negativity – Preparation is key when providing appropriate customer service in the social environment.
- Is Your Customer Service Experience a Long Line to Customer Loyalty? – A little fun. Check out this animated customer experience scenario; I am sure we can all relate to it. Enjoy!
- Loyalty Programs Must Go Mobile – Loyalty programs need to adapt to the digital environment and take advantage of the potential reach that smartphones hand-deliver.
Someone Was Listening
Sometimes the most popular post from the previous month; sometimes just the one I liked best.
We got a lot of traction this month with the post 5 Lessons Salespeople Can Teach Customer Service Professionals. No one likes a pushy salesperson, but sales techniques, when used well, are methods to help customers get out of their own way to find the value we are offering. Good salespeople have valuable lessons to teach us about creating an amazing customer experience.