Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Communication is important in customer service

Aileen Bennett recently wrote a blog post at theadvertiser.com looking how communication changed her experience with a certain local store. She was very impressed with the in-store customer service, but was not impressed with the lack of communication that ensued after she left. There was a void in communication, leaving the customer in the dark when it came to finding out information that was not in the store.

What do you think? Communication is important, and customer service occurs more places than just in person at the store. How can companies ensure that they're effectivly communicating with their customers both in and out of stores?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Delta Arms Customer Service Reps with Red Coats (Again)

Facing a high rate of customer service complaints, Delta Airlines will reequip its customer service representatives with red coats. This move will hopefully enable flyers to easily locate customer service representatives to assist them with their travel.

Charisse Jones of USATODAY reports that, "the agents returned to New York's JFK airport last summer and made their debut this month at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson. By summer's end, 600 agents will be walking the concourses and gate areas of 14 airports, including LAX, Orlando and Washington's Reagan National. The return of the elite agents is perhaps the most visible sign of an airline ramping up personal customer service rather than reducing it at a time when self check-in is the norm and passengers often have to pay extra to have an actual person book their flights."

What other efforts, fashion aside, could Delta do to enhance its customer service teams to better serve its flyers?

Friday, June 26, 2009

What does your business use Twitter for?

This post on USA Today discusses how many companies are taking advantage of real-time capabilities of Twitter to foster customer service. Comcast, PepsiCo, JetBlue Airways, and Whole Foods Market are some of the companies which have begun to take advantage of twitter and opening up direct communication with customers.

Elissa Fink, vice president of marketing at Tableau Software mentions, "The more ways you provide customers to contact you, you're more likely to satisfy them."

Consumers have become increasingly frustrated with wait times in call-centers, maybe it's time we took another look at the traditional call-center and incorporate social media strategy in some of these older-styled companies.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Customer service expectations changing with generations

Recently at the Kansas City Star, Steve Rosen recently wrote about the expectations that different generations have when it comes to customer service. His generation is used to kind customer service where employees are ready to help upon entrance to a store. But today's youth looks to sales team as people who are there to check them out. He pointed to a survey done in 2007 that found that some companies actually discourage customer service due to the fact that customers will spend more with their company if they aren't available through medians such as telephones.

What do you think companies can do today to change the attitude of the younger generation's view of customer service? Will this generation be able to change their views of customer service as a hassle in the future?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Free Web Seminar: Defending the Loyalty Function: Lessons from Chief Customer Officers

Defending the Loyalty Function: Lessons from Chief Customer Officers

Loyalty is elusive, and justifying ROI for loyalty initiatives is even more difficult. Yet, many companies have placed such a premium on customer loyalty that they’ve created a new C-Suite role called the Chief Customer Officer (CCO) to serve as the definitive and authoritative view of customers across the company and to drive customer and corporate strategy at the highest levels of the company.

During this session, you'll learn how to:
1. Quantify the impact disloyal customers can have on your business
2. Measure the success of loyalty initiatives
3. Communicate the value of loyalty in terms understood by the CEO, the CFO, and especially the CCO
4. Enlist the help of the CFO in championing loyalty

Reserve your Webinar seat, mention priority code G1M2200W1BlogLI

Monday, June 22, 2009

Customer service beneftis a company

At The Mercury, Chris O'Brien looks at why customer service can benefit a company as well as its customers. Providing great customer service can provide powerful moments to learn, interact and gratify customers. It's a powerful way to interact with your customers and learn what they want. O'Brien goes on to tell of his powerful interactions with Apple customer service, where he did not have to sit on hold nor argue with service agents to solve his problems with his products.

Is good customer service a reason you'll go back to a company over and over again? Are you providing the type of customer service that will bring customers back to your company over and over again?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Is Attire Important in Customer Service?

Greg Kratz of Deseret News shares a few insights that he's received over appropriate dress and conduct for customer service representatives. Kratz, after receving a few emails, notes that, I believe it's true that a crisply dressed employee gives a first impression of respectability and competence. However, if that isn't followed up with helpful, friendly service, I may storm angrily out of the store and forget all about how nice someone looked.

How about you? Does attire really matter with customer service? We'd like to hear your thoughts.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Keeping customers in difficult economic times

An article at RetailWire suggests that as economic woes continue, it's going to be harder to keep customers coming through the door. Building loyalty will be difficult, but pricing and rewards are a way for retailers to keep loyalty today. Also important is to give you customers a dynamic brand that presents a character they will remember. Read the full article here.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Social customer service

Although many companies are diving into the world of social networking customer service, it still remains to be seen whether or not companies need to set up formal contact centers with these mediums. The survey done by Datamoniter found that using these tools for customer service really depends on the company. The company should have social networking tools already at work in their company, and foudn that it's often more useful for small companies. Find out more here.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Meetings Drive Business

This is why companies need to continue to invest in business meetings. Not only will those who attend gain new and fresh perspectives from other attendees, but they'll hear from top companies who have lived by the same philosophy. Investment in yourself and innovation are the key to your business. What have you done recently to invest in your business?

Are you thinking of attending NACCM: Customers 1st this year? What would you expect to gain from the experience?

Meetings Drive Business

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Dairy Queen launching new program to measure customer loyalty

In the RFID Update yesterday, they report that Dairy Queen testing a customer loyalty program that uses text-based messaging coupon system. Customers can sign up in their area and provide their name and phone number, and receive code via text message and redeem it via an RFD labels attached to their phones.

The discount code can be used in any time frame, and therefore can track redemption rates and overall program performance. The coupons are also given out on an individual basis, tracking past purchases and giving out coupons according to those sales. Read the full report here.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Frontier Airlines Nixes Social Media for Customer Service

Frontier Airlines won't be the ones "tweeting" you back @frontierair if you tweet a compliant when stuck in an airport. That Twitter user name is run by former Frontier Airlines enthusiast, Andrew Hyde, who when stuck in an airport for 6 hours on standby decided to take matters into his own hands by creating a clearinghouse of grievances against the air carrier.

Frontier, however, isn't taking the bait for social media and will not use the vehicles to connect with its customers.

In a statement, Frontier Air said, "We know many companies, including major airlines, have moved on to direct engagement with their customers via blogs, Twitter and other social media. Those companies have also raised the expectations of Twitter users to a level that can sometimes become unmanageable, even with the best of resources. We don’t want to disappoint our customers by introducing a communications tool we can’t properly support. We also have a lot committed to our more traditional customer service tools. Any introduction of new programs now would end up taking resources away from existing channels."

Will Frontier's decision to stay out of the social media sphere completely, deflate customer service worries for the air carrier?

This article referenced "Frontier Airline's customer service fail" by Meghan Keane

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Don't wait on hold, they'll call back

Southwest, a company already well respected for the way it treats its customers, now has a new option for those calling in to their service center. The company has begun using Virtual Hold, a service that allows customers to call the service centers, and if the wait is too long, will call the customer back when the next customer service representative is available. Sitting on hold is a pet peeve of many customers, and Southwest has already been praised for this new initiative.

The new offering has reportedly earned the airline high marks from customers – some of whom twittered about it.

“Companies: In an age of cell phones, don't make me sit on hold. Call me back when it's my turn, like Southwest just did,” one customer “tweeted” on the popular social networking site, according to the release.

Read the full article here.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Medical Tourism and Customer Service

Tonya Walton, is the founder of Blue Morpho Medical Travel, she represents Gooch and Associates as Manager of Latin American Business Development. In a recent article posted on Medical Tourism Magazine, Walton discusses the need for understanding what your customers think. Though Walton is an expert in medical tourism, we found her customer service insights to be particularly relevant for our Customer 1st audience.

Walton offers five tips and techniques for successful customer service and customer experience:

  • Feedback is the Breakfast of Champions
  • Is a Satisfied Patient (Customer) Good Enough?
  • Processes, People, Trust and Loyalty
  • How Do I Get Feedback?
  • Communicate the Results

We encourage you to check out Tonya Walton's thoughts. What else is imperative for successful customer service and customer relationships?