Narrowing down to a handful of posts to round up a year is tough. It’s easy to rush into 2017 without appreciating the good parts of 2016: there is now a lot of great content out there that supports you, the customer advocating superhero!
There’s been a lot of development around the customer support world this past year with more blogs, conferences, podcasts and consultancies popping up everywhere.
How do you round off a year that’s been so good to the customer service industry?
To remember why we do our jobs in the first place: the customer. And celebrate how good service experiences will keep customers happy, improve loyalty and grow our business.
Here’s our list of the best articles from last year to help you understand the trends and show how you can provide an amazing customer experience in 2017.
First, we’ll start with our founders’ favorites.
What do Kayako’s founders recommend?
Varun Shoor, Founder
“It doesn’t matter how far along your business is or how high you’ve scaled, you should never stop talking to your customers. That starts with listening to your customers, not just running the occasional survey, I mean really listening. Dig into those pain-points, find out the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’, and learn how you can solve that for them. You should always be finding new ways to improve the experience with your product or service. “
Jamie Edwards, Co-Founder
“This post really captures how it all started and how the customer service space has evolved over time. 2017 is the time businesses really need to ask themselves how long can they continue putting our customers through a Helpdesk Experience, rather than delivering a great Customer Experience?”
The 12 best customer experience articles from across the web
This is an in-depth interview about the business choice made by startup eero who put customer experience at the center of their business. That doesn’t just mean making every support conversation with a customer effortlessly helpful, it means every process of their business was built with a low effort, intuitive framework that spans from hiring their first marketing employee to understanding which channels they will be contacted on prominently.
Support reps take on a lot of stress every day. Empathizing with customers is no easy feat. It’s exhausting, which is why Amy has compared the role of a support rep to the caregiving industry. This is a great post to remind yourself that whether you’re providing support or requesting it there is a person behind the screen.
This is the ultimate customer experience guide. Sujan dives deep into the foundations of what contributes to customer delight, he’ll lead your through the importance of usability all the way to how well your company helps customers. One of the most important aspects is to forget about thinking of B2B communication, and focus on building relationships through human to human interaction.
To have a truly successful business means really knowing who your customer is. Jill explains the four pillars that contribute to a customer-centric marketing approach, and guides you through how to succeed with this strategy. It’s important for marketers to know their customers just like their support teams do.
Ok, this one’s a podcast but it is transcribed. It’s very hard to define what customer experience actually is because it’s more than just the service they receive or the satisfaction they have. This podcast will teach you how to pay attention to the customer’s wants and needs, and put that at the center of your business.
There’s a lot of hype around how artificial intelligence (AI) might be a revolution (or disaster) in customer service. But Tom Tunguz describes how pleasant, gratifying and cosseting it was to deal with someone helping him solve a fraud issue he’d experienced with his card. Even if the support rep was a robot.
The Brands That Make Customers Feel Respected, by Charles Trevail, Manila Austin, Julie Wittes Schlack and Katrina Lerman.
What are some key reasons why customers remain loyal to a product a service or an organization? This in-depth customer quotient study (CQ) will tell you exactly how brands earn trust and respect from their customers. In short, customers value companies they see as authentic because companies and brands that “mean what they say” had high CQ scores and outperformed their peers. But there’s much more to how respect and loyalty can be gained or displaced.
We know that personal communication is so important for providing a great customer service experience. But sometimes it can be easy to get into auto-pilot or business mode. As Michael Heppell put it:
“More authentic communication creates opportunities to demonstrate a superior service mentality, and you can teach your team to seek and make the most of those opportunities.”
Slack is fueling the internal communications for support teams everywhere. But it’s not without its challenges that affect the productivity of your team. By understanding the role of messaging apps in your support stack and learning how to enable your support team in this new messaging-first world, you can improve your customer experience and key support team metrics.
This is an interview with Jeanne Bliss, and it’s well worth reading if your company isn’t getting customer service buy-in from the board. Jeanne pioneered the Chief Customer Officer role for several companies (including Lands’ End and Microsoft), and can offer a two-step process for what great companies do to earn customer growth by providing great experiences.
If you’re passionate about providing a good customer experience then you’re probably measuring CSAT or CES. If not, not a problem Nicereply will run you through the pros and cons of measuring each, and why you might choose one over the other.
Dropping the phrase “I apologize for the inconvenience” is a good methodology for humanizing your customer support. Yet, no one has ever dug into what’s really wrong about that phrase. Chelsea does a great job of diving deep into the fundamentals of how this kind of language can actually create a more frustrating experience for your customer.
What were your favorite articles from 2016? Or let us know what you’d like to learn about in customer experience for 2017. Just drop a comment below.