Earn a complimentary All-Access pass to NACCM 2010, the premiere event for peer-to-peer sharing, leadership building sessions, and legendary storytellers providing you with the inspiration and empowerment to make a difference. NACCM balances practical content you can take action on, unique experiences that reinvigorate, and big-name keynotes that inspire- all while stressing the importance of keeping the customer at the center of every business decision. As a guest blogger at NACCM 2010, you’ll have access to the amazing speaking faculty, authors, academics PLUS network with a diverse group of fellow attendees. With three track sessions, networking hours and The Walt Disney World Location ‘ you’ll learn and have a great time and this premier event.
October 25-27, 2010
Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort
Responsibilities will include attending specifically assigned sessions and blogging live or same day. You must have industry experience within the customer service field. In exchange for guest blogging, you will receive an all-access pass to the event $3,000+ value. Guest bloggers are responsible for their travel and lodging.
Apply today by sending your name, company, biography and links to your blog directly to NACCM 2010 Online Producer, Melissa Sundaram. Deadline for submissions is Friday, October 15, 2010 at 12pm EST. Early submissions encouraged.
As we work to provide customers with the best possible experience with our product or store, it can be frustrating when a customer approaches us angrily with a complaint. The customer is frustrated, too and it’s partly as a result for their interaction with your good or service. But angry customers can be a welcome change as they may bring up issues that you thought were fine. TheSocialCustomer.com has a great article today on this subject and we encourage you to check it out. Chuck Dennis writes, “you should want to be hassled by your dissatisfied customers! You need to know what irked them, so you can resolve it and not do it again. You need to know how upset they are, so you can make it up to them in a way that will help rebuild their trust. You think I am being dramatic here? I am not. Every customer is precious. Stay in front of them!”
How have customer complaint helped you improve your product or service?
Great article today from MediaPost’s Engage: GenY blogger, Morgan Stewart. Stewart discusses a recent issue with a large cable company resulting in Stewart’s decision to stop service through the company. Instead of providing excellent customer service at the beginning, the cable company only provided customer service when Stewart was ready to stop the service contract. Too little, too late. This company didn’t follow the old adage that it’s much better to keep a customer than to acquire a new one; the company assumed that another customer would soon follow Stewart. So what gives? Stewart writes, “On one hand, marketers’ focus on acquisition makes perfect sense. Growth is the primary goal of any company — and new customers are required in order to grow. However, there is a point of diminishing returns where acquisition efforts are simply replacing customers that have already left — the classic leaking bucket.”
Stewart goes on to discuss the larger companies with excellent customer service and by being excellent they let their loyal (and very happy) customers spread their love for the company to their friends and family. This customer service prowess leads to awesome viral marketing.
Does your company think this way? How are you using excellent customer service to market your company?
Learn more: Customer Service IS Marketing
Express lanes are no longer for those with less than 12 items in their shopping basket. Apple device users can now access the company’s new Express Lane service if and when they have difficulties with an Apple product. The streamlined interface allows users to see their registered devices alongside any customer service complaints. Customers can stay on top of their requests and track requests that they’ve previously sent in to Apple.
What do you think of the new service offered by Apple? How can other companies use this functionality to streamline their customer support?
Learn more: Apple speeds up its device support site with Express Lane
Internetretailer.com reports that a new study finds U.S. companies that use social media to deepen customer loyalty spend nearly twice as much on the marketing tactic as those that use it for other reasons. Further, marketing budgets related to social media are growing, with loyalty initiatives growing the fastest in terms of dollars spent. The amount of marketers’ social media budget allocated to loyalty increased by 293% from 2009 to 2010, while brand awareness and customer acquisition budgets increased by 189% and 214%, respectively. Social media budgets for driving loyalty have experienced the most growth for the past three years, the report says.
As customer loyalty continues to be the major push within social media use; how can customer loyalty professionals leverage this toward actionable results?
Learn more: U.S. companies spend for social media tied to customer loyalty
Enhance your customer loyalty and engagement skills with Robyn Tippins, Community Lead at Yahoo! Developer Network as she presents, “From Ordinary Customer to Fervent Fans: Yahoo! Helps Customer Take the Leap” at NACCM 2010 – October 25-27, 2010 in Orlando. Visit the NACCM 2010 event page to download the brochure.
The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki writes about the mounting frustration of American consumers, who are ‘fed up with inept service, indifferent employees, and customer-service departments that are harder to negotiate than Kafka’s Castle.’ He writes that tensions are mounting thanks to the American demand for cheap goods with luxury service and a lack of focus among executives on how to use their customer service department correctly. Together, both parties on the customer service line suffer causing discontent on the phone, corner office, tarmac, and on the web.
Surowiecki writes, “For a start, most companies have a split personality when it comes to customers. On the one hand, C.E.O.s routinely describe service as essential to success, and they are well aware that, thanks to the Internet, bad service can now inflict far more damage than before; the old maxim was that someone who had a bad experience in your store would tell ten people, but these days it’s more like thousands… On the other hand, customer service is a classic example of what businessmen call a ‘cost center”a division that piles up expenses without bringing in revenue’and most companies see it as tangential to their core business, something they have to do rather than something they want to do.”
Is your customer service something that you truly want to do or do you feel pressured into it to keep customers?
What is the solution for customers and for customer service departments? We’d like to hear your thoughts, DM us on Twitter @customerworld
Read more – ARE YOU BEING SERVED?
Businesswire.com reports that the results of the ‘Uncle Sam at Your Service: 2010 Federal Customer Experience Study,’ which examined American citizens’ expectations and perceptions of U.S. Federal agencies’ customer service. Whether through Federal student aid, tax processing, disaster relief, or even airport security ‘ U.S. Federal agencies offer services to 307 million Americans every day.
Here are a few highlights from the report:
According to the study, Americans currently grade private sector customer service experiences higher than service received from Federal agencies. The study reveals that Americans want the Federal government to improve customer service, and many are willing to pay for the upgrade:
* 83% of Americans say that customer service is something that Federal agencies can improve
* 42% of Americans say they would pay an additional $10 in taxes each year for better government service ‘ $552.3 million more in taxes annually
Americans want problems solved quickly, clearly, and with courtesy. Currently, private companies outrank Federal agencies in these categories; however, some agencies are taking great strides to improve service. Despite some improvements, agencies must focus on expanding Web presence and moving more services online:
* 85% of Americans want Federal agencies to provide more information and make more services available online
* 63% of Americans who interact with agencies over the Web are satisfied with their experiences
For more information, visit the original article here.
We ran across a blog post over at CallCentrehelper.com that outlines five innovative ways that social media is impacting the customer service world. Guy Tweedale is Senior Vice President, European Operations of Jacada writes:
1. It levels the playing field
2. Makes consumers more informed
3. Far less frustrated consumers
4. Authenticity in customer experience
5. Customer service is (finally) a higher priority in the boardroom
We’ve seen in case studies how one customer who “tweets” their complaint can impact the entire image of an organization. How is your company using social media to not only connect with customers but ensure that customer experience is stellar both off and online?
ConversationAgent.com researched larger companies that are using Twitter for customer service and relationship management. Blogger Valeria Maltoni writes that during the vetting process she looked at three distinct factors:
1. answering customer questions in real time — in other words, they have the support of the organization to be problem solvers, and not just to point to policies and disclaimers
2. thinking about customers first — which means, navigating the line between company rules and customer needs with skill. It will come as a shocker to many of you, putting a “customers first” tagline is a tiny step if you don’t walk the talk
3. orienting customers on what the account is about — often you can tell the level of thoughtfulness from the bio alone
The top companies using Twitter include: JetBlue, SouthWestAir, Comcastcares with nine more making the cut. We encourage you to read the post for more information.
But interestingly, Maltoni asks if its even important for customer support to be on Twitter? Can traditional customer support survive with the influx of social media? Maltoni asks if the data and understanding of the customers on Twitter actually help the organizations understand the customers that aren’t on Twitter. Do you think that data would stand?
With the recent development by YouTube to allow users to upload 15 minutes of videos to their account; there are a bevy of new ways that customer service professionals can utilize this resource to help and connect with customers on a digital level. Tony Bradley of PCWorld showcases two ways that that companies can use the extra 5 minutes to connect with their customers and team.
Customer Support. A picture is worth a thousand words, and a video is comprised of thousands of pictures streamed together. Rather than explaining processes like installation, configuration, or troubleshooting in a manual, or with text and images on a Web page, create customer service video clips for common tasks and post them on YouTube. Video clips will be appreciated by customers, and take some of the burden off of the help desk.
Training. Businesses can use YouTube to deliver effective training. Simply giving a training manual to an employee has mixed results–they may not really read it and they may not really understand it if they do. Paying a trainer, or delegating another employee to conduct training costs money, and results may vary depending on the trainer. A video clip allows you to record the training exactly as it should be delivered, and re-use it over and over without incurring any additional costs.
How else do you envision YouTube’s new service helping you and your business?