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High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service : Inspire Timeless Loyalty in the Demanding New World of Social Commerce
In an age of Twitter, smartphones, and self-service kiosks, high-tech but still high-touch customer service is the answer.
Today's customers are a hard bunch to crack. Time-strapped, screen-addicted, value-savvy, and socially engaged, their expectations are tougher than ever for a business to keep up with. They are empowered like never before and expect businesses to respect that sense of empowerment--lashing out at those that don't.
Take heart: Old-fashioned customer service, fully retooled for today's blistering pace and digitally connected reality, is what you need to build the kind loyal customer base that allows you to survive--and thrive. And High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service spells out surefire strategies for success in a clear, entertaining, and practical way. Discover:
* Six major customer trends and what they mean for your business
* Eight unbreakable rules for social media customer service
* How to effectively address online complainers and saboteurs on Yelp, Twitter, TripAdvisor, and other forums for user generated content
* The rising power of self-service--and how to design it properly
* How to build a company culture that breeds stellar customer service
High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service reveals inside secrets of wildly successful customer service initiatives, from Internet startups to venerable brands, and shows how companies of every stripe can turn casual customers into fervent supporters who will spread the word far and wide--online and off.
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May 01, 2012
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Excerpt from High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service by Micah Solomon
Marshall Plympton (not his actual name, although I was tempted) is
the all-too-real proprietor of an ''eclectic American'' restaurant near
our vacation spot in the central Carolinas. Marshall's eatery has fortyseven
reviews on Yelp, twelve on Google, and thirteen on TripAdvisor.
The majority of these reviews are actually pretty positive.
Marshall, however, isn't satisfied with his good reviews and has no
interest in learning from anything constructive in the mixed ones.
Instead, he responds to even the smallest online slight with outrage.
Outrageous outrage. Here's one example of Marshall responding on Yelp
to a very mild critique:
If any other bleepholes [except Marshall didn't type ''bleepholes'']
like ''Jjhamie319'' are thinking of coming to my restaurant, listen up:
Please DON'T come. Just DON'T. I have enough work serving the
rest of you people without this kind of grief. And Jjhamie319, so
WHAT if your soup was cold. ''Cold'' is subjective.We are only three
people in the kitchen, sometimes four depending on the season. Can
YOU keep soup hot at YOUR house? Big bleeping deal that it was
quote unquote ''cold'' twice. Don't come in again--make your own
soup. Hope you scald your mouth.1
Marshall doesn't need my book; he needs a new line of work, far away from
customers. But for the rest of you, who'd like to keep your organization
free of what could be termed ''Marshall Lawlessness'' and learn to get
along with and win over today's breed of customer, I offer this book.
Social media blundering, even in milder forms than Marshall's, is
one of the potential pitfalls of engaging with customers today, but it's
not the only one. And the book you're reading is not exclusively about
social media, because what an organization needs in order to avoid
responses that evoke our clueless Marshall is much more than nuts-andbolts
training in social media. What's needed could be more properly
termed training in humanity. Humanity training involves:
> Understanding customers and their desires, unformed and
always-shifting though they may be
> Consciously building an extraordinary company culture
> Understanding, appropriately selecting, and engaging
And, of course, learning the special code of technologically cluedin
commerce, including social media: how to respond, when to
respond, and when, in fact, to keep your mouth (terminal, actually)
shut. All of which I'll cover as we move through this book.
forearmed is forewarmed
It was behavioral scientist Nicolas Gue�gen who proved the power, literally
speaking, of touch.2 He demonstrated it definitively--and a bit
creepily, I might add. His research experiments showed that giving a
light touch on the arm nearly doubles your chance of getting what you
want: convincing someone to join you in charity work, getting the
phone number of an attractive stranger you've spotted on the street,
getting the quiet newcomer in the meeting to take on a thankless
And most relevant to our subject, he proved that this tap can help
convince a stranger to participate in a supermarket taste test and, ultimately,
to buy your product. (Before we get too dependent on Gue�gen's
work, I feel obliged to note that Gue�gen's research strays into some
curious territory, such as determining, for female hitchhikers, the ideal
bust size to entice a male driver to stop.3 So I'm not going to be using
the full range of his research in this book.)
Of course, we can't actually touch our customers on the arm: It's
not, as far as I know, possible to do over the internet, and it's prone to
misinterpretation if done in person. Yet, figuratively, we do need to
touch our customers if we're going to provide memorable customer
service. And touching--reaching--your customers is what this book's