Catalogue


High-tech, high-touch customer service : inspire timeless loyalty in the demanding new world of social commerce /
Micah Solomon.
imprint
New York : American Management Association, c2012.
description
xiii, 194 p. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0814417906 (hbk.), 9780814417904 (hbk.)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : American Management Association, c2012.
isbn
0814417906 (hbk.)
9780814417904 (hbk.)
catalogue key
8417438
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 179-189) and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"Micah Solomon conveys an up-to-the minute and deeply practical take on customer service, business success, and the twin importance of people and technology." Steve Wozniak, co-founder, Apple Are you finding customers more and more fickle, less and less loyal, and ever ready to jump off the handle and on to Twitter? Are you starting to sense that the way you've always done customer service simply isn't working anymore? You're right to be alarmed. Terrified, even. Social media, self-service technologies, and smart phones have created a disorienting new landscape for businesses that were chugging along just fine as recently as last month. You now hold the solution to those concerns in your hands. High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service is the guide that teaches you to harness the power of technology to build emotional connections with your customersand generate fierce loyalty as a result. You'll learn how to bulletproof your business against the increasingly challenging world of customer interactions, both online and off. This book is the tool you need to regain your balance in a world where socially empowered customers pound companies with ever-escalating expectations and where complaints can quickly go viral, with devastating results. However, this isn't a book that throws the baby out with the digital bathwater. Everything in these pages is grounded in decades of experience and proven methodology. High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service gives you a clearheaded analysis of what's new in our digitally connected world and what remains unchanged, along with strategies for capturing a customer's business again and again. Packed with brilliant examples of anticipatory customer service, as well as some hilariously cautionary examples of customer service done disastrously wrong, this essential book explains how to: Implement the eight unbreakable rules of social media customer service Effectively address online customer complaints on Yelp, Twitter, TripAdvisor, and other forums Build a powerful culture that's nearly immune to competitive copycats Design compelling self-service options for today's customers Bind your customers to you closely through technologically informed anticipatory customer service Deliver best-of-class customer service in person, on the Web, via social media, and by use of the old-fashioned (but very effective) telephone call This is the book you've been waiting for: eye-opening insights, real-life disaster stories, and a sweeping perspective to help you make sense of the seismic changes in customer service delivery. It will help you fully grasp the crucial new rules that dictate who will survive and thrive in the years ahead. Micah Solomon is the customer service and marketing strategist termed by the Financial Post "a new guru of customer service excellence". He is a top keynote speaker, strategist, and consultant on customer service issues, the customer experience, and company culture. An entrepreneur and business leader, he coauthored the bestselling Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit . His expertise has been featured in Fast Company, Inc. Magazine, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, CNBC, Forbes.com, and elsewhere, and he created and helms the "College of the Customer" website.
First Chapter

Introduction

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

employees

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

project.

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

about.

a light touch at just the right time

I’m going to show you how to succeed at touching customers while

keeping your technological edge, as well as how to make that touch

more effective through your technological edge. You’ll also learn how

to use the right technology, people, and company culture to ensure that

your touch is feather light—not intrusive or more than the customer

wants, and always (and only) when the customer wants it.

The goal in all this is to touch customers in a way that builds true

customer loyalty—loyalty you can bank.

The stakes are high. Since the advent of the internet, and, most

specifically, the broad use of the World Wide Web starting in the

mid-1990s, there’s been a dramatic transformation of the competitive

landscape. The changes wrought by these new communication and distribution

channels are in many ways revolutionary, and they’re causing

disruptions akin to those of past revolutions.

For a parallel, look at the changes of the mid-nineteenth century.

During this period the stability of rural and village life was thrown into

disarray due to a host of technological advances, including those making

it possible to preserve and transport food. Customers could now purchase

edibles from across the country or around the world: The farmer

in New England who had been able to count on a captive local market

for whatever would graze or grow in his stony fields was now competing

against topsoil-rich Illinois and lamb-friendly New Zealand. The

result was a mass abandonment of farms throughout the region. The

transformation was striking: Go for a walk in the woods of New Hampshire

or Vermont and you’ll still see the proliferation of old stone walls

and foundations that attest to the abandoned farms and homesteads of

this era.4 Or just remember your poetry. This New England exodus is

the backstory of Robert Frost’s stuck-in-his-ways neighbor still trying

to mend a fence: He doesn’t realize times have changed and the fence,

at most, is now preventing runaway trees. There are no cattle to contain

anymore.

You can’t afford to be similarly left behind by today’s transformational

technologies. So many things have changed and continue to change in

the world of commerce. For example, our sense of timeliness: What was

plenty fast this time last year feels draggy now to the very same customers

because of changing expectations brought by mobile technology, social

media–induced restlessness, the incredible efficiency of vendors like

Amazon.com, and other factors. It’s crucial to invest brain cells, time, and

money to keep up with what it takes to hold on to your customers, now

that we’re all playing on a global, digitally connected field.

saying your business is ‘‘on the internet’’ is

like saying it’s ‘‘on the power grid’’

And yet, and yet . . . before you go off the technological deep end and

jettison all that is timeless in customer service, take at least a few shallow

breaths: In today’s high-tech world, where people can pay for their

lattes with the wave of a smartphone, saying your business is ‘‘on the

internet’’ is as mundane as saying it’s ‘‘on the power grid.’’ In other

words, doing business in a digitally informed manner should be comfortable

enough for your business that it becomes background information,

just like having ‘‘eleckatricity and all’’ (as long-ago folksinger Woody

Guthrie creatively spelled it out) was for earlier generations. This has

two implications. First, we need to bone up on what is essential and

timeless in customer service and stop being dazzled to the point of distraction

by all this newfangled internet stuff. And, paradoxically, we

need to realize that the internet, mobile technology, social media, and

self-service technologies of various stripes are now, with absolute finality,

integral to what customer service means today—and there is absolutely

no turning back.

This is the tightrope I’ll walk in this book. To put it another way,

I’ll bring you up to speed on everything that has changed in how customers

expect companies to behave, and how to stay at the forefront of

this revolution. Yet this isn’t a book that throws the baby out with

the digital bathwater, written by someone who thinks the Twitterverse

comprises the entire customer service universe. This is a book that realizes

that customers—how they behave and how they prefer to interact

with you—fall along a wide continuum. The breathless generalizations

and thoughtless cliche´s you hear every day in the technology and business

press about ‘‘today’s customers’’ are just that: generalizations and

cliche´s. This book will teach you how to do business in our threedimensional

world—with customers who walk on two legs and type

with ten fingers (or, just as likely today, with two thumbs).

Our idiosyncratic researcher Gue´gen was right: There is one thing

all customers have in common, in this era and any other: If you learn

to emotionally touch them, through a human-friendly website, via a

correctly designed self-service kiosk, in person, or even by mail

(remember mail?), that customer will respond. Learning to leave the

correct imprint on a customer, whether in an initial encounter, when

the customer honors you with a repeat visit to your company, or when

she lets you know that she’s upset, are key skills in this era, as in any

other. Through these abilities, your organization builds crucial brand

equity and avoids the danger of commoditization in the eyes of the

marketplace—a danger that the ever-expanding technological and

global-sourcing arms race has made more and more urgent.

all you need to know in a rhyming nutshell

Your touch will be felt most powerfully, with the longest-lasting aftereffect,

when you keep your customer’s personal, specific needs and

desires in the foreground, ideally without prompting. This is what I

call anticipatory customer service. Here’s what to strive for through people,

systems, and technology, set in an admittedly dopey rhyme for easy

recollection:

If you can anticipate

You can differentiate.

If customers feel at home

They’re unlikely to roam.

That, in a nutshell, is how you turn customer service into a competitive

advantage that will sustain your business year after year. If you can

anticipate what your customers want, before they ask for it, even before

they’re aware of or can express that they desire it, they’ll never feel the

need to go elsewhere. Your service is anticipatory when:

> Your product or service is what your customers are looking

for—specifically what they are looking for—before they have

to look elsewhere or raise their voices to ask you for it

> Your pricing, whether high, low, or in the middle of the marketplace,

fits the model customers hold mentally of what is fair

> You already know details about your specific customers that are

important to them, thus giving them a sense of belonging and

saving them time and the need to explain themselves and you

take the logical but rare next step of using these details to bring

your customers additional value—for example, suggesting

related purchases that suit them to a T.

homeward bound

If you can make your customer feel at home—no, not a home like my

old bachelor pad with a sink full of dishes and garbage that needs to be

taken out, but a magical home, like the one where, ideally speaking,

your customers grew up as kids, where the lightbulbs were automatically

changed and the groceries in the fridge were chosen to fit their

preference, where they were missed when they went to school and

welcomed back when they came home—why would they ever stray?

This homey image won’t be entirely new to my readers. As discussed

in Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit (Inghilleri-Solomon, AMACOM

2010), this was a revelation of the Ritz-Carlton’s founder, Horst Schulze,

who graciously contributed to our book. Schulze, early in the days of

building the Ritz-Carlton brand, working with a highly skilled team of

linguists, parsed survey after survey to find out what his customers meant

when they said they wanted his luxury hotels to be ‘‘just like home.’’

Ultimately, Schulze and these language experts discerned that his guests

were looking for a business that functioned like a home run by a caring

parent. I have yet to find a better archetype for how a business can build

a customer experience that will command true loyalty.

where tech makes loyalty easier

Here’s the great thing: Technology can make anticipation and ‘‘homekeeping’’

much simpler, and much easier to reap dramatic benefits

from. For example, custom-tailored, automated anticipatory messaging (see

Chapter 10) helps you respond in advance (‘‘pre-spond,’’ I suppose)

to customer needs and would have been impossible before the digital

communications revolution. Anticipatory design (see Chapter 4), used so

extraordinarily by companies like Apple and Google, can help simplify

your customer’s life. Well-designed ‘‘My Account’’ and other self-service

technology (see Chapter 8) has made it so many customers are willing,

even eager, to do much of the work for you to keep track of their

preferences and other details—information that, in turn, makes anticipatory

customer service easier to pull off. Customers will let you know

how to improve more directly than before if you keep your ear to

your electronic listening channels (see Chapter 13), thus facilitating a much

quicker feedback loop for future anticipatory service. And, once you

delight your customers with anticipatory customer service, they can

spread the word much more quickly via social media (see Chapters 11–13)

than was ever possible in the past.

Technology, properly directed, is the faithful friend of the

customer-centered company. But technology alone is almost never

enough to bring a company out of the danger zone of being considered

a commodity. Technology needs people—and a culture that supports

those people’s best efforts—to effectively direct technology to the service

of emotionally touching your customers. Providing great customer

service in our technologically altered world isn’t a fundamentally different

proposition than it was a decade ago, but it’s faster. More transparent.

More twitchy. Unforgiving. Viral. Magnified. But still created by,

and for, people.

Since people are central on both sides of the service interaction,

that’s where we go first in this discussion, with a peek at today’s customer.

Care to join me?

how this book is organized

This book is organized into three parts. Part One, ‘‘Timeliness and

Timelessness,’’ addresses the basics of doing customer service right, and

what it looks like when you do it wrong, in any era. Part Two, ‘‘High-

Tech, High-Touch Anticipatory Service,’’ begins to address what it

takes to create a true loyalty-building level of customer service: by

anticipating customer needs through the right people, culture, and

technology. Part Three, ‘‘The Rise of Self-Service and Social Media—

And Other Seismic Shifts,’’ extends the technological focus by covering

in detail the trends of self-service, social media, and electronic customer

input in general—and ways to stay ahead of competitors in these areas.

Within these sections, each chapter is followed by a Cliff ’s Notes–

style cheat sheet for your quick review and as a memory aid (put together

by me, not by those selfless experts at the actual Cliff ’s Notes who got

you through The Iliad). This summary is called, inevitably, ‘‘And Your

Point Is?’’ (If my point is still hard to decipher, shoot me an email at

micah@micahsolomon.com or visit me at customerserviceguru.com

and let me know how I can clarify it for your individual situation.)

Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2012-03-12:
Consultant Solomon (coauthor of Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit) helps businesspeople navigate the murky waters of social media-driven customer service, specifically, how to respond, when to respond, and when to keep their mouths shut. The competitive landscape has changed dramatically, and customer expectations with it; never before have customers had such insight into company behavior or such expectation of immediate response. Solomon advocates anticipatory customer service mixed with old-fashioned product creation and service. He also stresses understanding values-based buying, the importance of communicating the company's principles, autonomy for customer service workers, and methods of handling the fears and hazards of the new landscape. Though occasionally opaquely acronym-heavy, this is a cogent and clear primer for business owners leery of social media, featuring clear, organized takeaways and a firm, encouraging tone. Agent: Bill Gladstone, Waterside Productions. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Reviews
Review Quotes
"...cogent and clear primer for business owners leery of social media, featuring clear, organized takeaways and a firm, encouraging tone." -- Publishers Weekly
"...easy-to-read format that blends clear and practical solutions, written intelligently in a style that is relaxed and personal (and often quite funny). --FastForward Income
"...easy-to-read format that blends clear and practical solutions, written intelligently in a style that is relaxed and personal (and often quite funny)." -- FastForward Income
"..extremely valuable to all entrepreneurs, information marketers and business owners to think about, today more than ever." -- Greg Rollett, Rockstar Lifestyle Design
"..extremely valuable to all entrepreneurs, information marketers and business owners to think about, today more than ever."-- Greg Rollett, Rockstar Lifestyle Design
"..extremely valuable to all entrepreneurs, information marketers and business owners to think about, today more than ever."--Greg Rollett, Rockstar Lifestyle Design
"...for anyone in business seeking to provide great customer service. The lessons can be applied to the business practices of a mom-and-pop shop or a billion dollar corporation." -- StellaService
"...for anyone in business seeking to provide great customer service. The lessons can be applied to the business practices of a mom-and-pop shop or a billion dollar corporation."-- StellaService
"...great read for anyone looking to design and deliver better customer experiences with the help of technology." -- ReviewPro
"...great read for anyone looking to design and deliver better customer experiences with the help of technology." --ReviewPro
"I hope companies pick up this book and implement its ideas right away! If done right, companies can easily have customers for life." -- Portland Book Review
"I hope companies pick up this book and implement its ideas right away! If done right, companies can easily have customers for life." --Portland Book Review
"Micah offers us a view into the client's paradigm TODAY, and reveals how to deliver world class customer service." -- PM Knowledge Transfer
"Micah offers us a view into the client's paradigm TODAY, and reveals how to deliver world class customer service." --PM Knowledge Transfer
"Micah's new book is right up my alley! ...This book was fantastic..." --It is Alive in the Lab
"Micah's new book is right up my alley! ...This book was fantastic..."--It is Alive in the Lab
"...must-read for any business leader...the content content is grounded in decades of experience and proven methodology." -- Eric Jacobson On Management And Leadership
"...must-read for any business leader...the content content is grounded in decades of experience and proven methodology." --Eric Jacobson On Management And Leadership
"...presents all sorts of practical advice (and real world examples) to organizations on how to adapt to the new balance of power that social media presents." --CIO Digest
"...presents all sorts of practical advice (and real world examples) to organizations on how to adapt to the new balance of power that social media presents." CIO Digest
"...reminds us that genuine customer service isn't an afterthought... It is a continuing approach to meeting customers' changing needs on an ongoing basis." -- Inland Business Journal
"Sharp, witty and full of practical tools and examples, his text is a fine blend of entertaining read and things I can start doing Monday morning..." --Independent Agent
"Sharp, witty and full of practical tools and examples, his text is a fine blend of entertaining read and things I can start doing Monday morning..." Independent Agent
"...should be read by all business executives...an important book about the negative impact social media has had on the business world." -- Blogcritics
"...should be read by all business executives...an important book about the negative impact social media has had on the business world." --Blogcritics
"Solomon has written a book that touches on all of the major issues surrounding customer service." --Suite101
"Solomon has written a book that touches on all of the major issues surrounding customer service." -- Suite101.com
"The book is a must-read for any business leader. And, fortunately, the content is grounded in decades of experience and proven methodology." --Eric Jacobson on Management and Leadership
"...the seminal work about how to handle your customers in this social media marketing high-tech, high-touch world." -- IConnect007
"This 5-star book is eye-opening, entertaining, and above all, emphatically practical...for anyone in business striving...to keep up with technology and to keep their customers." --Clark's Eye-on-Books
"This 5-star book is eye-opening, entertaining, and above all, emphatically practical...for anyone in business striving...to keep up with technology and to keep their customers." Clark's Eye-on-Books
"This 5-star book is eye-opening, entertaining, and above all, emphatically practical...for anyone in business striving...to keep up with technology and to keep their customers."Clark's Eye-on-Books
"This book is IDEAL for business owners who sell to consumers...you will find examples and lessons galore." -- Small Business Trends
"This book is IDEAL for business owners who sell to consumers...you will find examples and lessons galore." --Small Business Trends
"...will transform your thinking, your goals and vision, your approach to customer service, and your entire company culture into one that builds and sustains high-touch customer service..." --BlogBusinessWorld.com
"...will transform your thinking, your goals and vision, your approach to customer service, and your entire company culture into one that builds and sustains high-touch customer service..." BlogBusinessWorld.com
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, March 2012
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Back Cover Copy
Advance Praise for High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service : "In a world of mind-numbing choices and little loyalty, Micah reminds us why caring about your customers (and treating them that way) is not just something that feels good, it's good business." Seth Godin, bestselling author of Purple Cow and Linchpin "Micah Solomon takes on one of the stickiest questions in business todayhow to navigate the ever-changing landscape of technology without losing the soul of the cus­tomer experienceand explains it with great savvy. High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service is a must read for anyone serious about great service in the digital age." Jay Coldren, Vice President, Lifestyle Brands, Marriott International "To create a personal connection in today's fast-paced environment businesses must listen and respond at the speed of lightand create a culture built on service. Solomon illustrates how to anticipate customer expectations and deliver a memorable experience every time." Ray Davis, President and CEO, Umpqua Bank "Clearly the best book on customer service management written in the last decade." Professor Frank Allen Philpot, George Mason University School of Management "Micah Solomon's brilliantly written and often belly-laugh humorous High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service will show you how to embrace the new era of round the clock customer feedback and thrive in business for years to come." Brian Schoenbaechler, President and Managing Partner, Integracore "In my world of not-for-profits, there is almost nothing more important than building constituent loyalty and retention of donors. Micah Solomon's methodology and wisdom are the true expert guidance that's needed to make this a reality." Jann Schultz, Director of Donor Relations, Operation Smile "Micah Solomon's pedigree as an entrepren eur, marketer, and customer service strategist is clear. In High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service , Solomon, better than anybody else I've seen, illustrates how to achieve a level of customer engagement that makes an organization thrive in our era of tech enabled business success." Jonathan Feldman, Contributing Editor, Information Week
Back Cover Copy
Advance Praise for High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service : "In a world of mind-numbing choices and little loyalty, Micah reminds us why caring about your customers (and treating them that way) is not just something that feels good, it's good business." Seth Godin, bestselling author of Purple Cow and Linchpin "Micah Solomon takes on one of the stickiest questions in business todayhow to navigate the ever-changing landscape of technology without losing the soul of the customer experienceand explains it with great savvy. High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service is a must read for anyone serious about great service in the digital age." Jay Coldren, Vice President, Lifestyle Brands, Marriott International "To create a personal connection in today's fast-paced environment businesses must listen and respond at the speed of lightand create a culture built on service. Solomon illustrates how to anticipate customer expectations and deliver a memorable experience every time." Ray Davis, President and CEO, Umpqua Bank "Clearly the best book on customer service management written in the last decade." Professor Frank Allen Philpot, George Mason University School of Management "Micah Solomon's brilliantly written and often belly-laugh humorous High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service will show you how to embrace the new era of round the clock customer feedback and thrive in business for years to come." Brian Schoenbaechler, President and Managing Partner, Integracore "In my world of not-for-profits, there is almost nothing more important than building constituent loyalty and retention of donors. Micah Solomon's methodology and wisdom are the true expert guidance that's needed to make this a reality." Jann Schultz, Director of Donor Relations, Operation Smile "Micah Solomon's pedigree as an entrepren eur, marketer, and customer service strategist is clear. In High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service , Solomon, better than anybody else I've seen, illustrates how to achieve a level of customer engagement that makes an organization thrive in our era of tech enabled business success." Jonathan Feldman, Contributing Editor, Information Week
Bowker Data Service Summary
This title spells out surefire strategies for high-tech, high-touch customer service success in a clear, entertaining, and practical way. Readers will discover six major customer trends and what they mean for your business.
Description for Bookstore
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 empowermentlashing 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 surviveand 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-serviceand 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 wideonline and off.
Main Description
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 upwith. 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
Main Description
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 upwith. 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 effectivelyaddress 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.
Main Description
' 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 upwith. 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 effectivelyaddress 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. Small Business Trends 10 Best Strategy Books 2013
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Selected by Small Business Trends as one of the 10 Best Strategy Books to Beat the Competition
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Small Business Trends 10 Best Strategy Books 2013
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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.
Main Description
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 theymean 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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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 empowermentùlashing 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 surviveùand thrive. And High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service spells out surefire strategies for success in a clear, entertaining, and practical way. Discover: ò Six major customer trends and what they mean for your business ò Eight unbreakable rules for social media customer service ò How to effectively address online complainers and saboteurs on Yelp, Twitter, TripAdvisor, and other forums for user generated content ò The rising power of self-serviceùand how to design it properly ò 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 wideùonline and off.
Main Description
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 empowermentlashing 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 surviveand 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-serviceand 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 wideonline and off.
Table of Contents
Introductionp. 1
Forearmed Is Forewarmedp. 2
A Light Touch at Just the Right Timep. 3
Saying Your Business Is "On the Internet" Is Like Saying It's "On the Power Grid"p. 4
All You Need to Know in a Rhyming Nutshellp. 5
Homeward Boundp. 6
Where Tech Makes Loyalty Easierp. 7
How This Book Is Organizedp. 8
Timeliness and Timelessnessp. 9
Today's Changed Customer: Making Lovemaking Difficultp. 11
The Most Crucial Customer "Trends" Today Are Individual Changes 12
Customer Trend #1: Customers Expect Anticipatory Technological Behavior and Aggregated Information-Instantlyp. 12
Customer Trend #2: Shame Shift and Values-Based Buyingp. 14
Customer Trend #3: Timelessness over Trendinessp. 15
Customer Trend #4: Customer Empowermentp. 16
Customer Trend #5: The Greening of the Customerp. 17
Customer Trend #6: The Desire for Self-Servicep. 18
"And Your Point Is?"p. 19
The Customer Remains the Same: Everything That Isn't New Under the Sunp. 21
Providing Value: As Easy as 1, 2 … 4p. 22
A Perfect Product or Servicep. 22
Delivered in a Caring, Friendly Mannerp. 23
In a Timely Fashionp. 25
… Backed Up by an Effective Problem-Resolution Processp. 26
"And Your Point Is?"p. 30
Timeless Customer Service Done Right-and Wrong: Mastery Versus Catastrophep. 32
The Masterful Companyp. 32
A Cameo of Catastrophe: Timeless Service Done Tragically Wrongp. 40
"And Your Point Is?"p. 45
High-Tech, High-Touch Anticipatory Customer Servicep. 47
A Google of Apples a Day: The Art of Anticipation in the Modern World of Customer Servicep. 49
The Apple Store Experiencep. 50
From Cradle to Credit Cardp. 53
A Tale of Two Installsp. 53
Bringing It All Back Homep. 57
"Attaching" Yourself to Customers: Gmail and Morep. 58
"And Your Point Is?"p. 61
Anticipatory Customer Service: Your Culturep. 63
The Curse of the Short-Term Focusp. 64
Consciously Building a Company Culture: Why Bother?p. 66
You Can't Out-Pixar Pixar-But Here's What You Can Dop. 69
Cultural Friends with Benefitsp. 70
Cultural Fit, Oddballs, and When Not to Hirep. 71
Positive Peer Pressure: The Double Significance of Every Hiring Decisionp. 72
Vendors: Partners, Not Poisonp. 74
Spelling Out How You Treat Customers, Vendors, and Employeesp. 75
How to Get Started Building Your Corep. 76
The Best Time to Start? Now.p. 77
Buy-in or Highwayin'p. 79
Your Core Values Are Just the Start-But They Are a Startp. 79
Culture Meets the Larger Worldp. 81
How This Plays Out in a Pinch: Southwest's Culture Saves a Service Dogp. 82
"And Your Point Is?"p. 83
Anticipatory Customer Service: Your Peoplep. 86
A Wet Dog at Petcop. 88
Supernatural Selectionp. 89
Trial by Hirep. 90
"Fit" and Its Pitfallsp. 91
"And Your Point Is?"p. 93
Sangria, Sippy Cups, and Jesse Ventura: Autonomy Versus Standardsp. 95
Patting Down Jesse Venturap. 96
The Case for Autonomy in Customer Service Workp. 98
The Need for Standardsp. 101
Standards and Autonomy: The Hybrid Pathp. 102
Pour Lion and PEPIp. 105
Conveying Standards-And Maintaining Autonomyp. 106
"And Your Point Is?"p. 107
The Rise of Self-Service and Social Media-And Other Seismic Shiftsp. 109
The Rise of Self-Service: A Boon to Your Customers-But Only If You Do It Rightp. 111
Awarding Myself the Mobile Prizep. 111
Principles of Successful Self-Servicep. 115
"And Your Point Is?"p. 119
Technological Change and Disabled Customers: A True Opportunity, If You Avoid the Misstepsp. 121
There's More to Ramping Up than Putting Ramps Up: A Variety of Issues and Solutionsp. 121
Wynn Somep. 125
"And Your Point Is?"p. 126
Shoulder Your Customer's Burden (and Make Sure You're Not Adding to It!)p. 127
Stupid Stuffp. 127
Stupid Is as … I Forgetp. 128
Get to Them Firstp. 132
Where Are the Opportunities to Get to Them First?p. 133
Permission to Anticipatep. 136
The Specific Medium Is the Message-And Its Only Chance of Getting Throughp. 139
"And Your Point Is?"p. 140
Anti-Social Media: Fears and Hazards of the New Landscapep. 142
Bicycle Pumps and Veterinariansp. 142
Regime Change in 140 Charactersp. 143
Ouch: The First Time They Talk About Youp. 143
Nobody Uses Twitter to Tell a Friend His Fly's Undonep. 144
Social Media Is Not a Diseasep. 146
A Story That Almost Became a Viral Tweetp. 146
"And Your Point Is?"p. 148
Social Service: Principles for Social Media Customer Servicep. 149
Principle #1: Avoid the Fiasco Formula: A Digital Stitch in Time Saves Nine (Million)p. 150
Principle #2: Lie Back and Think of England: Digital Arguments with Customers Are an Exponentially Losing Propositionp. 150
Principle #3: Turn Twankers into Thankers: Reach Out Directly to Online Complainersp. 151
Principle #4: Consider Getting a Complainer on the Telephone (with Permission)-Even if the Relationship Started in Social Media Landp. 154
Principle #5: Get Happy Outcomes into the Public Eyep. 155
Principle #6: Use Social Media and Personal Email to Make Your Customers Feel Importantp. 155
Principle #7: Monitorp. 156
Principle #8: If Your Social Media Responses Are Inferior to-Or Not Integrated with-Your Other Channels, They're Hurting Your Brandp. 157
"And Your Point Is?"p. 158
Listening: Your Ears Are Your Most Important Technologyp. 160
Only One Perspective That Mattersp. 160
Sanctuary Much: The S.M.A.R.T. Approach to the Human Force Fieldp. 162
Using Electronic Systems to Enhance Your Listeningp. 165
It's All About Listening-And It Starts by Opening Yourself to Hearingp. 169
The Maytag Repairman Lets You Slap Him in the Facebookp. 169
Break It to Ourselves More Gentlyp. 172
Surveying the Landscapep. 173
"And Your Point Is?"p. 175
Notesp. 179
Indexp. 191
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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