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Customer Service News & Analysis

Men Want Products, Women Want Help and No One Wants to Wait

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No one has time for patience when it comes to customer service. But beyond that universal truth, there are significant gender differences between men and women when it comes to customer service.

According to a new survey from Kana, a provider of customer service solutions, both sexes are frustrated by wait times and slow response.

Beyond that, men are most annoyed by out-of-stock inventory, unknowledgeable or incompetent employees, lack of assistance and the bad attitude of customer service representatives. Women rate their frustrations, in order, as lack of assistance, bad attitudes, out of stock inventory and unknowledgeable or incompetent employees.

Busted: 5 Common Myths Of Customer Service

2014-22-May-Big-Fella.jpgThere are dozens of misconceptions about working in customer service commonly assumed by businesses. Whether a fresh young start-up or established conglomerate, mistakes like limited thinking or an overemphasis on one particular aspect of a customer strategy has the potential to weaken a business from the inside. And it’s amazing how many companies continue to make the same mistakes, resting on the appeal of their renowned brand name whilst they fail to address gaps in their service structure.

Bad Time for an IPO? Don't Tell Zendesk

2014-16-May-Zendesk-IPO.jpgIf anyone tried to convince Zendesk cofounder and CEO Mikkel Svane that now was the wrong time for an enterprise, SaaS company to go public, it’s good he didn’t listen.

Yesterday the company’s shares opened for trade on the New York Stock Exchange, under the ticker symbol ZEN, at $9 each -- directly in the middle of its projected $8 to $10 range -- and ended the day at $13.43, more than 49 percent above where they started.

It’s estimated that the cloud help desk provider raised $100 million which it will use to build on its success and accelerate its growth.

Guess What 3 Countries Offer the Best Customer Service

The three top countries for customer service may not be the ones you expect. According to a new report from Zendesk, a cloud-based customer service platform provider, New Zealand, Canada and Norway know how to keep customers satisfied.

The just released Zendesk Benchmark Q1 report is one in a series since March of 2012. The previous report ranked Norway, Canada and Denmark as the top countries for customer service.

Sam Boonin, vice president of products at Zendesk, told CMSWire the report is based on 40,000 companies that use Zendesk for customer service. The data focuses on customer support efficiency, self-service behavior and levels of customer engagement.

InContact's $48 Million Buy Targets Mid-Sized Contact Centers

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Data's good for customer experience. Data's bad for customer experience

This pie is sliced in many ways. This week, cloud-based contact center solutions and optimization provider inContact spent $48 million to ensure its clients have the right tools to optimize data and provide a solid customer experience.

The Salt Lake City-based company acquired Uptivity (formerly CallCopy), a Columbus, Ohio-based workforce optimization (WFO) provider. The deal is expected to make it easier for inContact to provide mid-sized contact centers with tools like speech and desktop analytics, agent coaching, call and desktop recording.

Taking CRM to the Next Level with the Internet of Things

With all of the talk about the Internet of Things (IoT), it’s easy to get lost in the possibilities of the future. But right now, as you’re reading this article, you should already be devising a plan to integrate connected devices into your business processes.

5 Ways to Handle Real Time Content Demands

5 Ways to Handle Real Time Content DemandsBetween social channels, knowledge bases, blog comments, blog posts and the many other ways to interact with customers, how do you stay “on” in real time, even nights and weekends? Users are online all the time. Article comments, support questions and social posts appear around the clock. And as we have seen time and again, customers are more than willing to take action when companies don’t reply quickly enough.

How Consumer Collaboration Solved the Case of the Grumpy Fliers

How Consumer Collaboration Solved the Case of the Grumpy FliersBig data can tell marketers what consumers are doing, buying or rejecting. But it cannot tell you why any of those things are happening. This is the story of how a company can turn that data into useful information to drive innovation by actually collaborating with consumers. In this case, the approach helped an airline solve the case of the grumpy fliers. Here’s how:

7 Vendors Top the Forrester Wave for Customer Service Solutions

At a time when seven out of 10 online shoppers complain of unsatisfactory experiences, which vendors stand out as offering possible solutions? The authors of the latest Forrester Wave Customer Service Solutions for Enterprise Customers Q2 2014 (registration required) rated customer service vendors against 83 criteria and identified seven leaders.

According to the report, the vendors with the best strategy pursued excellence in a limited number of areas and avoided over diversified, Jack-of-All-Trade scenarios.

Make the Customer the Focus of Online Experiences

Nearly seven in 10 customers have had an unsatisfactory e-commerce experience in the past year, according to a new Forrester Wave on customer service solutions. That's a disturbing and eye-opening statistic, noted Kate Leggett, primary author of The Forrester Wave Customer Service Solutions For Enterprise Organizations Q2 2014 (registration required).

Leggett and co-authors Stephen Powers, Michael Facemire and Victoria Boutan identified the 11 most significant customer service solutions, but also warned that not all vendors are making the grade.

Reporting for Duty at Bloomfire: New CEO Bob Zukis

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Want to watch someone walk their talk? Then keep your eyes on Bob Zukis.

Zukis is the author of Social Inc., a book that claims Business is the next social opportunity — and it's worth trillions of dollars.

Beginning this morning, he’ll have a chance to prove it when he takes the helm at Bloomfire, a start-up that aims to revolutionize the Enterprise through its knowledge sharing and social collaboration platform.

For those who aren’t yet familiar with Bloomfire, it was launched nearly two years ago at SXSW in Austin, Texas, where the company also happens to be based.

What Not to Say: Words that Cost You Customers

help me

Everyone has a pet peeve about customer experience. Persistent pop-ups that ask annoyingly, "Need help?" Websites with music in their hearts.

Videos that start automatically. Hard to find contact information. Contact centers that make you wait on hold ... for what seems like forever. Intricate, thickly branched phone trees. Glitchy self-service kiosks.

It's a multichannel mess, more or less.

But nothing is more maddening — or more contrary to the whole philosophy of CXM — than scripted responses that lack even trace amounts of empathy, understanding or compassion. As customer experience researcher, innovator and entrepreneur John A. Goodman so clearly articulates, some things are better left unsaid.

What else would you expect to hear from the co-author of "Shut Your Mouth! Words and Phrases to Avoid in a Customer-Focused Service Environment"?

Are You Wasting Money on Customer Experience?

Are You Wasting Money on Customer Experience?Think about all you've invested in the latest digital technologies to improve customer experience (CX). Now think about this.

It might have been a big waste of time and money.

A new study by CX Act, a customer experience improvement firm, shows the most frequently used and most effective customer touch point is personal contact by phone. The study (registration required), which updates a study the company originally conducted for the White House in 1980, concludes:

While companies can’t ignore the need to offer a multichannel strategy and digital channels are likely to grow in importance (especially since younger consumers are more likely to use digital touch points), what matters NOW for creating an optimal customer contact experience is providing a phone or in-person customer interaction that delivers on the brand promise."

Contact Centers Drive the Social CRM Revolution

With more than 2 million Twitter accounts established every day, social media presents a host of new challenges and opportunities in the realm of customer relationship management (CRM). People are tweeting not only about their customer service needs but also the good, bad and ugly of the experience that they receive from companies.

According to evolve24, 70 percent of customer tweets to companies are being ignored -- and the damage can be significant. Gartner estimates that failure to respond via social channels can lead to an up to 15 percent increase in churn rate for existing customers.

News Bites: Updates from Brainshark, Xinet, Kenshoo and More

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A lot of news this week: Certain Inc. adds interests, Brainshark launches for Salesforce Work.com, Xinet gets OnFile, Kenshoo integrates with Oracle Social Cloud and Wix.com buys Appixia.com. 

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