Customer service blog posts and/or articles are non-fiction pieces of literature that require extensive research and experience in the field. Therefore, the general expectations that you should expect when reading such an article are for the writer(s) to have at least some years of experience or familiarity with the subject.
There are hundreds and thousands of customer service articles written every week with the sole intent of guiding all those who need help with customer support. The topics are wide, ranging from customer service basics, such as setting up a customer support division for a small business, to unique experiences that companies and teams face when dealing with customers, to the more technical side of operating a customer relationship management system. A variety of topics comes under the umbrella of customer service posts. In this article, we’re going to list the top customer service posts for the year 2018 on a monthly basis. So, let’s get started.
1. January: Jumpstarting Your CX Strategy
At the very beginning of the year, Annette Franz kickstarted the year by talking about a bunch of blog posts intended to help newbies to get started with a CX strategy that will help their business.
Titled, “8 Must-Read Posts to Start Your CX Strategy on the Right Foot”, the post is meant to familiarize those who are only just embarking on their journey to creating a CX plan that will work for their business. The post itself has three main categories:
- culture, and
2. February: Customer Service As the New Marketing Tool
Micah Solomon’s Forbes article, “Customer Service Is The New Marketing”, makes the case for why having a quality customer service is important. His simple yet informative article talks about how marketing patterns have changed and how we, as consumers, prefer experiencing a company’s offer instead of depending on advertisements or promotion.
3. March: Make It or Break It
Steve DiGioia’s article, “Are Moments of Truth Really Worth All The Fuss?” talks about ‘moments of truth’ in your customer experience- where your service can make or break the deal for potential customers.
4. April: Survival Mode Is NOT Good
In their article titled, “Why Survival Mode Kills the Customer Experience”, writers Kevin Hurt and Nate Brown talk about how the “survival” mode can actually damage your business. They do so in a relatable manner, describing in detail how monotony in your service sector can actually cause your customer service representatives to hate their job and fall into the infamous survival mode.
This has damning consequences for your business as the general bored, gloomy environment of your service can affect customer experience, thus driving customers away from your business- and nobody wants that. Luckily, the writers also took the time to list and talk in detail about the five steps you can take to move your business away from this stage and begin to thrive again. This one is definitely worth the read!
5. May: Customer Success and Its Implications
We already featured this article by Michael Pace on our Top Seven Great CX Blogs from May to June’18 post but due to its relevance and importance, we’ve decided that it’s probably the best CX post that came out in the month of May. Pace’s post, “Why Customer Success is the Future of Customer Service” highlights the importance of focusing on a company’s churn rates. If you are able to successfully manage to gain a large number of people to sign up for your service, you’re good. But how do you do that?
Pace talks about it in an analytical way, giving examples of companies like Netflix and Microsoft and how they’re able to not only get numbers on the first go but how they did it. The answers, of course, lies within the first impressions. You need to make your customer service so good that people are bound to get hooked from the get-go. You can learn specifics about that in his blog post. Have fun!
6. June: Dealing with Difficult Customers
Anyone in the customer service industry will tell you that dealing with difficult customers is actually quite frustrating. There’s really no way around it- you can’t be rude to them because it ruins their customer experience and ultimately ruins your customer service’s reputation. You can’t let them feel undermined or undervalued either. So what do you do with them? Elizabeth Wellington does a great job of explaining how to deal with difficult customers in her article, “How to Deal With Difficult Customers.” There’s actually a way to deal with such customers without risking upsetting them or jeopardizing their experience with your firm. Read her article and you’re bound to be set on the right track to satisfying even the most difficult of customers!
7. July: Case Study on Japan
July’s article titled “Japan: The Land of Amazing Service Culture” by Nate Brown is a little different from the articles we’ve covered so far. Unlike previous posts which look at a company or two as a case study, the author decided to write about an entire country and how customer service there is different from the rest of the world.
To be fair, when thinking of Japan, most of us do think of the fun services the country has to offer. Everyone loves Japan because, overall, it has the air of a really fun place to live in. But that’s not all, Japan is actually one of the tech capitals of the world. Android bots serving people food, small yet extremely smart homes- all of this makes up the Japanese landscape. The author noticed all of this and more in his trip to Japan and subsequently wrote a piece about Japanese customer service and why it’s much, much better than virtually everywhere else in the world, thus providing a unique perspective into the Japanese service industry.
8. August: Focus on Mental and Physical Well-Being of Your Staff
This article is also referenced on our top CX blog posts for the month of August post as well. It refers to an article titled “Promoting Mental and Physical Well-Being in Service Roles” written by Nate Brown and Jenny Dempsey that talks about the mental and physical health of staff in the customer service industry. We found this article to be particularly interesting because it deals with the issue of being mindful of the staff’s well-being. In the customer service industry, the concept of “customer first” prevails which is why it is easier to ignore the staff’s well-being.
This article talks about that and also presents the case of why it is necessary to focus on your staff’s mental and physical well-being. Among the many reasons is the fact that healthier staff are far more efficient at their job. The article further talks about how leaders can implement policies that benefit their staff’s health including the initiating of a “code lavender.” We highly recommend that you give it a read.
9. September: Tech Advancements That’ll Enhance Your Customer Experience
For the month of September, we have a very interesting piece by Kelechi Okeke. Titled, “6 Tech Advances That Will Enhance Customer Experience”, this article talks about the technologies being integrated into customer service that is bound to benefit you- if you add them to your CRM system. The author talks about the following:
1. Virtual reality
2. Location-based computing
3. 3D Printing
5. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
6. Internet of Things (IoT)
These technologies are integrated into customer service. More details are provided on the blog post, so do check it out.
10. Oct: Understanding NPS
NPS stands for Net Promoter Score and was developed by a man named Fred Reichheld. It was created to get a clear image of how satisfied your customers are with your service. In order to get your customer satisfaction score, you need to subtract your promoter audience with your detractors. It’s actually a pretty interesting concept and can accurately help you compare your business against others in the industry if you get it right. If you’re interested in finding out how NPS works, check out our blog post on it.
11. Nov: Service Training, or Service Education?
For the month of November, we decided to delve into the difference between customer service training and customer service education. Many CX blogs stress on the importance of one or the other, calling each integral to enhance the customer experience. But exactly what is it?
In her article, “Customer Service Training, or Service Education. What’s the Difference?”, Divya Bhat looks for the key differences between these two terms and how each has a lasting impact on the customer experience.
The reason behind these two terminologies might not matter right now. But in situations of crisis, the difference of training and education of a particular team member or representative can change the overall result of the crisis.
12. Dec: Future Trends
We end our year with future predictions to watch out for in 2019. The article, “2019: Three CX Trend to Look Out For” predicts possible trends that we might see in the customer service sector. Through analysis and observation of trends, cxm.co.uk was able to pick up on three trends that are likely to take over in 2019. What are they?
Well, you’ll have to read them to find out!
So, here was our list of the best customer service blog posts for the year 2018. We’ve tried to cover a large variety of topics from mental health to dealing with the most difficult of customers and finally, to future trends to look out for in 2019.
These articles are based on a large volume of CX posts we’ve viewed online. We’ve tried to keep them as diverse as possible, hoping to attract the attention of a diverse audience. You don’t need to be a CX expert in order to read this article. All you need is to have experienced customer service once, or have worked in the service industry once, to understand what we’re talking about.