Friday Service Recap: Succession Planning, Future Service Leaders, Alexa, Credit Cards and More Customer Service Stories for the Week

Every week, Sumair and I will post our most interesting customer service minded stories for the week as part of a Friday recap. We’ll comment on one story each and then add 3 others for your review.

For the fifteenth installment, and week 20 of 2017:

Sumair’s pick:

Topic: Succession Planning at the Leadership Level
Source: WSJ

Commentary: On a recent conversation with one of our Advisory Board Members, we touched upon the topic of talent. We’ve had many discussions around talent and workforce management, particularly tied to the aging workforce. But this conversation focused on talent and succession planning at the service leadership level. The Advisory Board Member was interested in understanding what service companies were doing to build the next crop of service leaders. We brought this topic up on our regularly scheduled Research Advisory Board meeting held on May 18 and got some interesting feedback on how prepared service leaders felt about the next crop of business leaders. The conversation featured 3 major takeaways:
– Succession planning is not an event (as per the article). It must take place at all times and at all levels of the business
– Future leaders must be prepared for the role that will be vs. the role that is.
– Governance and process are central to ensuring that future leaders are consistently being evaluated

We’ll be hitting on the topic of succession planning in our 2017 service workforce and talent survey. If interested in participating in that project, please join our workforce and talent research group (

Aly’s pick:

Topic: Alexa and Paying Your Credit Card Bill
Source: Engadget

Commentary: What is the cost of cool technology? Sometimes the sticker shock associated with the purchase of something such as a set of Bose noise-cancelling headphones, a Viking grill, or Amazon Echo may give you pause. But the value of these products, beyond their stated goals for quality and heightened experience, comes down to your perceived ROI. This article details how American Express will soon provide Amazon Echo customers the ability to monitor credit card activity, pay bills, and check a balance. As a recent buyer of an Echo, I am now constantly in search of more applications to that will further integrate Echo into my normal life. Maximizing my investment is a way to validate the purchase. And if this validation fulfills a need like paying a bill, my purchase in this product transforms from a luxury-only item to a more practical product. As seen in recent research on Service Success in 2017 trends (, service organizations will excel this year if they empower their customers with the right data and capabilities to improve their own experiences. This TSC report highlighted how a key initiative for service organizations will be to improve ease of use and reduce the effort for the customer. My Amazon example also highlights the impact of the service network, manufacturers and partners have a symbiotic relationship which demands shared goals and value creation. American Express can enhance their customer’s experiences by creating an integration with Amazon and vice versa.

Our Three Other Articles
1- Dish Offers Customer Service App in Spanish for Smartphones and Tablets (CED, 5/19/17)
2- Nordstrom Customer Experience Influenced by Multiple Touch Points (Loyalty 360, 5/18/17)
3- Systems upgrade causes shipping delays for L.L. Bean (Portland Press Herald, 4/24/17)

If interested in viewing our latest data and insight, please visit: We have also released our event calendar for the rest of 2017, please visit to see what’s on the calendar and how you can participate.

We would love to have you become part of our research panel. If you would like to, please visit and select the area(s) of alignment. (* Participation in research groups is reserved for practitioners only. Consultants and technology solution providers are not allowed to join and will be referred to other ways of getting involved.)

Till next week.

Aly Pinder
Director of Member Research & Communities

Sumair Dutta
Chief Customer Officer

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