Friday Service Recap: Zappos, Chatbots, the Perfect Order, and More Customer Service Stories for the Week

By March 24, 2017 Perspective No Comments

Every week, Sumair and I will post our most interesting 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 seventh installment, and week 12 of 2017:

Aly’s pick:

Topic: Zappos & the 1-800-Line to a Human
Source: If Chatbots Win, Customers Lose, Says Zappos Customer Service Expert: https://www.forbes.com/sites/micahsolomon/2017/03/23/customers-lose-if-chatbots-win-says-zappos-customer-service-expert/#112fbc336087

Commentary: The impact of artificial intelligence and chatbots in customer service is more than science fiction (as seen in our “Other Articles” below). But when should organizations use machines to deliver service and when is the human touch more appropriate? The customer experience is important for businesses and missing an opportunity to deliver value is no longer acceptable. As seen in recent summary findings from our CEx research, 94% of organizations state the improvement of the customer experience is a priority for their business with 68% seeing CX as a differentiator. These findings only muddy the water regarding how service organizations need to approach the use of technology to support customers in a more efficient way which may be less friendly (but less costly). If CX is so important and the way in which you beat out your competition for share of wallet and new customers, why would you ever leave service to a robot. I think the sweet spot is finding which interactions your customers are ok with an android and which demand empathy and that extra mile only delivered (currently) by a human. Sometimes you just need a simple answer which can be delivered quickly via an automated solution. In these cases, waiting for a human might be more frustrating for a customer. So, I don’t think the Zappos stance of a human interaction as always being the interaction which provides the most value as true for all businesses, but I would definitely be a customer for life if a human customer service agent went the extra mile(s) to return my prized possession.

Sumair’s pick:

Topic: Perfect Orders and Customer Satisfaction
Source: Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevebanker/2016/02/03/a-leading-computer-manufacturers-perfect-order-journey/#38f42be46582

Commentary: This is an interesting piece on Dell’s use of Perfect Order Metric (POM) as an indicator of customer satisfaction. POM is a compound metric built on other performance metrics and is used in supply chain management. There are other compound metrics such as the perfect pick used in warehouse management. POM has its critics and detractors but is a valuable benchmarking resource especially when based on factors that are most important to customers. In Dell’s instance, customers wanted the organization to improve in areas measured by the metric, therefore allowing for a better link between results and customer loyalty scores.

Does field service need a compound metric? We investigated this concept a while back. It might be difficult to compare the metric across organizations with varying field service models, but it could be a vital number for organizations to consider when evaluating or tracking their progress.

Our Three Other Articles
1- Customer Service Chatbots Are About to Become Frighteningly Realistic (MIT Review, 3/22/17)
2- Improving Customer Experience With Marketing Analytics At 3 Day Blinds (Forbes, 3/23/17)
3- Bad Customer Service Mistakes That Will Destroy Your Business (Small Business Trends, 3/20/17)

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Till next week.

Aly Pinder
Director of Member Research & Communities
ap@servicecouncil.com or @pinderjr

Sumair Dutta
Chief Customer Officer
sd@servicecouncil.com or @suma1r

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