Trying to keep up with all the news, best practices, and tools out there is difficult as a customer service professional.
That’s why I’ve collected some of the best resources for the busy customer experience manager or help desk jockey, all in one place, so you can fill out your feed and keep up on everything you need to.
Must-Follow Twitter Accounts
On Twitter, Annette shares others’ work, such as Making a Habit of Accountability by Natarajan Chandrasekaran, while also promoting her own work on customer experience, including writing, ghost writing, and webinars. Her focus is on customer experience, voice of the customer, and journey mapping.
Userlike’s Twitter is run by @timoort and @SPOpzeeland, and they share articles on typical customer service topics such as handling angry customers. But mixed in with that are tips on sales, marketing, and e-commerce. For instance, one tweet linked to a Userlike blog post listing nine professional image design tools.
Shep is a real original gangsta of customer service thought leadership. He’s also interactive on Twitter, engaging in conversations.
His blog is in my Feedly and I follow him on Twitter for helpful articles. Also because his Twitter background is fantastic. Behold.
#onholdwith is a marketing scheme by “cloud-based visual dialing solutions” purveyor Fonolo. I call it out mainly because it’s such a fantastic idea. Half the battle of selling is convincing your target audience that they have the problem your product solves. Until Fonolo built a scraper to aggregate every instance of “on hold with” on Twitter in real-time, brands could deny the problems of keeping customers waiting, and waiting, and waiting. They could also hide average wait times. No more, now there’s a live feed of customer service rage and data about average hold times by company. The worst offenders? Unsurprisingly, airlines.
GoSquared has a surprisingly useful Twitter feed, especially for such a small, young company. Lean marketing case studies intermix with examples of great customer service knowledge bases.
Jackie shares articles on customer service from disparate sources, from Advertising Age and Lost at E Minor. But she also shares funny videos and live-tweeted the Grammys. Her blog is full of short, infrequent posts that are very fun to read, and pretty actionable. Advice like respond when a customer reaches out might not be earth-shattering, but with an engaging story as an example, it serves as a good reminder.
If you’re really into how robots are automating customer service, you’re going to love this blog. These stories make up a strangely large percentage of news coverage. In and amongst robot customer service stories, however, are stories on major data breaches and tech news.
Desk.com’s customer service blog offers all kinds of helpful information, from product roadmaps to effective business writing. It’s information-heavy, sales-light writing style is free of fluff, making it a good use of time.
Call Center Perspectives
Call Center Perspectives aggregates news stories and blog posts which are pertinent to customer service professionals from sources as diverse as Forrester Research and the Auburn Plainsman. Its editor, Colin Taylor, has more than 25 years of customer service experience, which no doubt helps him decide which stories are not to be missed.
Ragsdale’s Eye on Service
John Ragsdale’s day job is Vice President of Technology Research for the Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA). He conducts surveys and studies, and breaks down the findings for this blog. As a service technology analyst, Ragsdale offers news and analysis of the service and support technology market. While posting is infrequent, it’s high-quality.
The blog is probably 85% customer survey news, analysis, and advice. Interspersed are posts on improving customer service, by, for example, branding it. Writer Martha Brooke founded and directs Interaction Metrics and conducts workshops on customer service and customer satisfaction surveys.
Richard’s blog focuses in on customer retention. Post topics tend toward how to use customer service best practices to retain customers, with information such as how the word “No” destroys the ideal customer experience or whether smartphones are good or bad for customer service.
Customer experience is Adrian’s forte, with posts on topics such as which apologies lead to better customer experiences and how to make hold time a better customer experience. The best part is how he and his guest writers use stories of companies and interviews with leaders getting things right to highlight best practices.
Organizations to Know
The Center for Client Retention
The Center for Client Retention is run by Richard Shapiro. It develops and conducts customer satisfaction surveys for clients. The blog offers short little videos with customer service tips and annual benchmarking studies can be download from the site.
Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA)
The TSIA provides research and education, including surveys, reports, webinars, and conferences, as well as awards and certifications, for customer support and technology support professionals.
Help Desk Institute
Trainings, live and online, certifications, original research, local chapters, surveys, conferences, and forums make HDI a useful group for IT and customer service pros.
Need a laugh? Want to know if it’s happened to someone else? Tales From Tech Support is group therapy for customer service reps.
Here’s where you go for serious questions about how to help people with their IT issues. For example, need a Dropbox type service that allows permission based sharing on subfolders and not just top level directories? Crowdsource it!
This subreddit is both about managing your career as a System Admin, and the technical aspects of the job itself with topics such as lightening your workload alongside Windows server permissions questions.
When: March 24-27, 2015
3950 Las Vegas Boulevard South Las Vegas, NV 89119
Benefits: More than 2,400 IT service and technical support professionals
When: May 4-6, 2015
5101 Great America Pkwy Santa Clara, CA 95054
Benefits: Case studies, problem-solving sessions, and TSW takes networking very seriously.
What other great customer service or help desk resources do you recommend to keep up on the industry? Add them in the comments below!