What You Can Learn About Customer Service from Shep Hyken

Shep Hyken

Shep Hyken is without doubt one of the most influential customer service experts in the world. His high-energy presentations are famous for their clever blend of customer service advice, humour and even magic.

You’ve only got to see him live to realise the enthusiasm he puts into his presentations and the passion he has for outstanding customer service. For instance, in this video, Shep explains the exceptional (and surprising!) customer service he received from a taxi driver.

Shep is a professional speaker, best-selling author, creator of the ‘Customer Focus Program’ and founder of Shepard Presentations, where he holds the impressive title of ‘Chief Amazement Officer’.

His own clients range from Fortune 100 sized organisations to businesses with less than 50 employees. With such a wealth of experience, he really understands how to build meaningful relationships with customers. At NewVoiceMedia, we like his work so much that he’s one of our regular authors on this blog.

Here are six things you can learn from the customer service guru:

  1. “Customer service is not a department. It’s a philosophy to be embraced by everyone”

No matter how big or small your business is, customer service is everyone’s job. At the end of the day, it’s the customer who is paying the wages.

Businesses need to stop thinking about customer service as a separate department that simply deals with complaints. Customer service should be integral to business strategy, marketing tactics and product development – after all, the customer is always right, and what they think should count.

  1. “Social media is changing the customer experience for the better”

Quite simply, social media has given consumers a voice. They can either use that voice to recommend your business, or they could take the opportunity to share a disappointing experience.

Either way, consumers are more than your audience – they’re an audience each with their own audience. This raises the stakes for businesses, making customer service even more important to get right.

  1. “You can’t have happy customers without happy employees”

If you have a team of miserable, under-appreciated agents, are they going to spread happiness or misery?

Shep has what he calls “The Employee Golden Rule”: treat your employees the way you want the customer treated – maybe even better. This not only sets an example, but it creates a positive working environment where employees are more likely to go the extra mile for a customer – because you went the extra mile for them.

  1. “First impressions are important, but don’t forget the ‘lasting impression’”

Everyone is familiar with “first impressions count” – and they do, there’s no doubting that. But what’s often overlooked is the last impression.

As the last point of contact, this is the moment that stays with you; and a hasty goodbye or an unconvincing ‘have a nice day’ can leave a bitter aftertaste.

You need to ensure every customer interaction ends on a high, as this positive emotion will last long after the actual experience.

  1. “Customer service is about more than just being nice”

Too often, people over-simplify customer service as being just an exercise in ‘being nice’. When in fact, a nice but useless person won’t create a happy, loyal customer.

To succeed, you need to be friendly and knowledgeable – and as a result, helpful. If you can deliver a reliable, knowledgeable and friendly service, you can gain customers’ confidence, and eventually their loyalty.

  1. “Be better than average”

Customer service is now one of the only true competitive advantages, so delivering ‘average’ service simply isn’t going to cut it.

You need to be consistently delivering a better than average customer experience – not once in a while or ‘on a good day’ – but always.


To find out more about Shep Hyken read his section on our blog, check out his website or take a look at his latest book, Amaze Every Customer Every Time.

Have you been to a Shep Hyken presentation? What have you learnt from the customer service guru?  Share your thoughts below.

Download our Serial Switchers research report to find out:

  • Exactly how much UK businesses lose each year

  • What percentage of us would buy from a competitor due to poor service

  • How long you have to answer the phone before you lose a customer

Nicola Brookes
Nicola Brookes

Nicola is RVP Corporate Communications at NewVoiceMedia. She will mostly blog about customer service, industry news, events and company updates. Follow Nicola on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nbrookespr

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