Reads of the Day – 17th Nov. 2014

Research: How Female CEOs Actually Get to the Top
By Sarah Dillard and Vanessa Lipschitz (Harvard Business Review)
This is a really interesting article, particularly for a young woman who has great ambitions for life. It counters the often-touted advice of Go to College, Get an MBA, Jump Diagonally From Company to Company with an analysis of the 24 women currently in CEO roles at Fortune 500 companies. More than half of these women actually worked from the ground up over decades in one company. Only a quarter of these women have MBAs.

What’s the impact on my own career? I’m not sure now whether an MBA is the right way to go. Is it maybe better to work my way up the ladder in a single company? However, this depends on finding the right company that you want to stay in and build a career with, which isn’t every company in my (somewhat limited) experience.

Reads of the Day – 7th Nov. 2014

A continuation of my reading log idea with today’s interesting article…

5 Ways to Humanize Your Customer Care
by Tom Eggemeier (CustomerThink)
This is a great quick article on how to improve your customer service, which I can fully get on board with.

The main takeaway that I think all companies should pay attention to is that your customer service team is your interface and frontline with your customer base. They should be empowered with the latest information and best tools possible to quickly understand and resolve any customer issues. It is also very important to treat each person as an individual and not as a dispensable robot – unless, of course, you want demoralised staff!

User experience is also key, so make sure your website, software/hardware and any other interactions with your customers are clear; Tom suggested using The Grandmother Test for this.

Finally, tying in with my current studies in Operations Management with Coursera, deliver to the expectations of the customer, but don’t over-deliver. Customers may not notice certain things as much as your finance department will!

As someone who has worked in retail customer service, software technical support and now technical support for an online system/internal office staff, I know what it’s like to be both customer and customer support. I think the advice in this article is spot-on.

Reads of the Day – 5th Nov. 2014

I find myself reading things and not really absorbing them, so I’m trying something a little new here. For any interesting articles I read, I’ll keep a log of the title, author, link and key points.

Slow Down Like Starbucks: Great Customer Service Is Fast, But Never Rushed
by Micah Solomon (Forbes)
Micah poses that businesses need to provide the quickest possible service, except for certain experiences. When there is one-to-one interaction that requires listening and understanding, customers should not feel rushed. Businesses should allow for a lingering experience in these moments.