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on October 13, 2015
A simply outstanding book on customer service in the modern era. We have adopted many of the ideas in this book when building out the customer experience model for our business (a luxury travel service). In today's high-tech, always-on "social media-infused world", integrating high-touch service is not just important, it's a killer strategic advantage when executed well. Micah's book gives sound advice on how to create a scalable culture of customer service that earns raving customers for life.
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on January 2, 2013
I just finished reading Micah Solomon's "High Touch, High Tech Customer Service" and thought it was great. It was a combination learning experience / wake-up-call for my businesses. I realized that it is impossible to survive if you sit idly by and don't attend to the ever-changing customer landscape. You can do a lot old school and stick to the adage - "the customer is always right", but it's just not enough. This book really enlightened me on how much information customers have at their fingertips. It also enlightened me on how powerful a single disgruntled customer can be. Solomon doesn't stop at just breaking down the issues - he goes into great detail explaining how to deal with the issues-the right way.

Solomon's insights helped to extend and give more detail to the broad stroke concepts I learned reading Tony Hseih's books Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose; A Round Table Comic. Which were more specifically about culture building.

Using case studies and interesting (and sometimes very funny) vignettes, Solomon makes what would normally be a pretty boring topic fascinating.

Honestly, I decided to read this book because I wanted to demystify some things about using social media to communicate with my customers. I got all the answers I was looking for on that front, and a whole lot more.

I am now convinced that customer service is the new marketing. Learn or become part of the dead pool. If you want to keep your business ahead of the curve and start really anticipating your customer's needs - this book is an awesome place to start.

Lastly - as an experiment - I took a chance and did as Solomon suggests at the end of the book. He actually gives you his contact info and invites you to use it. I set my kindle on the nightstand - picked up my iPhone and wrote him an email. It was almost kind of ridiculous how fast he responded - and I am not talking about an auto-response. He answered all of my questions as if we had been friends for years. He practices what he preaches. I would recommend this read to anyone that has an interest in making sure his or her business survives the next 3-5+ years.
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on June 23, 2013
HIGH TECH, HIGH TOUCH CUSTOMER SERVICE by Micah Solomon takes the reader on a road map of customer service in the digital age. Just as technology is changing at lightning-fast speed, so too must successful businesses be quick to adopt new ways to interact and satisfy the digital customer. Gone are the days when the mantra was, "If you want to be successful in business today, you must have an internet presence." While truer today than ever before, unfortunately many companies have no idea how to manage that internet presence.

Learning to treat individual customers as individuals, honoring individual preferences unique to that customer, is the key to business success. While this statement, found in Chapter 1 of the book, has always been accurate, learning to treat the virtual customer as an individual is more challenging. The challenge is compounded by the `activist' mentality whereby customers now demand an alignment of company values with their own and they express this sentiment with their buying choices. These are the types of issues that are addressed here by the author.

Solomon examines both positive and negative examples of how companies have responded to customer issues in the new era. As an example, let's take a close look at Chapter 4; The Art of Anticipation. To introduce the concept of `anticipatory' service, Solomon utilizes Ritz-Carlton, whose credo includes, "The Ritz-Carlton ... fulfils even the unexpressed wishes and needs of our guests". To expand on the anticipatory experience, Solomon examines a typical trip into an Apple store and how Apple has mastered the art of anticipatory service. For effect, Solomon discloses the experience he had years ago when he ordered his first Macintosh and compares it to the experience he had recently when ordering his last Mac. The contrasts are start and clearly delineate the advances the company has made in anticipatory service. The chapter goes on to include other hit and miss examples of anticipatory service. Most, but not all, of the chapters conclude with a "your point is" section which recaps the crucial points to remember.

Along the journey, there is good information here about creating and maintaining corporate culture, hiring people with the right attitude, social media and how to position yourself correctly, principles of successful self-service, providing for disabled customers, and avoiding what is perhaps the common mistake in the digital age many companies make, using technology to complicate the customer experience into something more harmful than it is useful. Haven't we all experience having to spend countless time jumping through hoops before we can ever get the opportunity to speak to an actual human, only to find out they speak very limited or broken English and really can't answer our questions?

That last point is really what this book is all about. While technology has advanced business like nothing else, one aspect of business - customer service - is often made much more difficult by the very technology that assures business success in today's world. If not used correctly, that technology brings with it many pitfalls that must be avoided. Solomon's book will help you avoid those pitfalls and utilize the technology to the best of your ability.
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on November 25, 2013
I am a retail manager in New York City. What Micah talked about here is very true. It's easy to teach technical skills - but people skills - either you have it or you don't. Reading through this book, I can hear myself like a broken record reminding my staff the importance of listening to their customers as opposed to rushing them to get to the next opportunity. Building a:"yes" culture and hiring people with the right fit is important. It's important to know also that you can't go high tech if you have not mastered low-tech, People who have mastered soft skills in a low tech venue adapts to using technology to improve their productivity easily.But at some point it's hard not to be jaded with reality. A big retail problem that was not discussed in the book is the loss prevention aspect of working in a store. Maybe not in a store like "Apple" but certainly in most retail store, there's a duality in every store staff's reality - customer service and preventing external theft. Shoplifting is a multi million dollar problem facing retail stores and the store staff is in front end of that problem. External theft is measured by a store's shrink - going the extra mile for a customer often gets unrecognized. I appreciate customers who take the time to acknowledge great service. Most people who works in retail gives good service, some great consistently. If we find a way to measure good behavior consistently like we measure shrink, I think the customer service level will improve dramatically.
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on June 2, 2015
Everyone at our company has to read this book.
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on February 8, 2013
Micah Solomon is a great writer. I have purchased his so far edited two books, and look forward to new releases. I have been in the "customer help" (not "customer service") activity for more than 30 years, have written 5 books on the subject and directed more that 600 conferences. Reading Micah has taught me many lessoons, in spite of my experience.
I live in Argentina, where "service" is not in the dictionary. I hope that HSM/WOBI feature him this year at their conferences in Buenos Aires. We need his advice. Badly.
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on May 24, 2012
Hich-tech high-touch customer service is definitely a must read especially in this social CRM digital age! Micah generously shares valuable examples on customers retention and loyalty. This book is excellent for anyone who is in the service industry. I love this book so much and bought half a dozen to share with my support managers and colleagues.
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on July 8, 2013
This book is filled with many very useful tips when it comes to customer service combined into one helpful resource. I was able to pull out some additional concepts and ideas.
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on September 8, 2015
This book gave me pause for thought only 2-3 times. I would have liked the topics of anticipatory customer service and self-service to be expanded upon.
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on December 31, 2012
Our company is currently setting up customer service center as part of an new online energy service provider.
With the intention to inspire the employees of our customer I ve bought this book. Also based on the Reading List of Seth Godin.
Unfortunately the book only offers general high level input, and no innovative or practical insights.
Apparently Seth Godin did not recommend this book because of its merits, but for the sheer fact his "permission marketing" was mentioned.
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