Book Review: High Tech, High Touch Customer Service

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High Tech, High Touch Customer Service“What if you don’t want to use social media for your business?”  This is a question that I’m often asked and my answer is the same.  “You don’t have to.”  There is no right or wrong.  There are successful, profitable businesses out there that  don’t have a web site or a cell phone or a social media profile.  And in the same breath, I have to say that if you don’t use social media – then social media will be using you.

And this is exactly the point that Micah Solomon  makes in his book High-Tech, High-Touch Customers Service:  Inspire Timeless Loyalty in the Demanding New World of Social Commerce.   The executive summary of this book is to respect digital media like you would respect fire when it comes to customer service.

Inside High-Tech. High-Touch

This book is organized in three parts:

Part 1: Timeliness and Timelessness will give you plenty of examples of what customer services looks like when it’s done right and when it’s done wrong.

Part 2: High-Tech, High-Touch Anticipatory Service will help you being to understand the importance of loyalty and how to build a loyal customer base using social media tools.

Part 3: The Rise of Self-Service and Social Media and Other Seismic Shifts will take out on a technological tour of self service, social media and electronic customer impact.

Another great feature of High-Tech, High-Touch  is the summary at the end of each section wonderfully titled “And your point is…”  to indicate that these are just the most important points for you to remember.  You will be glad that this is included in the book because Solomon provides what seems like a million examples of the good, the bad and the ugly of customer service and you may get so involved in the stories that you forget what you’d like to take away from the section.  This will definitely solve that problem.

Micah Solomon Is The Go-to-Guy for Customer Service

I have to admit that I had never heard of Micah Solomon (@micahsolomon)  until I received this book as a review copy.  But after reading this book and checking out his web site, I could see why he’s considered a “new guru of customer service.”  He’s a keynote speaker, entrepreneur and business leader who has co-authored the bestselling book Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit.  His expertise has been featured in Fast Company, Inc Magazine, Bloomberg, BusinessWeek, CNBC, Forbes and more.  You can also find his musings on his blog College of the Customer.

Read It And Weep.  Read It And Smile.  Read It And Learn

Solomon writes this book almost as if he’s writing a product review.  His tone is friendly and humorous – maybe because it makes some of those painfully bad examples of customer service go down easier.  My favorite example is actually right in the beginning of the book where he gives the example of “Marshall Plympton (not his actual name, although I was tempted):”

“If any other bleepholes [except Marshall didn’t type “bleepholes] like “Jjmanie319” are thinking of coming to my restaurant, listen up: Please DON’T come.  Just DON’T.  I have enough work serving the rest of you people without this kind of grief.  And Jjhamie319, so WHAT if your soup was cold. “Cold” is subjective.  We are only three people in the kitchen, sometimes four depending on the season.  Can YOU keep soup hot at YOUR house?  Big bleeping deal that it was quote, unquote “cold” twice.  Don’t come in again – make your own soup.  Hope you scald your mouth.”

Yeah – there are business owners who actually write this stuff on Yelp.  Although I’m not sure if this book would help Marshall.   I’m inclined to agree with Solomon, that this guy needs a new career and not really this book.

Who Will Benefit Most From High-Tech, High-Touch?

This book is IDEAL for business owners who sell to consumers.  Most of the stories and examples in the book revolve around those companies who sell to consumers.  So if you’re a retail business, restaurant or other service business that sells to regular people, you will find examples and lessons galore.

Business to business organizations who generally shy away from all things social media may actually find justification for NOT participating.  I mean who needs these kinds of headaches.  And you would be right.  There is only one BIG problem with this point of view – your customers are people and your customers are looking for your business online and while B2B organizations aren’t as active as consumer organization, reading High-Tech, High-Touch will prepare you for what is sure to come in the coming years (months maybe in computer time).

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Ivana Taylor Ivana Taylor is the Book Editor for Small Business Trends. She is responsible for directing the site’s book review program and manages the team of professional book reviewers. She also spearheads the annual Small Business Book Awards. Ivana publishes DIYMarketers, where she shares daily do-it-yourself marketing tips, and is co-author of "Excel for Marketing Managers."