45 TED Talks On Customer Service

45 TED Talks To Improve Your Customer Service In Just 10 Minutes - Man conducting a speech

TED Talks look like a great response to the need for improvement of your customer service quality.

This is a very dynamic field. You know it better than I do – you deal with new tools, new approaches, new techniques, etc.

At the first glance, you need to commit yourself and read new books on a weekly (not saying daily!) basis to follow all changes.

Reading a 300-page book would take you a month given that you spend 20 minutes daily on this particular book.

But what if there was a better solution?

A solution that would let you consume knowledge much faster and without so much commitment on your side?

This is where TED Talks come into play. These are conferences about Technology, Entertainment, Design, and more.

And to help you improve your customer service I found 45 TED talks that you can watch anytime you want and – you bet – it won’t take you longer than 20 minutes!

You’ll learn how to:

  • create trust
  • listen better
  • better manage people
  • offer memorable service
  • have better conversations
  • provide exceptional service
  • design systems people want to use

Along with every talk, you’ll also find a brief synopsis of each of them, details regarding the topic, speaker, and duration of the talk.

Also, as I know your time is the most valuable asset I made sure you know how much time you spent on each of the talks upfront. Thus, below you’ll find a quick shortcut to all the talks that are under 10, 15, and 20 minutes to make it easier for you to sort.

Take as much time as you can. Remember that the award for that is priceless – TED Talks give you the unique opportunity to grow a dream customer service in your business.

So, let’s go and grab it!

Table of Contents:

  1. Under 10-minute customer service TED talks
  2. Under 15-minute customer service TED talks
  3. Under 20-minute customer service TED talks

Now, let’s choose what to watch next!

Under 10-minute customer service TED talks

How to train employees to have difficult conversations

What you will learn: How to teach your employees to properly handle conversations and easily collect data from your customers
Speaker: Tamekia MizLadi Smith
Duration: 8 minutes
Transcript: Yes, 18 languages

It’s a crucial customer service TED talk.

Tamekia in her quite short talk described the problem of the current process of data gathering. She recalls the time when she was working as a front desk specialist, trying to collect data from clients.

She quickly found out that people like her are not really taught to collect such types of sensitive data and that it often leads to collecting wrong and overall bad data.

This, later on, has a tremendous impact on the business as bad data results in additional costs, loss of time, and even creates underprivileged populations.

But, as Tamekia says, this could be all solved with proper training and approach. And that’s when she introduces the concept of being GRACED to collect data. With this approach and training, the way your customer service reps communicate with your customers will change for good.

What’s more, I believe that each and every customer service rep would be glad to be able to work according to the principles described in the GRACED approach. That’s because it makes data collection much easier on the customer service rep end, as well as, make it much more pleasant for your customers and clients.

Watch Tamekia’s speech and implement the GRACED approach into your company.

Why we need to treat our employees as thoughtfully as our customers

What you will learn: How to treat your customers so their goals are aligned with your company’s goals
Speaker: Diana Dosik
Duration: 10 minutes
Transcript: No

Diana found out that there’s a huge disproportion in how much companies invest in understanding and improving the customers’ journey compared to their employees’ journey.

I won’t tell you how much it is in the exact numbers (watch the talk to find out) but there’s a 1000x difference!

As Diana states, this difference is caused by the misalignment in what the company wants and what the individuals (employees) want. She even gave the real-life example of a Fortune 500 company that was so focused on their end-goal that it didn’t notice it was completely misaligned with what its employees actually could and should do.

This is even more striking when you realize that your company actually depends on your employees, not on the customers only.

Therefore, it might be a good idea to treat your employees and, especially, customer service employees in a way that their goals are aligned with yours.

Want to find out how?

Watch Diana’s TED talk.

5 ways to listen better

What you will learn: How to improve your skill of listening
Speaker: Julian Treasure
Duration: 8 minutes
Transcript: Yes, 49 languages

“We are losing our listening” – These are the words that Julian opens his talk with.

As he and the data shows, people are becoming worse when it comes to listening, year by year. That is caused by many factors but the main one is the fact that we’re bombarded with various information on a constant basis. Therefore, we tune off not to hear the most of that.

Yet, in a job of a customer service rep or a salesperson, listening is crucial, if not the most important, skill to have.

Without listening you can’t really understand your customer and, as a result, you can’t help him.

To cope with this problem, Julian describes 5 simple ways (exercises) that are very easy to do and can help you greatly improve your listening.

What’s best about the solution that Julian proposes is that you can practice them daily, anywhere you are and it can take as little as 3 minutes to get a single exercise done.

Now, turn on Julian’s customer service TED talk and get to know what are the 5 ways to listen better!

What it takes to be a great leader

What you will learn: How to develop and improve your leadership skills
Speaker: Roselinde Torres
Duration: 9 minutes
Transcript: Yes, 35 languages

Every customer service team needs a leader. Without one, no one knows what to do, there’s no order and tasks never get done.

Yet, as Roselinde outlines, the 21st-century business scene suffers from the lack of true leaders.

When she noticed that occurrence, she decided to quit her job and devote all of her time to discover how great leaders were shaped and what’s the reason for the leadership decline in today’s society.

Through her work, she found out that there are several aspects of true leadership mastery. And, lo and behold, it is about very simple things.

What do you devote your time to?
Who do you spend this time with?
Do you move on alone or always compliant with a group?

Being a leader is not easy but it is undoubtedly necessary.

If you’re an owner, customer service manager, or director, Roselinde’s TED talk is a must-watch for you. Thanks to it you’ll get to know how to improve your leadership skills and how to be a true leader that your employees will appreciate.

What can we learn from shortcuts?

What you will learn: How to find out the best ways for your customers to reach you and use your services
Speaker: Tom Hulme
Duration: 7 minutes
Transcript: Yes, 34 languages

Tom explains the importance of shortcuts through so-called desired paths.

The desired path, in regards to a product, is the concept of the path of the least resistance on the customer’s side.

It means that this is what your customers want to do with your product and not what you predict or influence them to do with your product.

Of course, both of the concepts may align and that’s the best-case scenario but oftentimes it will vary at least a little.

You can explore this concept in regards to anything your company offers, also to the customer service part.

Tom’s talk will make you ask yourself questions like:

  • Are we accessible to our clients?
  • Do we provide service the way THEY want?
  • Aren’t we stuck in our own rhetoric?

Watch Tom’s short speech and find out how you can implement the desired paths into your entity.

I Was Seduced By Exceptional Customer Service

What you will learn: How customer service impacts your bottom line
Speaker: John Boccuzzi, Jr.
Duration: 8 minutes
Transcript: No

When asked about the importance of customer service many experts tend to say that it is important for companies as it impacts their bottom lines. And John builds his talk on the same idea.

In it, he tells the story of how once he became the recurring client of an optician, solely thanks to the exceptional customer service he received.

Thanks to that one purchase he understood that customer service is not only about helping the customer but also about much more subtle things such as how you make your customer feel or how happy the customer is during and after the purchase.

And tapping into the aspect of the importance of customer service he shows that not only it is crucial for the customer (after all, he wants to be happy) but also for the company as it wants its customers to come back.

Well, find out how to get both of these things right by watching this rather short customer service TED talk by John Boccuzzi. And, hopefully, some of your customers will also be able to say they were seduced by exceptional customer service!

Hidden Costs of “Service with a Smile”

What you will learn: How to empower your customer service reps and take care of their mental health
Speaker: Laura Hockenbury
Duration: 9 minutes
Transcript: No

Every business owner wants their customer service reps to greet a customer with a smile and some catchy phrase.

Yet, as Laura highlights, this can be much more harmful than we may think.

If the “service with a smile” doesn’t align with how the customer service workers are treated then it can bring serious mental health repercussions.

That’s because such reps have to face rejection, shame, basting, and all sorts of negative interactions and emotions.

Another problem is the matter of salary.

Customer service reps are (in most countries) underpaid which creates an even deadlier combination.

Luckily, Laura gives a few actionable tips that business owners can put into shape to empower customer service reps and make their work much more enjoyable. This can also stop the current nature of such jobs which is that most people treat it as a part-time job instead of staying at the company for longer.

Definitive customer service TED talk for any business owner!

Be a hospitalian

What you will learn: How to become a hospitalian and be better when it comes to service you provide
Speaker: Bobby Stuckey
Duration: 8 minutes
Transcript: No

Bobby shares his insights on customer service from a restaurant owner’s perspective.

He believes that there’s a significant difference in what we call service and hospitality. While most customer service experts combine these two terms and believe that service should be about hospitality, Bobby believes that we should understand both differently.

And that’s where the term ‘hospitalian’ comes from.

Bobby uses this term in his restaurant to describe a person whose role is to be hospitable to their guests. And that’s the idea that Bobby conveys. That every one of us (not only in customer service) should be a hospitalian.

And while it’s not easy – we all know that – it’s crucial when it comes to customer-company relations. Especially in regards to any contact your customers make with your customer service reps.

Thus, I highly recommend you watch Bobby’s very short customer service TED talk and learn how to be a hospitalian yourself and, later on, teach all your customer service people how to be one.

Under 15-minuted customer service TED talks

Why you should love statistics

What you will learn: How to use statistics to shape the reality which is oftentimes mistaken by people with their own perception of it
Speaker: Alan Smith
Duration: 13 minutes
Transcript: Yes, 24 languages

Hold on!
Are you trying to get me to learn Maths here?!

Not at all…

What Alan Smith says regarding the Maths part is more about how people perceive the reality compared to what the data (statistics) show.

It turns out that we’re really poor at judging what’s around us. And, what’s even more surprising, it doesn’t matter if a person is ‘good with numbers’ or not. Our perception can be blown by just one event.

How can it relate to your customer service?


Even if you provide excellent customer service 95% of the time, the remaining 5% of people can burn you for your poor service.

Here, it would be a neat idea to let people know what’s the actual state of things. That’s because people often think the situation is worse than it actually is.

You might not even need to improve your service. What you might have to do is tell people what are the actual results of your service.

Boast the short resolution time or 90%+ satisfaction score.

Remember that we’re poor with judging the surrounding reality and thus it’s better to tell your customers how things really are instead of leaving it to their blind guess.

Architecture for the people by the people

What you will learn: How to design things, structures, and systems that are well-working for people
Speaker: Alastair Parvin
Duration: 13 minutes
Transcript: Yes, 30 languages

Architecture is not about creating buildings.
And these are not my words but the words of Alastair himself.

What this speaker talks about is fascinating and can be easily used within your company’s structure. Namely, architecture is about design thinking in any given field.

Let it be buildings, commute systems, or… customer service.

The problem is that we often end up creating things or systems that are hard to access and understand.

Sounds familiar?

In the digital world, this may result in building a software stack so big no one can really grasp it. (not mentioning your customers…)

Alastair shows that by going to basics we can use what’s already working and make use of it in our case.

No matter if you are working on a structure of your team, the agent-customer process, or the way you internally exchange information, a short lesson in architecture will do you good.

What consumers want

What you will learn: How to adjust your service for authenticity and appeal to your consumers
Speaker: Joseph Pine
Duration: 14 minutes
Transcript: Yes, 22 languages

Joseph Pine shows how consumers’ desires have changed over the course of last years. Although the talk is from 15 years ago, it stays true more than ever.

That’s because Joseph outlines that what customers seek nowadays are not commodities, goods, or services but rather experiences. And according to the latest Oracle report One Size Doesn’t Fit All 40% of customers from any given age group are willing to pay as much as 20% more for an impressive experience.

What’s more, admittedly, 79% of GenZ shares impressive brand experiences with friends, family, and colleagues.

That shows how optimizing for experiences is key to providing service people actually want to receive.

But how do you do that?

Joseph has a simple answer. And that is authenticity.

Watch Joseph speak and find out how you can provide service that customers truly want and optimize your business for authenticity.

Design for people, not awards

What you will learn: How to create customer service and products that are right for the consumer and not for the creator only
Speaker: Timothy Prestero
Duration: 11 minutes
Transcript: Yes, 27 languages

Even though Timothy talks about his journey to design a perfect medical device, he himself, found out that there are certain principles when designing anything that a creator has to keep in mind.

And that’s because what you think of as a creator may greatly differ from your customers’ point of view.

And you can see it more than often with software and service designed to look great but not to be used easily.

The same goes for your customer service and offer as a whole.

Because no matter how efficient your customer service reps are, your customers won’t contact you if they can’t do it with ease and in an efficient way.

Timothy and his journey will show you how you can take what’s good but poor when it comes to its objective and make it great both from the standpoint of the creator and actual user.

The art of asking

What you will learn: How to ask you customers right questions with no fear of doing so
Speaker: Amanda Palmer
Duration: 14 minutes
Transcript: Yes, 43 languages

Asking questions is a core part of every customer service reps’ interaction with clients. Yet, so many people feel intimidated to ask questions they want to ask, as they don’t want to be seen as not competent enough.

Amanda Palmer explores this problem from an artist’s perspective by changing the rules of how a music band asks their fans for support.

She found that instead of putting a hard-coded sticker price on her music, she could share it for free and ask for a non-set contribution.

By hacking the rules she and her band managed to pull off the results that were highly unachievable if they stuck to a standard way of doing business.

Amanda’s speech can help you understand how to ask, when to ask, and why you should never fear to ask the questions you want to ask.

Compassion and the true meaning of empathy

What you will learn: How compassion and usage of empathy can help you build better relations with your clients
Speaker: Joan Halifax
Duration: 13 minutes
Transcript: Yes, 35 languages

Empathy is one of the key particles of customer service.

What we often refer to as a Customer Empathy is our ability to walk a mile in our customers’ shoes, understanding their pains, needs, and wants.

Joan takes the meaning of empathy to a whole new level by picturing the situation in which she found herself one day. Namely, sitting in a room with 31 actively dying women.

In such a harsh environment, Joan realized that compassion is the only answer to inter-human relations. And that’s – sadly – what we oftentimes lack off when serving other people.

After all, the whole premise of customer service is serving and helping your customers. Yet, it’s often treated as a way to get rid of a customer as quickly as possible.

As Joan says, this compassion and understanding of its importance can help us all, business-, family-, and environmentally-wise build better relationships that last long and are sincere in their nature.

Watch Joan speaking and find out how your company can introduce compassion in its relations with customers.

What really motivates people to be honest in business

What you will learn: How to build a great customer service team
Speaker: Alexander Wagner
Duration: 13 minutes
Transcript: Yes, 19 languages

Alexander’s speech can surely help you in the process of building your brand-new customer service team (or reinventing the one you already have).

That’s because he indicates a serious difference between incentives and people’s value. How do both compare and what do they have in common?


Probably just like in every workplace, yours also has a certain code that you require your employees to obey. The same goes for customer service reps. Things like: be kind, customer first, be helpful, etc.

Yet, as Alexander says, incentives only work to some degree.

But what actually works is people’s values.

When people operate in regards to their values, no incentive can change that. This means that if a person has a certain set of values that aligns with your code then no code is really needed. They’ll just do what they would do at any given time.

On the other hand, when people’s value differ compared to what you want them to obey then you create the conflict of interests which may cause the disobedient behavior.

Alexander’s TED talk will help you understand what really motivates your employees and therefore allow you to build an effective customer service team.

The best way to help is often just to listen

What you will learn: How to help people solely by active listening to them
Speaker: Sophie Andrews
Duration: 14 minutes
Transcript: Yes, 20 languages

Sophie brings up the importance of listening by taking all of us back to her traumatic childhood. As she describes, she was the victim of parental abuse which made her suicidal and made her given up on her life.

Luckily, one day, Sophie decided to make a phone call to Samaritans which is a helpline made of volunteers committed to helping those who feel suicidal and have no one to talk to.

A few years into the future, Sophie is the main executive of Samaritans and has kicked off a new helpline serving elderly who feel lonely and/or depressed.

And what does this story teach us about listening and customer service?

It tells us that solely by listening to another person you can indeed help that person. It turns out that you don’t have to necessarily give any advice to the person calling to help them figure out their problem.

What’s more important than giving advice itself is the act of active listening that allows another person to deconstruct the problem and get to its core.

Watch Sophie describe her in-the-end amazing story and learn how you can become a better listener.

Why you think you’re right – even if you’re wrong

What you will learn: How to properly tackle being wrong
Speaker: Julia Galef
Duration: 11 minutes
Transcript: Yes, 35 languages

Julia is the author of another TED talk that tackles the topic of being wrong.

What Julia describes is the so-called Dreyfus affair that took place in the 19th century and was the case of the French soldier who got accused of committing a crime whereas he was completely innocent.

The case shows how the rest of the soldiers believed Dreyfus was indeed guilty of the crime even though there was little-to-no proof of him doing so.

It shows that even though there might not be a single proof for what we believe is true, we still persist to believe it.

What’s more, the contradictive arguments seem to not work in such a case as people can always turn them around to find a way to make it a proof of their standing.

In this case, Julia shows how people naturally belong to one of two mindsets that tell us how do they tackle ‘being wrong’.

The first one is the soldier mindset which correlates to the soldiers who accused Dreyfus of committing a crime while the second one is the scout mindset that correlates with the behavior of Colonel Picquart.

Colonel who?

Well… Watch this whole customer service TED talk and find out how to turn your mindset into one of a scout and get right at being wrong.

How to stay calm when you know you’ll be stressed

What you will learn: How to handle your emotions and be prepared for stressful situations
Speaker: Daniel Levitin
Duration: 12 minutes
Transcript: Yes, 38 languages

I hate when people call a certain video a must-watch but I believe this TED talk is sort-of-this-kind for customer service people.

Daniel Levitin, a top-notch neuroscientist incorporates his and Daniel Kahneman’s’ findings into every day and work life.

The idea that Daniel explores is what he and Kahneman call the premortem, the exact opposite of postmortem which is the analysis of an event after it took place.

The premortem, on the other hand, is the act of preparation for that event to happen.

We all know that the job of a customer service rep tends to be a stressful one. Clients raging over the phone, constant internal feedback, and having to go back and forth with messages can drive a person to the wall.

Therefore, it might be a good idea to apply Levitin’s premortem system and have a set of questions and rules in place for such bad and stressful things to happen.

This can be also valuable because when we are stressed our brain produces cortisol. Therefore, we’re not able to think clearly when we’re in a stressful situation. That’s why we have to prepare beforehand to deal with such events.

Watch Daniel explain how the human brain works and how we can cope with stress and level up your customer service by creating systems that will let your reps work better and in a more stress-optimized environment.

What if customers become friends?

What you will learn: How to treat your customers as friends and have more loyal customers
Speaker: Steven van Belleghem
Duration: 11 minutes
Transcript: No

Steven explores the concept of customers who become the company’s friends.

This way, he wants to tackle the ongoing issue of decreasing customer loyalty. Back in the time, according to the Pareto rule, 20% of customers (the loyal part) generated 80% of the revenue.

Now, this ratio is closer to 50:50 which makes marketers push even more towards acquiring new customers instead of nourishing the existing ones…

It’s important to mention that Steven is a marketer and what he’s trying to do is change the bad name that’s associated with his role. He believes that businesses should perceive their customers as friends rather than walking dollar bills.

To prove his point, Steven brings up the story of his dad and his best friend Adrian.

The story goes as follows… More than 30 years ago, Steven’s parents were building a house. In a process, they needed an electrician who would install all the cables and lighting. And, lo and behold, they found Adrian.

As Steven explains both men did the whole work together, bonded over a few beers, and, as a result, made friends for the lifetime.

Applying this story to a business context we can deduct that what companies really need is the heart and a real want to bond with their customers.

I don’t know your point of view but I see a huge opportunity on a customer service side to build this relationship and show that your company actually cares.

After all, customer service is the moment when you can show how much you value your customers.

Check out the whole of Steven’s speech and find out how to apply the heart to your company-customer relations.

Creating Guest “Evangelists” through Customer Service

What you will learn: How to turn your customers into evangelists through customer service
Speaker: Tom Costello
Duration: 14 minutes
Transcript: No

The first thing you’ll notice while watching Tom’s speech is that he’s a true customer service passionate. He lives, breathes, and preaches service.

The idea that he tries to convey is one of turning customers into evangelists.

What it means is that through your efforts you can motivate your customers to spread the word about your brand even when they don’t have to.

I bet you’re the evangelist of some brand. I, personally, love one Polish computer store and whenever someone asks me where to buy electronics, I recommend this one.

For a company, it’s basically free marketing which has a much higher conversion rate as people are more likely to make a purchase upon the recommendation from a friend or family member that the one served through ads.

Tom explains how brands can meet customers’ expectations on various levels starting at the most basic one when a company provides what’s expected to the moment when you go another mile and hand out service that’s needed but unexpected.

I won’t reveal the whole formula right here…

For that, go and watch Tom’s energetic TED talk and find out how to turn your customers into evangelists!

10 ways to have a better conversation

What you will learn: How to have better conversations and build relationships through the speech
Speaker: Celeste Headlee
Duration: 12 minutes
Transcript: Yes, 41 languages

Celeste Headlee is a great speaker and that’s why she teaches us through her talk how to be better speakers ourselves.

And that’s really important because the conversation is the core part of any customer service interaction, no matter if it is internal or external.

Yet, over the last couple of years, we lost our conversation skills mainly due to the advancements in technology and the fact that we tend to boil down information into very digest messages.

With the 10 tips that Celeste gives, every one of us can quickly improve our conversation skills and become better at building relationships through the speech.

And don’t think that the conversation skills are solely about speaking. Honestly, it’s kind of the opposite.

What you’ll find out is that in conversations, speaking is as important as what you’re thinking about, how sharp is your focus, how well you’re listening to the other person, and many other aspects that have little or even nothing to do with speaking itself.

Now, I’m not going to spoil you all the 10 ways Celeste gives us to have better conversations but I’m gonna tell you that No. 8 is my favorite!

The Customer Revolution in Customer Service

What you will learn: How to adjust to the current customers’ wants and treat the customer service role with respect
Speaker: David Bequette
Duration: 12 minutes
Transcript: No

David takes us all the way through the industrial revolution to the present days of the customer service revolution.

What he emphasizes the most is the importance of respect in the customer-company relation.

As David says (and many other customer service experts do) the rules have changed. Since the early 1900s’ companies offered a way to service their products. As time went by, service instead of the commodity became the necessity and, later on, a core differentiator.

And that is the sole reason why you should adjust to the current rules of customer service.

But, the reality is that we all have ingrained issues when it comes to the role of customer service, and oftentimes treat it with less respect and authority.

David explains that fixing this issue can help you turnaround how your customer service performs and how satisfied your customers are.

To find out how to do that watch his 12-minute customer service TED talk and get ready for the customer service revolution.

Why aren’t we more compassionate?

What you will learn: How to be more compassionate and become better at helping others
Speaker: Daniel Goleman
Duration: 13 minutes
Transcript: Yes, 34 languages

The role of any customer service rep is constrained by the fact that you as a rep are talking to a complete stranger.

Of course, it’s your customer, therefore you have some kind of data regarding that person but, nevertheless, you have no real connection with him or her.

This, naturally, makes it much harder to be compassionate towards that person and to form a real relationship – something that is core to successful service.

Daniel Goleman, the author of “Emotional Intelligence” explains the current issue with the lack of compassion between people.

Through various situations and experiments, he shows that the single act of noticing an issue changes everything. From that, we can deduce that the main reason why we’re not compassionate is the fact that we do not notice the problems of others, or rather we do not focus enough to notice them.

Daniel, through his speech, shows how we can become more compassionate and better at helping others with their issues – exactly what customer service is for.

So, cut off any distractions for the next 13 minutes and listen to what David has to say!

How to build (and rebuild) trust

What you will learn:How to align each aspect of trust and communicate it to your customers
Speaker: Frances Frei
Duration: 15 minutes
Transcript: Yes, 20 languages

Once again, we tune into the heart of customer service and that is trust.

Frances gives us three principles that build trust in a company-customer relation. These are:

  • Logic
  • Empathy
  • Authenticity

Frances explains each of the concepts in regard to the time when she worked at Uber. As she says, each of these aspects was really wobbly at the time she enrolled.

This created a general distrust from Uber’s audience. It meant that Frances and the company as a whole had not only to work on the concept of trust but also on the premise of rebuilding it.

And, as Frances highlights, only by aligning each of these three aspects you can create trust and pass it on the employees and, later on, the customers.

All three aspects of trust have to be preached by every part of the company through their efforts but customer service is the one department that can (and should) do it externally.

Thus, give Frances 15 minutes of your precious time and find out the best way to get it right and align your company’s logic, empathy, and authenticity to create trust and therefore build a successful relationship with your clients.

How I stole great customer service – with pride!

What you will learn: How to provide great customer service by using others’ success stories
Speaker: Lisa Ekström
Duration: 15 minutes
Transcript: No

“Difficult is fun.” – with this rather not-so-common phrase, Lisa opens her amazing TED talk on how she took a great customer service story and used it at where she worked at the time.

We’ve all heard of great customer service examples but we always hesitate when it comes to implementing them to our own business.
It’s a different industry….
…it won’t work at ours…
…we’ll embarrass ourselves!

Lisa hesitated just like everyone else but luckily her youngest son convinced her to give it a try.

And boy-oh-boy, the results were amazing.

I won’t lie… I had to cut some corners not to spoil too much!

So, spend your next 15 minutes with Lisa and find out how you can apply great customer service to your businesses without reinventing the wheel!

Under 20-minute customer service TED talks

Do you really know why you do what you do?

What you will learn: How to impact people’s choices and how to ask your customers the right type of questions
Speaker: Petter Johansson
Duration: 16 minutes
Transcript: Yes, 19 languages

With two quick and quite straightforward experiments, Petter Johansson shows us that we often think that we know the why behind our choices while the reality is quite different.

It turns out that our choices can be easily shaped and switched with easy manipulation.

While this can sound daunting and rather useful for a dictator it actually shows that people are much more flexible than they think they are.

Therefore, we can influence their choices just by asking the right type of questions and by framing our message in a different way.

This can help you offer better service only throughout changing the way you communicate with your clients. That’s because they can be satisfied with what they get but their perception can be telling them otherwise.

Understand why people make certain choices and learn how you can help your customers make better decisions regarding your product or service with Petter’s customer service TED talk!

Want to help someone? Shut up and listen!

What you will learn: How to create a system that will encourage your customers to talk to you and help you resolve their issues.
Speaker: Ernesto Sirolli
Duration: 17 minutes
Transcript: Yes, 35 languages

This talk will help you provide exceptional customer service by explaining just one rule:
Namely, the titular Shut up and listen!

What Ernesto preaches is that we oftentimes try to help other people by turning up with our own ideas and trying to talk them into our solutions.

On the other hand, what we should try to do is not to talk at all and listen to what people want.

This can be very useful in customer service as, sadly, it happens that a customer service rep instead of trying to understand your issue, gives you – what he thinks will be – the best solution.

To solve that problem you should create a system that encourages your customers to talk to you and then actually listen to their queries.

Watch Ernesto explaining how he created a system that makes people seek help and learn how to shut up and listen.

The currency of the new economy is trust

What you will learn: How to use the trust to build better relationships with your customers.
Speaker: Rachel Botsman
Duration: 19 minutes
Transcript: Yes, 24 languages

This customer service TED talk conveys that trust and reputation which builds this trust is the new currency in the digital age.

You can use this information to better help your customers and ensure that they receive the best assistance possible.

What Rachel Botsman explains is that during the time when people share and exchange not only things but personal belongings like furniture, dogs, toys, or even homes and cars the reputation we build greatly impacts how people trust us.

Forward, this trust impacts how people are likely to use our services.

You can certainly think of a way to incorporate that principle into your customer service.

The common problem people stumble upon is that a person over the chat is not eligible to do his or her job. Or rather is not yet skilled or educated enough.

But what if the customer was informed that the customer service rep he’s talking to has already helped 500+ people?

Watch Rachel’s speech and find out how to create a trust that will make your service better and your customers more contented.

The post-crisis consumer

What you will learn: How to adjust your customer service to the current customers’ values
Speaker: John Gerzema
Duration: 16 minutes
Transcript: Yes, 21 languages

Before I delve deep into the description of this customer service TED talk you have to keep in mind that it was held by John Gerzema in 2009.

That is after the financial crisis that took place the year before. During that time the US economy was coming back to life from ashes and so the consumer of 2009 varies a lot compared to the 2019 consumer.

Yet, I believe this talk can be beneficial for three reasons for your customer service and company at the whole:

  1. You never know when the next recession will hit
  2. More customers are going back to the quality over quantity approach
  3. People care more about the word of their close circle than advertisers and influencers

John, in his talk, explains how different a post-crisis customer is. That means, he doesn’t want to spend money carelessly, he doesn’t buy unnecessary things, he cares about quality, he cares about his surroundings.

Does it sound familiar?

People are getting fed up with over-consumerism and are going back to their core values.

After watching John’s talk you’ll get to know exactly what these values are and how to optimize your customer service and company in general to the current customers’ expectations.

How Airbnb designs for trust

What you will learn: How to design your customer service for trust and therefore better satisfy your customers
Speaker: Joe Gebbia
Duration: 16 minutes
Transcript: Yes, 30 languages

Trust is a crucial factor of customer-company relations.

Without it, you can’t really serve your customers. At least not in a satisfying way.

And who knows better that a business relies on trust than one of the co-founders of Airbnb, Joe Gebbia.

Joe, in his talk, takes us on a journey through the history of Airbnb and how did they overcome – what he calls, a stranger = danger bias.

Joe and the rest of his team had to design everything in a way that hosts were willing to invite complete strangers to their homes and create relations with each other. And they did manage to do it with smart design and building a system that creates trust.

What’s also interesting, Joe shows how reputation (remember Rachel Botsman’s talk?) impacts the level of trust we have towards another person.

Use the knowledge gathered by Joe throughout the years of creating and optimizing Airbnb and take it to your customer service effort to satisfy your customers at full.

Want to get great at something? Get a coach

What you will learn: How getting a coach can help you improve yours and your team’s skills and performance
Speaker: Atul Gawande
Duration: 17 minutes
Transcript: Yes, 17 languages

As you’ve already depicted from the title, Atul highlights the power of coaching and being coached.

You may have thought that Atul is some kind of sportsman as they usually have a coach but actually, Atul is a surgeon. One day, he decided that he wants to improve his skills and thus he hired a coach. Throughout the whole process of learning, he has managed to get drastically better and excel as a doctor.

Then, he decided that it would be wise to apply that to poor parts of Indian healthcare and, lo and behold, it resulted in saved lives!

Now you can take this approach and apply it to your own customer service team. Even if you have a manager (or you’re one!) hiring someone who is from outside your company and standard work customs will notice things and actions you wouldn’t ever notice.

This can result in tremendous improvements that can make the whole team more efficient and therefore help you save time, money, and effort.

Listen to Atul and, well… get a coach!

How to make choosing easier

What you will learn: How to make choosing easy for your customers
Speaker: Sheena Iyengar
Duration: 16 minutes
Transcript: Yes, 36 languages

Sheena describes the concept of choice overload, something that we can stumble upon whenever we’re trying to choose a toothpaste. You know, 50 ‘different’ choices, but do they even differ?

What Sheena has found through her research was that the number of choices can highly impact how customers interact with brands and their products.

Here, the saying less is more is truer than ever.

A good question to ask yourself would be: “Do you apply the less is more rule to your customer service?”

Nowadays it’s easy to equip yourself with dozens of different software and therefore strike your customers with infinite options to contact your brand.

But does it help?
Or does it make your customers overwhelmed?

The other interesting thing that Sheena found out was that the order of choice is as important as the type of choice itself. Thus, depending on the order of choice your customers see they will interact with them differently.

Sheena’s talk will help you cut, categorize, and concretize making your customer service more customer-friendly.

A word game to communicate in any language

What you will learn: How to communicate with customers from all around the world
Speaker: Ajit Narayanan
Duration: 16 minutes
Transcript: Yes, 28 languages

Ajit’s speech is very conceptual, yet, can help you develop a solution to connect with your worldwide customers.

Namely, Ajit was working on a solution for children with autism as they have a serious problem without anything that’s abstract and that includes language and therefore communication.

Through his research, Ajit found a way to represent speech and grammar in a way that’s language independent and that could be used to convert information to any given language.

Even though Ajit’s final solution that could take the text in any language and translate it to any other language is still a work-in-progress, watching his TED talk will give you an idea of how to communicate with customers from all around the world without having them to compromise the full understanding of what you’re trying to communicate.

On being wrong

What you will learn: How to understand mistakes and improve your internal communication
Speaker: Kathryn Schulz
Duration: 18 minutes
Transcript: Yes, 41 languages

I err therefore I am. – You might recognize these words of St. Augustine who realized, more than 2000 years ago that failure and being wrong is an integral part of every human being.

Yet, as Kathryn outlines, we’re really bad at being wrong. And that holds true for two reasons.

The first one is that being wrong feels like being right. Meaning, we only are wrong when we realize that we’re wrong. But, the problem is, we were taught that making mistakes is wrong, therefore we never want to confess to being wrong.

The second reason is that when you realize you’re wrong, it feels quite daunting. Thus, we do what we can not to be wrong, and even if we find ourselves in such a situation we try to falsely convince ourselves that the other person is wrong but never we.

Kathryn explores this ‘error blindness’ and gives viable solutions to this problem.

This, I believe, can be very helpful when applied to the customer service department. Of course, your reps and agents should be skilled and knowledgeable but there’s no way they won’t make a mistake. Nor should you expect them not to make mistakes.

That’s why understanding that we’re faulty creatures can help us all better communicate and faster understand and realize when and what went wrong.

Watch Kathryn’s speech and level up your customer service now!

What makes us feel good about our work?

What you will learn: How to actually motivate your employees
Speaker: Dan Ariely
Duration: 20 minutes
Transcript: Yes, 37 languages

Motivation = Payment

At least, such an equation is true to most of the business owners and employers.

But, as it turns out, this is one of the liest true things you could think of. Of course, getting paid is crucial (you have to eat bread with something, right?) but it’s not the key motivator.

Dan Ariely’s speech can be extremely valuable to both employees and employers. That’s because employees can understand why they feel unmotivated and what they should do to figure out how to feel good about their work.

On the other hand, employers can get it right when it comes to what makes their employees wake up every day and show up to work.

That’s because, as I earlier mentioned, the payment itself is not the sole motivator. There are also aspects such as:

  • meaning
  • creation
  • challenge
  • ownership
  • and more…

The reality is that employers could easily avoid making most of the mistakes that demotivate their employees and by watching Dan’s talk you can do it too!

Perspective is everything

What you will learn: How to change the framing of your customer service to improve customer satisfaction
Speaker: Rory Sutherland
Duration: 18 minutes
Transcript: Yes, 29 languages

Rory explores the idea that how you frame something is much more important than the thing itself.

Through plenty of examples, he shows how the psychology behind perceiving things has a far greater impact than the description itself.

One of such examples is what Rory calls the biggest improvement of customer satisfaction per pound spent regarding the London underground. Namely, what they did was installing the display that would show the time in which the train is going to arrive.

That’s because the uncertainty is more of a problem that the time you have to wait. Therefore, we would be much more willing to wait 10 minutes knowing when the train will arrive than wait 5 minutes constantly wondering whether the train will ever arrive.

I bet you already have an idea of how you could implement it to your customer service… 😉

This and the rest of the ideas can be easily applied to customer service and how you communicate with your customers in general.

The whole act of framing the message differently can have a greater impact on customer satisfaction than changing the thing itself.

So, watch Rory’s speech and find out how you can change the framing of your customer service to improve customers’ satisfaction.

Customer loyalty programmes… why bother!

What you will learn: How to create loyal customers
Speaker: Lance Walker
Duration: 19 minutes
Transcript: No

Loyalty programs have become so common that nearly everyone has a loyalty card in his or her pocket.

Yet, as Lance Walker outlines, the loyalty card is the last thing that will make a customer loyal.

Through his speech, Lance doesn’t want to burn the loyalty cards and program in general but rather point out that it’s not a viable way of creating loyalty.

There are, of course, other reasons why big brands would like to use such programs – one can be the data gathering – but, in the end, they won’t make their customers devoted to the brand.

Taking all of the above into consideration, Lance proposes changes to how these programs are executed. And all of his solutions are based on the premise that the current loyalty programs lack features that are clearly expected by the customers.

So, not to fall off the race for loyalty, watch the Lance talk and find out 5 aspects that drive loyalty and are expected by the customer.

Closing the Loop on Feedback

What you will learn: How to give and receive feedback in a quality way
Speaker: Daniel Suwyn
Duration: 17 minutes
Transcript: No

Daniel’s speech is a great one for both managers and customer service reps.

And that’s because it talks about feedback. Or, as Daniel frames it, the magic of life.

Why the magic of life?

Well, Daniel explains that feedback is the sole reason why we’re here, today. Our ancestors learned using feedback and that’s what kept them alive. Therefore, we need feedback to stay in the game and actually be happy.

Feedback is even more important nowadays, as Millennials and Gen Zers greatly value feedback and want genuine feedback from their bosses.

Yet, no one likes feedback because of the way it’s given and received. Just recall those times when you were scared as hell whenever your boss or manager was about to give you your report or tell you “what to improve”.

To tackle this issue and help all of us, managers, bosses, and employees get better at giving and receiving feedback, Daniel proposes a feedback loop. The exact feedback loop that nature gave our ancestors to keep them alive.

And the idea of the feedback loop is actual to this day and can help you reinvent the process of assessing the quality of work in your company.

Thus, give Daniel’s TED talk a watch and find out how you can implement the feedback loop within your entity.

The most important language you will EVER learn

What you will learn: How to create relationships by being able to talk to anyone you interact with
Speaker: Poet Ali
Duration: 16 minutes
Transcript: Yes, 10 languages

Poet Ali experiments with the concept of language and truly takes it to the next level.

When we usually think about language, we turn into the country- or region-wise rhetoric thinking about English, Spanish, Chinese, etc.

Yet, Poet claims that there’s a much more important type of language that we can all speak in and therefore better connect.

Namely, that’s the language of experience.

The best way to understand it is to imagine two situations. One, in which you speak to a person about the recent trip you had but that person has never been to the same place. And the second one in which you talk about the same trip but to a person that has also been there.

I guess you already know the difference.

The first person might be interested in what you’re talking about but will never understand it without being there or at least seeing it.

On the other hand, the person that has been there and experienced it, will quickly connect with you and share the same stories which will help you bond and create a relationship over the course of the conversation.

And, once again, being good at having conversations is a crucial part of customer service. After all, the whole premise of customer service is to help and create relationships with your customers.

I encourage you (reeeally do!) to watch the Poet’s TED talk as it can open your eyes to ways you can connect to anyone you talk to. And I’d go as far as saying that this talk is a must-watch for anyone who works in the customer service industry!

We’ve stopped trusting institutions and started trusting strangers

What you will learn: How to create trust through your customer service efforts and tap into new customers’ needs
Speaker: Rachel Botsman
Duration: 17 minutes
Transcript: Yes, 23 languages

Rachel goes deep into the earlier explored concept of trust.

As we know and as the various reports suggest, consumers have stopped trusting institutions and will rather listen to their closest circle, that is friends and family.

This distrust is represented in many ways.

People don’t listen to ads as recommendations. People don’t want to contact the company as they find it useless. People don’t want to interact with institutions as they fear it.

This has a profound impact on customer service as more and more people find it untrustworthy which creates bad customer service reputation.

But the truth is, institutions themselves are guilty of this trust decline.

Luckily, as Rachel highlights, companies can use that to their advantage by turning around the concept of trust and communication.

That’s because what we’re seeing today is the trust revolution.

People don’t stay in hotels but rather book an Airbnb.
They don’t ride their own car and travel by Uber.

In general, people turn to strangers instead of big, guilty institutions.

By exploring this idea of stranger trust, you can tap into customers’ needs and show that you’re right there for them. That you’re not a huge enterprise that instead of allowing you to easily solve your issue makes it as hard as possible.

Although Rachel’s TED talk lasts rather long (17 minutes), I believe every second of it is worth the watch.

Thanks to it, you’ll find new ideas on how to create trust through your customer service effort and therefore meet your customers’ needs that seek real connections instead of artificial ones created by untrustworthy institutions.

The Skill of Humor

What you will learn: How to use humor to increase the satisfaction of your employees and customers
Speaker: Andrew Tarvin
Duration: 19 minutes
Transcript: Yes, 6 languages

We all love to laugh, feel joy, and have fun. Yet, in many cases, we feel like we’re not the right person to deliver any of those.

But Andrew Tarvin thinks different.

As he claims, humor is a skill, not a trait you’re born with, therefore everyone can learn it! Plus, Andrew outlines the importance of humor in work both internally and externally.

There are loads of benefits when it comes to having fun at work both in terms of your employees’ happiness and productivity and your customers’ satisfaction.

In his 19-minute TED talk (don’t worry over the length, the fun is worth every second!) Andrew explains a 3-step formula to develop the skill of humor.

Of course, there’s no better person to explain it that Andrew himself, thus, tune into his TED talk and learn how humor can increase the satisfaction of your customers and employees.

The Bar is So Low – The Realities of Memorable Service

What you will learn: How to provide remarkable customer service thanks to the low competition
Speaker: Alex Cabañas
Duration: 19 minutes
Transcript: No

Alex shows that the current reality of customer service is quite sad.

Or maybe not…

Well, it depends on which side of the customer service you are!

Namely, as Alex describes, the customer service provided by most of the companies is so bad that going the extra miles really means going an extra inch.

This, of course, tells us a lot about why we’re so often disappointed with the service we receive.

On the other hand, it means that it’s relatively easy to provide outstanding customer service and create memorable experiences.

Alex shows, by using various examples of restaurants, gas stations, and loan service how little is needed to stand out from the crowd and be remembered by your customers.

If you’re ready to go the extra mile and make customer service stand out then tune into what Alex Cabañas has to say!

What’s next in service for the hospitality industry, a culture of care

What you will learn: How to make hospitality a part of your customer service by implementing the culture of care
Speaker: Jan Smith
Duration: 16 minutes
Transcript: No

Jan did not come up with the idea of the culture of care just by herself.

She found it through her trip to Hawaii just before enrolling in college. There, she was greeted with such natural and genuine care from the local family that it made her feel like she was a part of the family and that everyone took care of her.

After that encounter, she tried to implement this culture of care to service provided by various companies and compare the culture of care to how most companies treat service.

It turns out – as you can probably guess – that not many companies live by the principles of the culture of care in regards to their service.

But Jan has a bold claim.

She believes that this culture can change how companies serve their customers forever. And I kid you not, you’re going to do everything you can to make the culture of care your culture, after watching her TED talk!

Global Trends In Luxury Hospitality

What you will learn: How to win customers by offering hospitality and outstanding service
Speaker: Jerry Inzerillo
Duration: 18 minutes
Transcript: No

Although Jerry speaks majorly about customer service in regards to the luxury travel and hotel industry, there is a lot to take for all of the people working in customer service.

The main premise, if I’d have to find such in Jerry’s talk, would be that those who give are also those who receive.

How did Jerry find that it works in the service industry?

Well, he and his company rate luxury hotels giving them various ratings that depict their level of service that their guests receive. Think of these ratings as Michelin stars for restaurants. It’s that level.

What’s interesting about his findings is that although there are thousands of five-star hotels over the world, they greatly differ when it comes to the service they provide.

And that service, as you’ve read many times before, is the core differentiator for their clients.

It impacts how clients recommend the hotels, how likely they are to come again, how willing they will be to leave a positive review.

Listen to the expert in luxury hospitality and find out how you can win customers by giving to your customers.

Service Isn’t Same As Hospitality

What you will learn: How to go the extra mile and win lifelong customers through customer service
Speaker: Anna Dolce
Duration: 17 minutes
Transcript: No

Anna taps into a very similar idea to the one proposed by Bobby Stuckey in his TED talk. Namely, that service and hospitality are two different pieces of business and contact with customers.

As Anna says, service is what we expect and hospitality is the extra mile that every business should provide.

What’s also interesting is that Anna speaks from the perspective of a person who has worked in the restaurant industry for over 15 years. And, as we all know from over day-to-day interactions, restaurants can be really dull when it comes to the service they provide.

But Anna has a cure for that. And that cure is the titular hospitality.

She claims that by going that extra mile and providing more than what’s ‘included in the package’ your business can be remembered and loved by the customers.

How to get to that next level of customer service?

Let Anna explain it all!

Which customer service TED talk was your favorite?

Well, with 45 TED talks you’re going to have to cut on that Netflix time, aren’t you?

Jokes aside, I highly recommend you pick the ones that suit you the most, both in terms of duration and topic, and focus on putting the tips and insights you learn to the shape.

Remember that customer service is the tipping point of business.

That’s exactly when and where you can get your customers from the moment of day-to-day routine straight to the wow-that-was-amazing time.

And after you’re done watching, let me know which of the 45 customer service TED talks was your favorite!

Are you looking for even more inspirations? Check out this list of top inspirational books from entrepreneurs!