2012 | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

Redefine “Access” to Treat Customers Special - 11/29/22

One of our clients puts on major events throughout the country.  When we conduct post-event surveys, many of the attendees rave about the access they had to certain entertainers, locations in the venue, parking lots, or even information.  Others decry the fact that they lacked that access. This does pose Read more

Keep in Mind 3 Key Questions - 11/22/22

Customers want to be heard.  If they have an issue or need or something that requires your support, they want to be understood. When we are trying to find a resolution or fulfill a need, when we’re trying to help a customer achieve their goal, sometimes we can be so Read more

Don’t Let This Shot Affect Your Next Shot - 11/15/22

When I was a teenager, I used to play a lot of golf, and I was pretty good for my age.  I’d have a good attitude and enjoyed the game, but if I hit a bad shot, I’d get upset.  And more often than not, that one bad shot Read more

Value the Customer – Actions to Adopt and Avoid - 11/8/22

When conducting research for a local government CSS client, we interviewed and conducted surveys with many of their customers.  We analyzed the results of the research based on those who had a great experience v. those who did not.  We uncovered that there were distinct differences between customers who Read more

Appreciate to Appreciate - 11/1/22

Why doesn’t Jay, my co-worker, respond to my e-mails or get his task done on time? It’s hard to respect the delay, the incomplete work, the lack of follow through on the part of your co-worker. Why does the customer seem so harried and so frustrated? It’s hard to value the customer Read more

The Customer Can Hear Your Attitude - 10/25/22

Sherry was sitting in the lobby, waiting to be called back for her appointment.  Just off the lobby was an office that Sherry was sitting near.  The person in the office was on a phone call, but Sherry couldn’t see the employee.  She could tell it was a call Read more

How to Handle the Customer’s Error - 10/18/22

Are all of your customers perfect?  Anyone?  Bueller? Of course, customers are not perfect.  Neither are we, but let’s focus this Tip on what they do wrong and what we can do about it in a professional, positive, and productive manner: When the customer isn’t clear, you respond: Is it OK Read more

Critique Yourself before Others Do - 10/11/22

When we’re criticized, we can get defensive, push back, deflect blame to others, and focus more on defending ourselves than really listening to what the other person is saying.  And some of us who get defensive, once we allow our emotions to settle, take time to reflect on what Read more

Find a Connection Point – Part 2: Situational Connection - 10/4/22

Last week we highlighted key topics to consider when you want to find Personal Connection Points with the customer.  Today, we’ll cover some key questions to ask to uncover information about today’s situation that you can use to establish a rapport with the customer.  This is Part 2 - Read more

Find a Connection Point – Part 1: Personal Connection - 9/27/22

Some people are born almost like a master at communication.  They know how to establish rapport with just about anybody, and they do so in a way that seems so natural and so real.  They can form relationships and be laughing with somebody they met two minutes ago like Read more

2012 Customer Service Trends – Sneak Preview

Posted on in Business Advice, World of Customer Service Please leave a comment

I recently participated in a podcast on the 2012 Trends in Customer Service (see the MESH Network’s Stepping Up Service 6 Episode or visit iTunes). Here’s a sneak peek at the key trends to look for this year:

Social Media Learns How to Play Well With Others

Look for intentional integration of Social Media with other traditional customer service vehicles. Facebook and Twitter will no longer be standalones in the customer service world; you’ll see internal knowledge management systems, customer service standards, and communication protocols more consistently applied across all service delivery channels.

You’ll also see the Social Media systems more tightly integrated with other customer service vehicles (i.e., telephone, face-to-face, e-mail, self-serve, live chat, etc.) to streamline customer information flow – and the flow of the customers themselves – to where they will best get their needs met.

Customer Serve Thyself

We’ve heard the saying “physician heal thyself.” Well this trend is an increased focus in self-service customer service. With knowledge management systems growing stronger and SaaS (software as a service) proliferating, it will become more timely and effective oftentimes for the customer to get their question answered/their need met via self-service. And we all know that self-service is usually a highly cost-effective service method for businesses, so expansion of self-service (done right) can be a win-win for customers and businesses.

What’s Out is Now In

I’m seeing lots of bell bottom jeans, tie-dyed t-shirts, and peace signs lately. The band Journey is making a comeback. Is it the 1970s? 1980s?

Remember about 10-15 years ago when outsourcing exploded (particularly outsourcing call centers overseas)? Well insourcing will become a bigger trend in 2012. With the mix of customer service changing (fewer calls, more self-service, live chat, etc.), the cost-benefit of outsourcing will continue to drop. Also, productivity/utilization of contact center staff in the U.S. will continue to increase as they have less downtime with the proliferation of the other service channels, and – again – the financial benefits of outsourcing contact center functions will drop.

On the Road Again

With all due respect to Willie Nelson, this is about…Mobile Customer Service. With over 400 million smart phones sold last year, mobile computing and communications will continue to increase. It used to be that you’d have a telephone with you on the road, so you’d call from the road. When you’re at home or work, you’re close to a computer, so you’d often check websites for support. Now, the phone and computer are – in effect – with you at all times due to smart phones. So customers have more choice, and click-to-call apps or customer service apps will proliferate. Customer service is going highly mobile in 2012!

Let me know what you think will happen in 2012. And don’t forget to check out the full podcast on the 2012 Trends in Customer Service at the MESH Network’s Stepping Up Service 6 Episode or at iTunes.

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