trends | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

A Story of Willie and Aubrey - 2/8/22

The gift shop was a great experience!  Aubrey had bought items online from the shop for years, but she had never stepped foot in the store itself.  However, when travel plans took her on a trip to new surroundings, she took time out of her day to go to Read more

It Matters Who You Know - 2/1/22

The season ticket account holder has an issue, but he’s not too concerned about it:  I’m going to call my guy, and he’ll take care of it. The patient is confused about their bill.  The family member says: I know someone who can help. The husband discovers a problem in the Read more

Put an End to 1-Star Ratings - 1/25/22

If you ever had service performed on your car, I would not doubt it if you received the immediate e-mail asking for that 5-star rating. They want the big ratings because that makes them look good, and to get the big average rating you have to avoid the 1-Star Read more

Signs of Service Recovery Situations - 1/18/22

As we continue the slow trend of more and more customer interactions becoming in-person again, we need to remember those signs that we’re about to enter one of THOSE conversations.  It can typically take only 5-10 seconds to realize this is going to be a high-risk situation with the Read more

In Survey Development, Think in Reverse - 1/11/22

We often meet with clients interested in conducting a survey, and when we discuss the project, many clients come with questions in-hand.  They are interested, curious, even excited sometimes about the possibility of tapping into the voice of the customer! And when we review their questions and start to see Read more

Foster Positive Feelings - 1/4/22

I bet a lot of you all are like me - when you’re asked to share your feelings, it’s not always something that feels comfortable.  It obviously depends on the situation and who’s asking you to share your feelings.  So, many of us might hesitate in sharing our feelings. However, Read more

How to Make the Situation Right - 12/28/21

The manager in the field office felt that - when problems arose with customers - the company didn’t do an especially good job of responding effectively.  He felt like this was hurting customer renewals of annual service agreements.  The company developed many customer service and retention initiatives with little Read more

2021 Holiday Poem - 12/21/21

Breathe and rest and relax and rejuvenate. Close the eyes, and fill the lungs. Take a break, and be with friends. This is a time to begin. Renaissance is called a rebirth. Birth can bring new life. Life gives opportunity for living. Living gives opportunity for joy. We have so many outside factors, So many things that tug Read more

“I’m Sorry” Doesn’t Mean “I’m Guilty” - 12/14/21

Individuals and organizations mess up; that’s part of life… They told me that they were going to be at my home at a certain time; they were REALLY late.  The customer service representative said they would get a message to a co-worker, and the co-worker would call me back; I Read more

Apply Selfless Service - 12/7/21

Andrea had worked in human resources for years, and the company decided that it wanted to hire employees who were more customer service-oriented, regardless of the position.  After making that decision, they added some creative questions to the interview process. One of the most interesting questions that Andrea had to 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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