Happy New Year! As we close out the year and begin a new one, I thought about what has been trending over the last year or so and what will be important for us to consider as we move forward. Here are just five, but I think a very important five, trends to consider. Your customers are smarter than ever before. When it comes to customer service, they know the difference between good and bad service. They not only compare you to others in your industry, but also others outside of your industry. They see companies advertising how great their customer service is, the awards they are winning for the customer experience, and more. Business is creating an expectation that forces us to raise the bar on our customer service and customer experience. By the way, that’s a good thing. If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to have self-service customer service as an option. This isn’t limited to the companies that have call or support centers. It doesn’t matter what type of business you’re in, your customers will always have questions. Make it easy for them to find the Post an FAQ (Frequently Asked Question) section on your website. Post YouTube videos that answer questions that your customers might have. Social media and customer service belong together. I can’t believe how many companies don’t monitor the social media channels their customers hang out on. It is imperative that you watch and listen for comments, both good and bad, and respond to Engaging with your customers on social channels is part of the customer experience. Don’t fight it. Take advantage of it. Smart phones are getting smarter and smarter. For some, the least important part of the smart phone is the phone. It is the device customers are using to connect with you and your company. They are looking at your website, your products, descriptions, reviews, and more. This is an important step in their buying process. Make sure you are mobile-ready and taking advantage of the smart phone revolution. The handwritten thank you note will never lose relevance. As a matter of fact, it may be more relevant than ever. A good old-fashioned thank you note will make you stand out. Can’t write a note? Consider a thoughtful and personal email or text message. The key is the two words thoughtful and personal. Thanking your customer from that mindset warms up the message and makes your customers truly feel appreciated. Don’t miss this opportunity to add a positive “moment” to your customers’ experience.
These are just five of the many trends that are happening in the world of customer service and customer experience. I wanted to share ideas that you could do as an individual, such as number five, as well as ideas that your company might consider implementing, if they aren’t already doing so.
So, Happy New Year! May this coming year be your best year yet!