In my last blog I mentioned some of the most interesting approaches to technology that are changing the way companies – and even governments – are structured. Strategies such as cloud computing and app stores are having an effect on how companies are created and planned that exceeds anything we might have imagined just five years ago.
But the strategic area I am most focused on, customer service, is going to have a similar effect over the next decade. The ‘customer focused organisation’ is going to move from being just a marketing mantra to being a reality – with companies led from the areas where they most interact with customers.
This change can already be seen today. The move to multichannel service means that the customer usually dictates how an interaction takes place and most of the social channels are public, so your interactions with customers are visible to all. Examples of great service are plucked out and shared with friends; likewise the customer service disasters are also shared.
This change has led many marketing directors to realise that the customer service team has direct engagement with customers on a daily basis in a way that potential customers can all see. So customer service is being co-opted into marketing, or marketing is becoming a factor in how customer service is planned… either way, the importance of this customer contact has been noted.
Which means that the sales teams will now be interested, and the operations teams can use this close contact with customers as a channel for feedback. And the R&D or strategy team can use this contact as input into future plans.
In short, company executives are seeing that a great customer service function may well be their best asset. It’s the team that will lead product innovation, sales, and marketing into the future.
Have already you seen companies exploring these changes? Leave a comment here or tweet me on @matt_sims1.
Photo by Vinoth Chandar licensed under Creative Commons