It’s a new year. A lot happened in 2014 and the world of customer service in general is moving fast, but I think that there is going to be a subtle change in how business operates in 2015. And I don’t just mean that we will see more and more channels – though this may well happen.
I believe that the drivers around customer service purchasing are changing. Executives used to purchase a customer service solution just because they had to – it was essential to have someone answering the phone and emails and it made sense to outsource that process.
Times have changed. The customer service team is now directly driving sales, and taking a key role in the branding and marketing of companies that are now seeing the customer experience as a critical component of why customers keep returning to them.
I am increasingly talking to company leaders who see that great service is driving their sales and revenues up. The customer service function is not a cost to the business, it is the interaction between the brand and the customer and that is now creating sales opportunities.
I know that some analysts, such as Ovum, have been predicting this for at least nine months now, but there is a difference between reading analyst reports and day after day hearing prospective customers say that the most important thing to them now is that the customer service team is ‘great’ – they are looking for a customer experience that drives loyalty and repeat business.
I believe that this is the big change we will be looking back on at the end of this year. It will take several years to embed completely though – this changing attitude is going to change how companies think of customer loyalty and connecting payment systems to loyalty programmes.
That’s all coming soon. For now, the focus is on making the customer experience great, because great service leads to greater revenue.
Photo by Holiday Extras licensed under Creative Commons