2014 Customer Service Crystal Ball – Part 1 of Trends

Blog 2-25-14What Customer Service Trends do we predict for 2014? Well here are the first 3 of 7 key trends we see:

We’ll Learn to Rekindle the Fire in 2014

What does that mean? No I’m not talking romance in the world of customer service, although there could be an uncomfortable emotional engagement in this particular trend…What I’m speaking of is face-to-face customer service via the web. If you haven’t seen the new Kindle Fire commercials, they involve someone holding a Kindle tablet, clicking a button to contact customer service, and having a pretty customer service representative appear for a video chat.

The attraction of the video chat is that people prefer a two-way conversation, particularly when dealing with an issue, and it’s easier to understand someone and communicate with them if you can see them. Plus, with the Fire technology, they can see your tablet and highlight information for you.

This trend toward video customer service will move forward slowly though. Beyond the obvious tech issues involved in any widespread rollout, there’s also the creepiness factor of people talking face-to-face without any idea of what they might do in this personal yet physically detached conversation. Another point to consider is where are you going to find people pleasant to talk to, to look at, with good body language regardless of the situation, and who are knowledgeable/smart enough to serve this CSR role? It won’t be easy, and they will be WELL paid.

We Will Realize that We are All the Same

A Healthcare client of ours has an issue with their security staff in the Emergency Department. The head of security believes the sole role of his staff is security, busting the bad guys, keeping the peace, etc. And while that’s the main role, these staff are stationed at the entrance of the Emergency Department, and they are the first person that walk-in patients encounter. So they need to have some communication skills, some knowledge of protocol and procedure, some customer service-orientation.

When I say “we are all the same,” what’s meant is that in 2014 there will be a more holistic approach to customer service – albeit slowly again. This approach includes the act of serving customers being viewed as a mission and taught throughout all levels of an organization rather than the activity of a separate “customer service department.” So watch out if you’re in technology, security, or facilities management – you are customer service, too!

We Will Become Infographics

Have you heard of Infographics? They’re essentially a pictorial representation of something – think Instagram with words and numbers…or a 1-page PowerPoint. It conveys information simply, graphically – hence the name – and it grabs your attention. Generally speaking, as people begin to like to see and absorb information in a certain way (think about surfing the web on a smart phone or sharing pictures on Facebook), that way gets co-opted by “gurus” to apply to their world.

Now imagine a 1-page Infographic for assembling a ceiling fan instead of a 40-page document in small print. Imagine instructions, information, directions, etc. being conveyed in Infographic format instead of a detailed narrative or text-heavy format. I predict we’ll see this trend as well.

What do you think of these first 3 trends? What is your Crystal Ball telling you? Share a comment today!

Check out Part 2 of 2014 Customer Service Trends

To learn more about how to improve customer service in a changing economy and world, visit our NEW website at http://cssamerica.com/home/

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