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12 Customer Service Trends for 2012, the Year of Customer Experience


As a new year begins, let’s look at 12 customer service trends for 2012, the year of customer experience. We’ve recently seen more and more evidence of the shift in power from companies to customers. Companies will have to adapt to the ways customers want to engage with them in the overall experience with the company.

Organizations in all fields should see themselves as SERVICE companies that provide a product. Or service companies that sell merchandize. Zappos, is one of those organizations leading the way. They set the tone for their entire company mission by making their stand on customer service. There are certain customer service trends that have brought a lot of success recently which experts see as becoming more mainstream in the years to come. I think that 2012 will be one of those transformational years as most organization reach out to customers, focus on the customer service experience, and engage the customer online and on a personal level.

Regardless of our structure, our goal is to position as the online service leader.

If we can get customers to associate the brand with the absolute best service, then we can expand into other product categories beyond shoes. And, we’re doing just that.

It’s customers who grow companies. Not shareholders.

The stock market over the years of 2000-2010 demonstrates how effective business has been done without great customer service focus. This is a sample of a company’s stock value over the last decade. It’s a snapshot of the stock value of many companies.

The old method of doing business is dead. Long live the customer.

Customer is King

I see 12 customer service trends for 2012 that will continue to contribute to this customer-is-king phenomenon in business as more customer-centric organizations continue to outperform those that remain committed to the “our way or the highway” business mentality. Social media, online communities, on-demand cloud computing services all contribute to a new model of customer service where the customer is in control of the overall experience.

Rob Findlay, with suggested that “the Customer is King” can be also said as “the Community is in Charge”. It’s customers who lead business to what is right, to what is fair. It’s customers who determine the right direction of products and services. Why? Because in the end it’s not the CEO or the shareholders that are buying the service or product. It’s not the CEO or the shareholders who buy from the company, it’s the customer. Success in 2012 and beyond, will require the fundamental change in the way business is done.

From matching customers to products, we need to match products to customers.

-Seth Godin

My 12 Customer Service Trends in 2012 - I’m hoping I see more of these come true in 2012.

1. Customer is King in Customer Service

2. Hyper Responsive Customer Service

3. Customer Experts as Part of the Community

4. An Answering Machine is NOT 24/7

5. Flexible & Generous Return & Exchange Policies

6. Empowered Customer Service Teams

7. Bigger and Better Word of Mouth Promotions

8. More Emphasis on Community Reviews

9. Company-wide Customer Service Focus

10. Personal Touch Service

11. Purchasing Products or Services Seen as a Journey

12. Do Good, Be GREAT.

The key trends in customer service in 2012 can be summarized in 3 words: Instant. WOW. Value. 

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  • Jason Noble

    Like it.  5 and 6 I think very very critical and ones that lots of companies don’t do well.

    • themanagr

      Yes Jason! I think that especially #6, empowering team members makes a tremendous impact in not only the customer experience from the customer’s point of view, but also in job satisfaction for employees.

  • Myrdelrio

    I will add “Listen to the customer” is the best counselor in terms of service satisfaction, they will always have a good suggestion to improve our service quality.

    • themanagr

      Absolutely! Maybe I should update the list and add it as number 0? Listening to the customer is the foundation of any real service action.

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    A customer experience blog. Talking customer service, customer experience, and wowing the customer.

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